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Let's help Mayor O'Reilly and any councillors who still have cotton in their ears by all of us writing letters to the mayor and council expressing our views on the matter. Write to the newspapers. Call the municipal councillor closest to you and express your opinion. Let's have a little lesson in democracy.
I am personally strongly opposed to Whistler hosting the World Economic Forum because I have worked in Davos for about 10 years and have seen a good thing go bad in that community. I am certain that the WEF will only bring economic benefits to a few of the very best (expensive) hotels and restaurants and that the rest of our tourist beds and businesses and the two mountains will bear the brunt of our valley being closed off to the outside during nearly two weeks of our prime season. I also estimate that we taxpayers will be forced to pay for the lion's share of the security, which cost Davos $11.5 million in January 2001.
Finally, the mayor may be right when he says the WEF will get our name in the paper. Sure, something like "Three youths shot dead in Whistler, Canada." Great marketing, Hugh!
Frankly, we just don't need this thing. The risks and costs far outweigh the perceived benefits.
So let's get out there and let our elected officials know that those who vote for the WEF will be remembered in November and we will elect a new mayor and council who will allow free dialogue in this community and will listen to the voices of the people who work and pay taxes in Whistler. The new council can then un-invite Mr. Schwab and his corporate élite and tell them to do their business elsewhere. Whistler is for nature, sport and recreation and that's the image we have worked so hard to develop these last 30 years and that's the image we wish to keep.
Regretfully, being in hospital, I was unable to attend the April 2 municipal council meeting. However, highlights of the address to council were relayed to me.