Opinion » Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor for the week of June 18th


It takes a village

Let's start with the end: Our son Evan is going to be fine. But we thought the worst on the evening of Saturday, June 6 when he fell (almost eight metres) from his bedroom window to the stairs below.

He was one of the six kids, in six days reported in the media to have had similar incidences.

A lot of comments on various websites said those parents must be stupid and irresponsible. I can assure you, and those who know us will too, that we are not stupid nor are we irresponsible.

Brushing off someone's trauma as caused by their own stupidity is to not take it seriously, and dismiss how easily it can happen to anyone.

Our three-year-old son is three parts monkey and one part daredevil. With our adult brains, it's hard to fathom the things kids can get up to until they do.

Someone, somewhere in the midst of our trauma said, "you don't know something isn't childproof until your child shows you."

We have gone through our home, again, with a fine-toothed comb looking for all the hazards our son can get into, and we have tried to mitigate these as best as we can.

Traumas happen to anyone, and when they happen to you, you realize how amazing your community is.

First, we would like to thank Mike and Andre, the paramedics who took Evan first to the Pemberton Health Centre and then Whistler. We'd like to thank RCMP Cst. Tim Pierotti for supporting me at the clinic in Pemberton while Graham packed and drove to Whistler to meet us.

We'd like to thank Dr. Jim Fuller and nurses Ian Kruger and Susie Kruger at the Pemberton Health Centre for their care, professionalism, and skill.

In Whistler, Drs. Fern von der Porten and Clark Lewis, and the nursing staff gave us the reassurance that Evan's injuries would not be fatal.

Of course, we thank the infant transport team who flew Evan to BC Children's Hospital in Vancouver and the amazing neurology and trauma teams, nurses, and technicians there who treated Evan like the only child in the hospital.

Finally, we thank our amazing family, friends, and co-workers who welcomed us home with banners, balloons and flowers, bought us meals, and brought Evan concussion-friendly activities to do. We now have an army of people making dinners for us so we can manage the needs of our concussed three-year-old and his baby brother.

We are so fortunate that despite his fall, he "only" suffered a fractured skull. We are so fortunate to live in a society that treats all people for all illnesses and injuries. We are so fortunate to live in a community that believes it "takes a village."

We are touched by your love.
Graham and Brianne Aldcroft

We must do the right thing for the environment

With interest, I read the recent article in the Pique (June 11), "Feds tell Woodfibre to revisit conclusions of its herring surveys."

Like many Sea to Sky residents, I just received a glossy brochure in the mail from Woodfibre LNG, promoting themselves as a positive for our community and great stewards of the environment. Woodfibre LNG didn't bother to include mention of its cooling system and the threat to herring in its advertisement.

For the real scoop, the LNG plant needs a cooling system, which requires a large intake pipe that will use up to 17,000 metric tonnes of ocean water per hour. And where do they want to plunk it? Right next to prime Howe Sound herring spawning habitat, as identified by Squamish residents.

What does the Department of Fisheries and Oceans' (DFO) request to Woodfibre LNG mean? To "update its findings" in its report? Will the fox guard the hen house, or is DFO truly getting serious about protecting sensitive herring spawning habitat? Herring are one of the true contributors to the recovery of Howe Sound, helping to facilitate the return of dolphins, orcas, salmon and even the odd baleen whale.

I still have hope the right thing will be done for the environment and Howe Sound, despite the federal Conservative government decision to gut the Fisheries Act through the passing of Bill C-38 in 2012, which significantly narrowed the prohibition against harm to fish habitat and may allow "serious harm to fish" to be permitted in some cases.

The only way I can see real change happening, is if local citizens speak out and make our MP, John Weston, accountable. He needs to know we will not accept these devastating impacts to Howe Sound. If John and his Conservative government don't want to listen, and approve this project, voters can exercise their opinions on the matter in the upcoming federal election. What kind of future do we want for Howe Sound?

Dave Brown

I thought we had a sign bylaw in this town?

I was under the impression that ugly signs are not permitted in this municipality, so it was a bit of a surprise when I saw the new sign posted at the Cut'yer Bars lookout.

The large sign reads, "ATTENTION Campfires Are Not Permitted," and goes on to state that police and fire departments patrol the area regularly. It says violators will be ticketed and reminds users to pack out garbage.

Obviously the lookout is a poor location for summer campfires, as there is no water nearby and plenty of dry forest.

But rather than a large, ugly sign reminding people of what should be obvious, a better plan would be to remove the abundance of easily accessible fuel that has blown down in that area over the last couple of years.

Most of the people too stupid to realize that it's a bad place for a fire are also conveniently too lazy to pack wood up to the site.

I'm guessing whoever recently installed the new sign also removed the back-yard burner unit that appeared on site earlier this winter, but either they neglected to do a full clean up of the site, or there have been more fires since the sign went up.

Yesterday after enjoying the sunset, I removed the seating around the existing pit and pushed the charcoal into a small pile and I will be going back with a garbage bag to remove it next ride, but the real solution to the problem involves a chain saw and a few people to get rid of the blow down that fuels the fires.

Perhaps this can be done by the fire and police who, according to the new sign, "regularly patrol the area" or more realistically some hardy municipal workers?

I don't mind cleaning up the mess left behind, and I'd even be willing to go in with a chainsaw and a few friends to remove the abundant fire wood, though I'm sure I'd need a permit for that.

Charley Raine

Kilimanjaro fundraiser a huge success

We wish to extend a Whistler-Blackcomb and Kilimanjaro-sized mountain of heartfelt thank-yous for everyone's generous contributions of food, funds, auction items, time and effort, and especially friendship in support of the Whistler to Kilimanjaro Ascent for Alzheimer's 2015 BBQ & Auction Fundraiser.

The event, with 100 per cent of the more than $11,500 raised benefiting the Alzheimer's Society of B.C., was held in our beautiful Whistler paradise on Sunday June 7, at Our Lady of the Mountain Church.

Everyone enjoyed the delicious cuisine, which included too many tasty offerings to individually list. The live auction containing many desirable items was a hoot, with lots of bidders enthusiastically joining in. Attendees agreed that the "Big 5 Africa Animals" stole the show!

As a follow up, raffle tickets for more amazing items will be available soon, with 100 per cent of those funds also benefitting the Alzheimer's Society of B.C., and the over 70,000 British Columbians who depend on the Society's research for a cure, education, programs and services, including the more than 10,000 who are under age 65. 

When we embark in September on the 2015 ascent to the 5,894-metre peak of Kilimanjaro, Whistler will be in our hearts and will help provide the strength we need to carry us, not only to that high peak, but to continue our long personal journey, and to engage the community to fight Alzheimer's and ultimately defeat it.

With all our hearts we thank you so much for your past and future support.

There are too many amazing businesses and people to thank, but a special thanks must go out to: Nesters Market, Four Seasons Resort, Fairmont Chateau Whistler, Terra Breads, The RimRock Café, Whistler Brewing Co., Fort Berens Estate Winery, Resort Municipality of Whistler, Escape Route, Our Lady of the Mountains Catholic Church, Brian Buchholz, Joan Deeks, Izzy MacLaurin, Hanna Steiner, Roland Pfaff, Ian Huxley, Ian Fairweather, Louise Scaparella, Wanda Wilson, and Kathy Bonin.

You can still help. There is a team-based event on Grouse Mountain on September 27 that mirrors the challenge our Ascent for Alzheimer's team undertakes on Mt. Kilimanjaro. To register go www.hikemkgg.com.

Erika and Kim Durlacher

Don't forget to upgrade lockers

Whistler, a village located in one of the most beautiful environments on the planet, has an outdoor sports oriented genetic endowment.

A number of extreme sports are associated with our magnificent mountains, including skiing and boarding, helicopter and backcountry skiing, ski jumping, the sliding sports of bobsleigh, luge, and skeleton during the winter months, while WORCA Toonies, rock climbing, bungee jumping, and extreme lift-accessed bike park activities round out the action during the rest of the year for those up to the challenge.  

Other less extreme activities suitable for all ages include the Nordic sport of cross country skiing, hockey and skating at the Meadow Park Sports Centre and at the Whistler Olympic Plaza in the town centre, as well as on the lakes before heavy winter snows arrive.

Arguably Whistler is the world capital of mountain biking, with our superb network of hundreds of kilometres of single-track and double-track trails and on the paved 40-kilometre Valley Trail.

The list goes on with hiking, zip trekking, golf on three superb local championship courses, not to mention some serious volleyball at Rainbow Park, or less serious whiffle ball and Frisbee golf during the warmer months of the year.

From May to October, at first light, rowing shells appear on Alta Lake, followed by paddleboards, canoes, kayaks, and sailboats, with enthusiasts practicing for regular Wednesday evening sailing races throughout the late spring, summer, and early autumn months.

Our sports orientation and activities define what we do, who we are, and why we choose to live here in what many of us believe is the "best place on earth," the phrase repeated on British Columbia license plates. 

One of the crown jewels in Whistler's amazing sports infrastructure is our Meadow Park Sports Centre, with its indoor ice sheet accommodating skating and hockey year round, swimming and wading pools, together with steam and sauna facilities, as well as a fully equipped first class gym, racket ball courts, activity room facilities, and adjacent outdoor sports fields for baseball and other family oriented activities.

Clearly we are responsible for maintaining these sports facilities for future generations and I applaud the decision by our mayor and council to set aside $1.2 million in funding from our Recreational Works Reserve to facilitate improvements to our municipally owned Meadow Park Sports Centre (MPSC), provided this is matched by a $400,000 grant from the Federal Government's Community Infrastructure Program.

This recently announced program is part of Canada's 150th birthday in 2017 and is specifically designed to support projects, which will rehabilitate existing community facilities across Canada, such as our Meadow Park Sports Centre.

While Canada's official sport may be lacrosse, in reality almost all Canadians consider hockey to be "our game."

With this in mind, early plans for upgrades to facilities at MPSC include a universal change room in the arena to accommodate the expected rapid growth in the sport of women's hockey.

Having local and visiting women's hockey teams change in women's restrooms or in referee rooms is obviously unacceptable as growth in women's hockey occurs at forecast rates.

Already all weekends this summer are booked for hockey at MPSC. 

Other improvements proposed include possible reconfiguration of exterior parking to improve safety, an upgraded entry, new aquatic facilities including an improved indoor water slide, new therapy pools and underwater treadmill, as well as a possible rooftop enclosed lounge overlooking the exterior sports fields.

As a regular user several times a week of MPSC's excellent gym, I hope that all these grand ideas will not prevent the relatively small expenditure required to replace the lockers in the men's changing room.

While they were finally repainted last year, they remain in an increasingly sorry state, with broken locks, doors which require new hinges, and fewer and fewer keys with wrist attachments required during gym workouts.

Clearly the gym is one of the most used amenities at MPSC, and I hope that the men's locker room will not be forgotten amongst the excellent ideas proposed for future improvements to this wonderful community asset.

Doug Garnett
Alta Vista

Freedoms lost

Parliament has now passed Bill C-51, the Anti-Terrorist Bill. After the royal assent Canada will officially become a police state. An arctic chill has descended on the democracy in Canada. Let us hope for extremely hot weather in October to melt this democracy pollution away.

Anybody who thought that Conservatives would cancel or amend the bill must have been smoking something and dreaming that Justin Trudeau was the PM already and pot was legal. But it was an enormously valiant fight. Support for the bill nose-dived from the initial 85 per cent to only 33 per cent now, with 56 per cent directly opposed.

There are going to be broader consequences to the bill. Justin Trudeau, our inspiring future PM, — I strongly believe that at one point he will be — miscalculated with his Chamberlain-like decision to vote for the bill. If Stephen Harper wins, Justin will stay in the history as a supporter of breaking the Rights and Freedom Charter. I do not envy any Liberal candidate in election debates having to defend this decision.

The most unintended consequence of this bill is that Canada has lost moral authority to lecture any other country on human rights. There is currently not even one country left in the world that can act as a beacon of democracy. The USA long ago forfeited this with torture, illegal wars and spying on its own citizens. Barack Obama was bluntly told at the last summit of the Organization of American States that the USA has no right to lecture anybody on human rights.

The process exposed extremely sinister undertow in Canadian politics. People who were testifying in the parliamentary committee in opposition to C-51 were treated with contempt by Conservative members.

One asked a lady testifying if she was fundamentally opposed to removing terrorists from the streets. This "if you are against us, then you must support whomever we fight" is becoming the standard narrative of Conservatives. Remember Vic Toews, ex-cabinet minister, who accused an opposition MP with privacy concerns about the child pornography bill of supporting child pornographers?

G.W Bush after 9/11 stated: "If you are not with us, you are against us!" These are extremely dangerous methods for the government that now has extreme police powers at its disposal.

The next logical step is: "Stephen Harper's government is good for the economy of Canada — if you oppose Harper's government, you are a terrorist." I am very serious in writing this.

We have to fight terrorism, but this fight is supposed to ensure our rights and freedoms, not take them away!

Drago Arh

Knowing the source of our food

I like your idea of knowing the source of our food (Pique, Food and Drink, Glenda Bartosh, June 11). For years I have watched more and more labels telling where my food is not from. Many cans, jars or packages say this is from Halifax, Montreal, Toronto, Winnipeg, Vancouver as though it was possible. Such a label is a list of corporate addresses not farms or individual producers. Certainly not a home address of a product.

Dairyland, once upon a time, was the Fraser Valley Milk Producers Assoc. The name Dairyland continues, but is now owned by a corporation called Saputo in Montreal.

A company called both Olympic Dairy Products Inc. and Fraser Valley Organic Producers Assoc. shows addresses in Delta, B.C. and Longueil, Que. The most hidden of the lot is the clarification of "made for one corporation by another unnamed" and sold as a house brand.

The No Name brand is completely blind with the implication that it costs less.

There used to be a cannery in New Westminster called Royal City. They produced quality products grown in the lower Fraser Valley. The name Royal City lives on, but the label on the cans of pumpkin says distributed by R.C. It does say it is a Canadian product.

Where meat of any kind is from is questionable in this mélange of factories.

Corporate expansion is not a benefit to food, or to the original companies. There are fewer workers involved. The net profit of the whole operation goes to fewer people, while mergers and buyouts are costly, making lawyers wallets bulge.

There is nothing in this that says what we do with food has anything to do with all the people who eat it.

Terry Smith

Column lacks respect

The recent "My heart is broken" column ("Maxed Out," Pique, June 11) in the newspaper is outrageous, rude and inconsiderate.

The family and friends of Paul Pierre ( the passenger who was killed in an a car accident May 31, which also took the lives of two cyclists) are all in pain and shock, and I'm tired of hearing (about) the poor bikers but nothing on how our entire community is missing our friend and family member.

(As) for the family and community of the driver, I'm sure they are saddened and heartbroken and wishing this was just a nightmare.

Personally, I don't believe (cyclists) belong on our highways , especially in this area with all the corners and hills.

Beth Milton
Mount Currie

In Pique's June 11 "Best of Pemberton" feature the "Casa Brazil Steak House" was listed as the runner-up for Best Steak in Pemberton. The Casa Brazil Steak House — which received multiple votes — is not a restaurant in Pemberton. Mile One Eating House should have been listed as second and The Wood in third. Also, Shirley and George Henry placed third in voting for Favourite Pembertonian. The Henrys were originally listed as Shirley and George Miller. Pique regrets the errors.