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We also have the finest winter playgrounds and ski resorts throughout this beautiful province, which contribute immensely to the wealth, economy and way of life that we are all privileged to enjoy.

Now we are bidding on the 2010 Winter Olympics, which could be a wonderful two weeks for the Vancouver and Whistler tourist industries – providing the weather co-operates with us at that time, which can be a bit of a gamble. The cost is projected to be up in the millions of dollars. To submit our bid is also a gamble, requiring a lot of money – money we could be spending on further expansion of the current facilities at the many ski hills and resorts in B.C that are a major part of the province’s economy.

Would it not be better to promote B.C. to the world as a winter tourist destination, boosting our economy through a greater expansion of our province’s existing resources? Why gamble millions of dollars when we all know we no longer have to go abroad to find winter sports, as they are scattered throughout this beautiful winter playground?

This would help some of the struggling villages and towns in B.C. trying to recover. Just think of B.C. as the playground of the world with its ski and snowboard hills and mountains, golf courses, lakes and rivers. I am sure this would benefit our economy far more, and create a greater amount of jobs throughout the province for all B.C. citizens, for many, many years, than would the two weeks of the Olympics.

As I have said before, tourism is for the future generations of this province and is not a two-week cash cow. Where will the Liberals find more than $20 million to back our bid when at present there are no funds to look after our number one problem – medical services – which is a much greater issue than the Olympics.

I've skied and been in the ski industry since 1929. My first love is skiing, and the mountains and oceans. And as much as anyone I would like to see the Olympics, but it should not be at the expense of the rest of B.C. Can we really afford it?

Sandy Martin

Pitt Meadows/Whistler

Despite all the publicity on how to avoid bear-human conflicts, it was disturbing to hear of two more bear deaths due to the ignorance of human error and the lethal actions of the conservation officers as reported in the Pique (Aug. 3, 2001).