Opinion » Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor for the week of November 15

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Energy waste and GHG Emissions

Two years ago, I wrote a similar letter to this asking (the) mayor and council (of the day) to address two issues:

• The environmental impact of businesses leaving their doors open while heating and air conditioning units are on; and

• The environmental impact of an increasing number of gas patio heaters.

Two years later, the only change is more patio heaters.

Walking though the village Thursday morning, Nov. 8, I was surprised and very disappointed to see at least 90 per cent of retail businesses had their doors wide open. It was 4 degrees Celsius outside and the heat was pouring out the doors. It was generally the few locally owned businesses that did have their doors closed.

It is unconscionable in this day and age of concerns about the environment and GHG emissions that any business so blatantly wastes resources. Two years ago, council of the day thought that education and voluntary compliance would be enough to close doors. That effort has failed miserably. Now is the time for enforcement with a significant fine.

There is no compelling reason a business needs to have its doors open when heat or air conditioning units are on. A simple "Welcome, Open for Business" sign is enough to ensure customers realize the business is open. If all the businesses were mandated to have their doors closed then they would all be on a level playing field.

Homeowners are encouraged by the RMOW to do energy audits. Are businesses being asked to do the same?

(Think about these) two quotes from the RMOW website: "Climate change requires commitment to action from everyone in the community," and "Homeowners and businesses can take practical steps to reduce energy consumption and GHG emissions."

I expect my local government to do what it prescribes on its website. Take action! Create the "Close-the-door-to–save-energy bylaw." I'm sure none of you leave your front door open while your heating or cooling unit is on.

Once again, (when) walking through the village, (you) see many patio heaters heating the outdoors when no one is sitting anywhere near them. What an embarrassing waste of energy and reckless approach to environmental stewardship. It's as though the businesses involved have lost sight of the fact (that) this town, at least in winter, is built on snowy mountains, not melted snow!

If you, as council, are serious about environmental stewardship, I ask that you:

1) Create a bylaw that mandates businesses must close their doors if heat or air-conditioning units are on;

2) Ban patio heaters or at best mandate that timers be installed to avoid useless heating of the environment.

Anne Townley
Whistler

Vote for ProRep

An interesting, but not unexpected, letter by our MLA Jordan Sturdy (Pique, Nov. 1, "Letters to the Editor").

The one detail he did not provide however is that in this riding 30 per cent of voters cast ballots for the Green Party and 30 per cent cast ballots for the NDP. Now I am sure he's a stand-up guy and all but 60 per cent of the voters in this riding do not want him as their representative.

This is what proportional representation (PR) is all about. Your vote counts. It's fair. According to the Times Colonist official election results from 2017, the Green Party got 16.84 per cent of the popular vote. With a PR system, that would equate to 14 seats, not three.

Political parties would then have to get along and listen to concerns from all British Columbia and not just their supporters.

The Liberal Party cut spending in an area that is the most important: education. It spent our taxpayers' money for 14 years fighting court challenges until the Supreme Court of Canada slapped it one across the head and said, "no, you can't do that." Would that have happened in a PR system? Absolutely not. The NDP would have defeated the government on that issue.

Then there is the Mount Polley mine tailing-pond disaster—one of the worst in B.C. history. This was caused in part by staff shortage due to budget cuts and lack of enforcement. I would argue that this would not have happened if the Greens had anything to say about it.

Let's not forget, either, the approval by the B.C. Liberal government for Taseko Mines to continue development work on unceded First Nation lands when the federal government had rejected this proposal twice. And this was announced when the Indigenous people of the Chilcotin were fighting massive life-threatening forest fires.

This is just a demonstration of how arrogant and disrespectful majority governments can be.

Then we have Val Litwin's letter (Pique, Nov. 1, "Letters to the Editor"). As CEO of the BC Chamber of Commerce, he first stated that the BC Chamber of Commerce is not against PR then proceeds to discredit the PR system in its entirety.

He thinks that 60 per cent of voters are needed to pass this and somehow doesn't realize that that's the amount of people that voted against our present MLA. And that this referendum somehow creates the "illusion" that your vote counts when yes, your vote does count!

Also, by stating that two of these methods have never been used anywhere in the world, it makes me wonder if he received the same voting package that I did.

The Dual Member Proportional option is not currently in use anywhere and I would not vote for it myself. The Mixed-Member Proportional option and the Rural-Urban Proportional option, however, are used in countries that are economic powerhouses—Germany, New Zealand, Scotland, Ireland and Australia. All are excellent democracies.

I urge everyone to participate in this vote. Even if you just answer the first question, and vote for a proportional representation voting system of any kind, that will be better by far and fairer than what we have now.

Lyall Fetherstonhaugh
Whistler

Tapley's Halloween thank you

A big thank you to everyone who took part in the 35th annual Tapley's Farm Halloween festivities. We were blessed with a perfect break in the rain to enjoy this special community tradition and welcomed a few thousand people to our neighbourhood.

Local residents once again went overboard to create a spooky and festive atmosphere, with actors, smoke, lights, fires, music, hot adult drinks and of course lots of candy! Special thumbs up to the many new residents of Tapley's who joined in this year with great enthusiasm and impressive set-ups—the Bavarian Oompa Zombie band had everyone's feet tapping!

Special thanks as ever to Bruce Stewart and Nesters Market for sponsoring the spectacular fireworks display and their generous candy donation. We also really appreciate all the candy donations from locals, along with contributions from Get the Goods, Denise Brown, the IGA and Independent Grocers.

These donations really help Tapley's residents (who contribute 500 to 1,000 pieces themselves) meet the huge demand.

Thanks to the Whistler Fire Rescue Service for safely igniting the fireworks, the RCMP for its ongoing support, and to Pique Newsmagazine and Tourism Whistler for their promotional help. Also big thanks to BC Transit, Whistler Marketplace, Fastpark and the RMOW for organizing the free Park and Spook shuttle, beautifully decorated by the Waldorf School students.

Big shoutout to Mila Wittenberg, Raine Haziza and the Whistler Secondary School Leadership Team for monitoring the entrance and organizing the We Scare Hunger campaign—the team raised close to $700 and a big truckload of food for the Food Bank.

Thanks to everyone who donated and to Black Tie Ski Rentals for lending their tent at the last minute.

It was great to see so many people, young and old, dressed up and keeping one of Whistler's oldest local traditions alive. Here's to Tapley's Farm neighbourhood's commitment to this special spooky evening.

Julia Smart, Shauna Hardy Mishaw and the Tapley's Organizing Team

Trudeau's energy tax just part of the pile on

First, understand that I believe global warming is a problem caused partly by humans, and that good government policy may be able to save the planet from burning up.

However, regardless of a worldwide consensus that the Trudeau Energy Tax is way too low (seems our Prime Minister once agreed), and that our emissions will not be affected by it, coupled with a lack of incentive to cut emissions since you get ... paid to pollute, here now comes our new Trudeau Energy Tax.

And now it is evident, as stated in the policy thus far, that small businesses will pay 100 per cent of this energy tax, with no check in return, while big, industrial emitters (insert "the real problem" here) will get exemptions with a "cap."

This tax is but one of many new and higher taxes that are coming so fast it is hard to keep up.

We now have the new Medical Services Plan tax on employers, the empty-house tax, skyrocketing commercial property taxes (like a 500-per-cent increase in one year) for small businesses, plus new federal small-business tax increases and you have one of the greatest wealth-redistribution eras of our lifetimes, rolling like a great tsunami from the left. Also, let's not forget that every left-wing government in Canada is working hard to destroy home equity as fast as they can through, you guessed it, more taxes. Up go your taxes and down goes your equity. While we are at it, we may as well throw in the new BC Cottage Tax for discussion.

Meanwhile, the federal civil service pay rates are confirmed to be more than 10 per cent above the normal Canadian (regular citizen) pay rates and continue to increase with their ranks swelling with every $20-billion annual deficit. This without the consideration of a slate of perks, paid for by you and me, which include bankable sick days and low-interest house loans.

This ballooning tax take is coupled with escalating expenses and in many cases escalating debt. With a 2.5-per-cent tax increase, Whistler is no exception.

I am hopeful some sanity will prevail and someone who is elected will stop simply charging us more for what seems less relevant and less effective every day.

Maybe even cut some taxes now and then. Seems like a long shot since the topic of waste and tax increases was hardly, if ever, discussed by our newly elected council. Their back-seat approach to cost controls and greater efficiency will only ensure more of the same right here at home.

Perri Domm
Whistler

Dinner/dance success

On behalf of the Legion and all of our volunteers we would like to send out Trick or Treat bags full of thanks to everyone who helped make our first-annual Family Halloween Dinner/Dance such a success.

Donations were received from many organizations with our delicious meal provided by John Ferris of the Collective Kitchen while DJ Pete provided the music.

Thank you to all who attended. With your help, we will be able to donate over $3,500 to help Pemberton and area residents attend the programs provided by Whistler Adaptive Sports Program.

See you next year.

Lesley Clark
President, Pemberton Legion

Feeding the Spirit thanks

The Whistler Museum would like to thank everyone who came out to make Feeding the Spirit a success this year!

We would also like to thank all of our amazing sponsors and those who helped with the event: Creekside Market, Prior Snowboards & Skis, Farfalla Hair & Esthetics, Purebread, Escape! Whistler, Cranked Espresso Bar, Splitz Grill, Misty Mountain Pizza, Whistler Roasting Co., DavidsTea, Nesters Market, Whistler Chamber Music Society, Whistler Blackcomb & Whistler Community Services Society.

Allyn Pringle
Events and Community Manager,
Whistler Museum

Fundraiser nets $18,000!

On behalf of the BC Professional Fire Fighters' Burn Fund Centre—thank you!

On Nov. 8, Creekbread opened its restaurant to the public and to the BC Fire Fighters to host a fundraiser benefiting the BC Professional Fire Fighters' Burn Fund Centre's "Home Away" program.

Thank you to everyone at Creekbread for providing the venue and the support of the staff together with their donations from the yummy pizza.

With the generous donations from our sponsors and community more than $18,000 was raised. A very special thank you to those in the community, as well as family and friends that travelled to Whistler to support this great cause.

Louise Buchholz
For the BC Professional Fire Fighters' Burn Fund Centre, IAFF Local #3944, Whistler Professional Firefighters Association

Ode to Unit 103

"That's all that we have,"
the clerk smiled with glee,
"Nothing else is available ... except 103."
And then, in a flash, she gave me the key.
The elevator descends,
The landscape is stark,
We're on the ground floor ..
We watch people park.
This rental is special,
It's just for the few
who can truly appreciate
a squirrel's eye view.
The walkers walk by,
they peer in unbidden,
The mountains are there,
it's just that they're hidden.
The buses and cars
stop beside our screen doors,
The exhaust fumes invade
our lungs and our pores.
The table is shaky,
the lighting is "iffy,"
The washroom door slams,
The bedroom door's sticky.
We walk half a mile
to the front desk and pool,
I always get lost
and feel like a fool.
Let's look on the bright side. . .
No one is around
Our car is close by,
only one level down.
The bus stop is handy,
It's directly outside,
Within steps of our unit,
Fancy a ride?
My bed is quite cozy
And then I awake
to the un-Godly sound.
of a trucker's air brakes.
It's still the off-season,
It's easy to see,
Few cars in the parking,
Think: "Full occupancy???"
Despite all the quirks,
It's still great to be
Together with loved ones
In ole' 103!

Kathleen H. Stanley
Ontario

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