Opinion » Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor for the week of June 20th


MP wantsWhistler to stay

In response to media questions that arose last week about Whistler's presence in our riding, let me be clear: Whistler should remain in the Sea to Sky riding.

I said that in writing on October 2012 to the decision-maker, the Federal Electoral Boundary Commission, and orally to a committee of MPs in March, which also received my October 2012 letter. At the same time, it's clear the commission has a tough job in juggling competing priorities to reduce the riding to its required size.

Readers can, for themselves, have a look at my letter, which stands with the commission as my most direct and relevant view, and the transcript of my remarks to the parliamentary committee (www.johnweston.ca).

Two of my MP initiatives — the Parliamentary Fitness Initiative, to make Parliamentarians healthier models for their constituents, and National Health and Fitness Day — owe their inspiration directly to Whistler, as a host of the 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games. Whistlerites' renowned dedication to health and fitness continues to inform my contributions as a legislator. Having ridden GranFondo one and three, I have seen firsthand how cycling, health, fitness, tourism, and the economy can work together. I often refer to Whistler in public remarks about health and fitness.

My commitment to Whistler is more than political. With a place in Whistler, our family's love for the place predates my role as Whistler's MP, and will undoubtedly outlast it.  

Sometimes circumstances (dictate) decisions that no one really likes — still someone has to make the decisions.

I am not the decision-maker on new election boundaries — the Federal Elections Boundary Commission is, and the commission has to downsize our riding. Whistlerites who expressed their view on this to the commission can be confident the commission has listened.

For my part, the record shows I consistently expressed the preference that Whistler remain in the riding I currently represent.

John Weston, M.P.

West Vancouver - Sunshine Coast - Sea to Sky Country

Make your voice heard on boundaries

In response to Pique's article from Jun 13, 2013 "Taking Whistler out of Sea to Sky?" I would like to encourage your readers to take action by contacting the Federal Boundaries Commission.

While the hearing process has concluded, the opportunity to comment has not passed. The commission's report, and the related objections filed by members of the House of Commons, are currently being reviewed by a parliamentary committee. Once the review process is complete, the committee will receive the objections, the committee's report and the minutes of its meetings for consideration.

If objections to the proposal that would include Whistler and Pemberton in the same electoral district as Chilliwack-Fraser Canyon are loud enough and numerous enough, the committee will take notice.

It is, however, the eleventh hour so if Whistler and Pemberton residents want to make their voices heard they need to act now. You can e-mail the Federal Electoral Boundaries Commission for British Columbia at bc-cb@rfed-rcf.ca, and you can also call the secretary to the commission, Susan McEvoy, at 1-855-747-7236.

Residents might also want to contact our Member of Parliament John Weston at john.weston@parl.gc.ca or call him at 613-947-4617. The Honourable Member for Chilliwack-Fraser Canyon, Mark Strahl, can be reached at mark.strahl@parl.gc.ca or 604-847-9711.

Let them know you do not support including Whistler and Pemberton in the electoral district of Chilliwack-Fraser Canyon.

Ralph Forsyth


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