Opinion » Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor for the week of September 12th


Re-visit 'daft' liquor laws

Not sure if the new owners have "got" to Max but what a lot of sense (Pique, "Maxed out," Sept. 5). I do not want alcohol to become a stupid free-for-all where teenagers just come to drink, but there should be some middle road. Mind you, having read about some of the holiday periods recently that may be already out of hand — if locals get out of town for those weekends.

Having been caught by your daft rules I would have thought it was worth it to the powers-that-be to come up with some sanity — especially for those underaged accompanied by adults eating snacks.

On our first visit to Whistler with our 14-year-old "kids" with us, we were kicked out of the Longhorn when enjoying the après, music and vibe. Very, very strange to us, coming from the U.K. We never thought that tacos and beer were so frightening, as we had been taking them into pubs/bars for years.

Strange that the first round was fine, but not the second because it was too late.

We could go and sit in a designated area to carry on — the only difference being a rope! So you can still see and hear what is going on in the other areas, you just are not allowed to step over the rope. Crazy.

So for the rest of that and following visits we just went back to our hotel and saved a fortune, self-catering with bottles in the fridge and crisps. The kids drank water in either the bar or our hotel room!

It was even more silly for my daughter when she came over for her instructor exams last year, as whilst she was 22 there were many on the course who were 18 having a gap year. This meant the 18-year-olds were not even allowed in the same place, so could not go out with the older ones. Thus the advice she has given a load of people looking at a gap year over there is, 'don't unless you are 19,' which often means they don't come at all, as 18 is the core gap year age. More lost to European slopes.

To stop crazy, drunk behaviour, the establishments selling the stuff should stop if the people trying to buy it have had enough. If the RCMP officers see someone coming out of a place badly drunk, fine the establishment and the individual. Thus the profit they make selling drink to people who are already drunk would not be worth the risk. This may even help with the current idiots who are old enough to be allowed to drink, but then drink to excess. It is not how old it is how much that is the issue.

Sad to see the end of an era, have a great "retirement" Bob. I have loved reading the paper for the last few years from here over the pond; hope it does not change.

Ian Smithson

Bingley, U.K.

A true shame... but karma can be reversed

On Sunday (Sept.1) I was truly disappointed.

I went to the lake with my heavily pregnant wife to help her with her paddleboard, only to find it had been stolen.

At first we thought it couldn't be, not in Whistler. But after checking with all of our friends, no one had borrowed it to watch Ironman. It was stolen.

A good friend of ours that resides in the property next to Blueberry docks had kindly allowed us to leave my wife's paddleboard at the shore of his Alta Vista home. She had been unable to carry it from the car to the lake for many months, and with stand up paddle boarding being the only thing she was able to do in her pregnant state, we were very appreciative of this privilege.

We all make mistakes and I understand that this board being left on the shore was very attractive to take, but please know that by taking this board, you have taken the one thing that my wonderful wife, and now mother to my gorgeous son, is able to enjoy. (It's been) the one activity that has been her vice for the summer.

There is no shame in returning our paddleboard back to where it lay a week ago. We will not judge you if we see you return it, only thank you for your honesty in returning it to the owner for her to enjoy.

For anyone cruising the lake the paddleboard is a brand new Grizzly 11'4" with a ¾" grey padded deck. It is white with two wood panels about eight-inches wide on the deck.

We all make mistakes, but if you have a conscience, take this opportunity to reverse your karma by returning something that was not yours to take.

Mike Conway


HH @ Meet Your Maker 50 Ultra

This past Labour Day weekend the annual Meet Your Maker 50 mile Ultra Trail and Marathon race went down in our beautiful backyard, Whistler, B.C.

Helly Hansen was proud to enter two relay teams made up of loyal runners from Helly Hansen Whistler's "Trail Training Tuesday" weekly running group, for the second consecutive year.

With the goal to build upon last year's success at the event, HH Whistler entered a "fast" team and a "fun" team. The "fast" team was happy to say they placed fifth with a smoking time. Laura Bestow blazed a course record on leg 4, running from the top of the Peak 2 Peak gondola on Whistler to Dusty's in just over 29 minutes! With Cathy Jenkins and Jeff Grant finishing second in their legs, Tara Gorman powering up Blackcomb as the fastest woman, Jean MacDonald chasing down her blazing time from last year, Daryl West running Comfortably Numb way faster than his goal and Amanda Juvik powering through an injured ankle, we finished 20 minutes faster than last year's second place team, which is a testament to the improved quality of racing this year.

The "fun" team had just that — finishing a very strong 19th out of 33 overall. Locals Stephanie Smith, Jim Budge, Kevani MacDonald, Briony Langmead, Liz Ash-Peacock, Cathy Owen and Shannon Gorman made all of us especially proud, each blowing away their personal goals, personal bests and overcoming the intimidation of this ridiculously gruelling course.

There was never a doubt in my mind!

All in all, it was an amazing day of trail running on an unbelievable track. We from Helly Hansen Whistler would like to thank everyone in the valley for again entertaining a large-scale event so graciously; it really means a lot and speaks volume about our community!

We would also like to thank all the volunteers that helped to make the day a great success, these events can never happen without you. Thanks very much to Chris Colpitts and Kathryn at MYM 50 for your tireless efforts pulling off this incredible show and for figuring out how to start us running at such an ungodly hour!

Finally a very special thanks to Chris Kennedy, the course director, owner of Black Diamond Fitness and all around great guy/coach who runs "Trail Training Tuesdays" with myself, without whom none of this would have been possible.

Oh, I can't forget WORCA — thanks WORCA for providing us with the canvas that we trail runners get to paint on, we are so lucky to have this unreal network of terrain.

We are already looking forward to running with everyone again at next year's "Trail Training Tuesdays" and to battling it out again at Meet Your Maker 2014!

Jeff Grant, manager

Helly Hansen Westin Whistler

Community forest scrutiny a good thing

Jonathan Lok's spin on the forestry sector is the standard drivel that British Columbians have come to expect from industry (Pique, Sustainable Wood, Aug. 29). He is the president of the Society of Consulting Foresters after all.

Whistler residents should be applauded for scrutinizing how their community forest is managed. They, like many British Columbians, know that B.C. forests continue to be managed in an unsustainable and primitive manner. Ninety-six per cent of logging in B.C. today is still done by clearcutting, and the allowable annual cut has been drastically increased in recent years to facilitate "salvage" logging of trees killed by pine beetle.

In B.C. the logging of old-growth trees continues: 20 years after the battle of the woods in Clayoquot Sound, old-growth trees in the Clayoquot Sound Biosphere Reserve are at risk of being logged. The BC Liberals have made it easy for their buddies, the Independent Power Producers (IPPs), to log old-growth trees. These trees are generally protected under the Forest and Range Practices Act (FRPA) and the Riparian Areas Regulation (RAP). IPPs, however, are considered "minor tenures" under the FRPA and therefore can log in Old-Growth Management Areas. The RAP does not apply to IPPs so the latter can log old-growth trees, including along stream banks.  

Under successive BC Liberal governments, the export of raw logs to foreign mills has tripled, and the government has also allowed timber companies to sell off prime forest land for real estate development. Sustainable?

The 2012 auditor general's audit of the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations' management of timber highlights that there are fewer trees and less diversity due in part to inadequate replanting, including by the government (http://www.bcauditor.com/pubs/2012/report11/timber-management). Sustainable?

So we need more British Columbians to scrutinize this unsustainable industry and more community forests.

If you need to buy some wood, please do not buy wood "eco-certified" by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI), which is just more industry spin to cover up unsustainable practices, including clearcuts, logging of old growth forests, heavy use of pesticides, herbicides and fungicides, etc.

Go with Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified wood instead (https://ic.fsc.org/).

Louise Taylor


Cheering squad thanks

On Sept. 7, 2013, I, along with thousands of others, completed the 2013 RBC GranFondo Whistler.

On behalf of all the participants, I would like to offer my heartfelt thank you to all the volunteers and all the people from Vancouver to Whistler who came out to cheer us on.

The volunteers and people cheering were simply amazing, and even though I didn't have the energy to wave to all of them or say thank you, I know that all participants sincerely appreciate the time and energy they put into the event.

I also want to say thank you to the other participants for all the energy, drive, encouragement and camaraderie everyone showed from start to finish.  

Joel Nitikman


No government response to Cohen Inquiry Final Report

The Squamish to Whistler Fisheries Roundtable greatly appreciates the dialogue we've had with MP John Weston over the last several years, especially his work in facilitating the 2009 announcement of the Inquiry into the Decline of Fraser River Sockeye.

We watched intently as Justice Bruce Cohen led the investigation that produced 33 expert and policy and practice reports, compelled over 180 witnesses to take the stand, and resulted in more than 14,000 pages of testimony transcripts. In the end, the $26 million dollar inquiry culminated on October 31st, 2012, when Justice Cohen released his final synthesis report and recommendations to government.

We welcomed Justice Cohen's comprehensive and thoughtful recommendations and hoped many, if not all, of these recommendations would be fully implemented in a timely manner.

On the same day, in a DFO news release (http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/media/npress-communique/2012/hq-ac33-eng.htm) dated Oct. 31, 2012, the parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, Randy Kamp, said, "We will continue to work with stakeholders and partners, and review the Justice Cohen's findings and recommendations very carefully."

Unfortunately, this is the last Canadians have heard from government on this crucial investigation funded at their expense, that ultimately made recommendations on how to protect and sustain sockeye salmon for future generations.

This is unacceptable, especially when significant salmon fishery closures have occurred on the Fraser River once again this year, along with predictions of high in-river mortality of migrating sockeye.

Currently, we are concerned Fraser sockeye — including endangered stocks — will be by-catch and harmed as a result of the pink salmon fishery. Action needs to occur to ensure the management of Fraser sockeye and other salmon is improved via implementation of the Cohen Inquiry recommendations, which were so thoroughly researched.

We are interested in learning:

• Who in Ottawa is responsible for reviewing the report and can speak to detail on it?

• What stakeholders and partners have participated in reviewing the report?

• What are the details of the report review process in Ottawa to date and the timeline for a response to participants of the inquiry and the general public?

It was good to meet with John Weston in Squamish on July 9 to discuss this issue and others and we continue to appreciate all the time he makes for discussing salmon and habitat issues with us.

We look forward to continuing our discussions with him and to a timely reply to our questions.

Dave Brown, vice chair Squamish to Lillooet Sportfish Advisory Committee,

Honorable John Fraser and Randall Lewis, Squamish First Nation

Support invaluable

I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to Whistler Blackcomb, my employer of 23 years.

Its support of myself, and my family, during my cancer treatment has been tremendous. My exceptional benefits plan allowed me to receive the best possible care.

The personal attention and compassion I received from management and co-workers lifted my spirits and made me feel valued.

Thank you for being there when I needed you.

Jon Williamson