Opinion » Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor for the week of March 2

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Whistler Vision

Whistler's modern history, and the path that has resulted in the achievement of the resort's No. 1 status, has been shaped by bold vision. The most recent vision adopted in 2002, to be the "Premier Mountain Resort, as we move toward a more sustainable future," is in need of an update. Bold or not, the vision has the power to galvanize the community behind a shared path forward.

The RMOW has initiated concurrent processes to review the OCP and Whistler 2020. What should inform these processes? Can the resort withstand another bold vision implying conventional growth? How will the community shape its future in full recognition that many of the external forces at play lay beyond its control?

A quick recap reminds us that the founding vision was that of the Vancouver business folk, led by Franz Wilhelmsen, to build a ski area on London Mountain. There was barely a road up through the Canyon, and minimal infrastructure.

Ten years later, the idea to build a village at the bottom of the Olympic Run, develop the mountain to the north, and create a resort municipality took hold. Bold indeed, and the Whistler became the first municipality to have its own enabling legislative provisions!

Another decade to reflect on the as-yet un-solidified business model for the report led to the OCP amendments enabling transition to a four-season resort. Incentives, precious bed units, were used to attract summer amenities, in particular golf and tennis. Those two sports have faded in prominence, but their legacy has been to incubate other summer attractions which were either unknown or untapped, namely backcountry recreation, mountain biking, conventions and events.

By 1999, Whistler was the place to be. The only North American resort to surpass two million skier visits, we became No.1. The resort had found its critical mass and now there was a growing sense that the community needed to prepare itself for a transition to a steady state social and economic model.

The dizzying pace of growth could not continue without negatively impacting the natural assets which underpinned the success of the resort, and indeed the limits set out in the '89 Official Community Plan were reaching "build out."

The serendipitous visit by Dr. K. H. Robert, and his introduction of the Natural Step provided the foundation for a new vision. Whistler's "highest level plan" would ensure Whistler's economic success. It would respond to well defined risks of unmanaged growth locally and make choices shaped by the new global context of "overshoot." A grounding principle in the new vision was to showcase a new model for community development that could inspire others to respond to the emerging trends.

The vision that once galvanized the community to an expanded definition of wellness, has been left unattended in favour of the more traditional metrics. The signs of a community in stress are re-presenting, like déjà-vu. What actions on affordability and housing? How will we address traffic and congestion south of the village? Are the relationships with key players aligned with the community's wishes? Are we responding in a meaningful way to global trends?

I am looking for some reassurance that these questions will shape our next shared understanding of where we are and where we want to be; are you?

Ken Melamed

Pipeline a no go

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau thinks Canada can have its pipeline (Kinder Morgan), respect First Nations' right and fight climate change. In fact, Trudeau stresses that the proposed pipeline is vital for our national climate plan (https://www.nationalobserver.com/2018/02/13/news/exclusive-trudeau-says-kinder-morgan-was-always-trade).

So extracting more tar sands and shipping it to overseas markets will reduce climate change? What utter nonsense.

Many B.C. First Nations strongly oppose the proposed pipeline and call BS on Trudeau for continuing to violate their rights.

Trudeau, you cannot have your cake and eat it, too. 

B.C. Premier John Horgan, on the other hand, should be applauded for placing a temporary ban on more tanker traffic to protect B.C.'s environment.

Horgan wants more information on how diluted bitumen could impact B.C.'s environment before making any decision on the proposed Kinder Morgan pipeline.

No doubt, the science will show that the pipeline should not proceed. Now if Horgan could please reverse his decision on Site C and withdraw his support for LNG, we might have a chance of meeting our commitments under the Paris Climate Agreement and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People. 

Louise Taylor

Winter Prevails!

The theme of this year's Cypress Point Winter Carnival on Sunday, Feb. 11 was Let Winter Prevail. It seems to have worked!

Thanks to the many locals and visitors who came out to celebrate the season with hot food and drinks, snow sculpting, live music on the back porch, curling on the lake, live painting, photos with the abominable snowman and a whole lot of fun.

Special thanks to Lisa Geddes and Bea Gonzalez for capturing the day on canvas in acrylics and oils and contributing to the evening's winter-art auction. The evening festivities started with dinner by Michele Bush and a piano set by Bradford Needham, and ended with a fine dancing set by Vancouver band The Staggers and Jaggs who sounded great through The Point's new sound system compliments of the Whistler Blackcomb Foundation.

All of this was made possible by the many volunteers and artists involved and by the generosity of our major sponsors Nesters Market and Gibbons Apres Lager. We'd also like to thank Pasta Lupino, Whistler Brewing Company and Whistler Roasting Company for supporting another fine celebration of winter. 

Stephen Vogler
The Point Artist-Run Centre

Celebrating our Games

Olympic-sized thank yous to the Spring Creek Community School (SCCS) parents and staff, community members and local businesses for supporting our Parent Advisory Council's SCCS Winter Games Family Fun Night recently!

A hige thank you to Tami Mitchell of Whistler Sports Legacies who coordinated it all together with the Whistler Athletes' Centre, Whistler Olympic Park, Whistler Sliding Centre, Whistler Adaptive Sports, BC Curling & BC Blind Sports, our lead sponsors, with events like curling, sledge hockey, nordics and physical literacy challenges for all ages. Thank you to the Spring Creek PAC Executive team for organizing the event. Our school truly glowed with positive, sporting energy and a sense of community!

We are grateful for everyone who supported and who joined us on Thursday, Feb. 22, to make our Olympic-themed fundraiser a big success. Your willingness to participate in the events, to enjoy dinner, to purchase tickets, and to socialize with other parents and students created a very fun and memorable evening while raising funds for the school. Kudos to the local Olympians, torch bearers, and all those who came out for all — parents and students alike — and who proudly wore their Olympic attire allowing us to relive our Whistler Olympic memories.And very special thanks to our generous donors who provided prizes or supported the event. The evening was an even bigger success due to your support

Katherine Currall and Tracy Higgs
SCCS PAC Co-Chairs