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With the utmost sincerity, I urge those who support bringing the WEF to Whistler to stop reading the National Post and articles by the Fraser Institute (which might well have caused their astounding naivete).
Rather, they should read truth-revealing publications such as that of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.
On March 4 th , council was divided on whether to host the World Economic Forum (WEF). So, in order to gauge community sentiment, it decided to postpone the vote until April 2 nd .
At that council meeting on April 2 nd , two citizens spoke in favour of hosting the WEF. One spoke against.
Council also acknowledged receipt of 946 signatures on a petition, 25 e-mails, and nine letters, all against hosting the WEF. As well, there were two e-mails and one letter in favour.
That makes five in favour, 981 against.
Council again delayed the vote, this time until April 22 nd . One wonders, if the numbers had been reversed, would this debate still be going on?
Its important to separate the facts from fiction about the World Economic Forum.
There has been a great deal of misinformation about the possibility of hosting the World Economic Forums 2004 annual meeting in our community. People have confused it with some of the controversial large-scale political meetings that have attracted notoriety and some measure of insecurity.
The facts are these: hosting the non-profit, non-partisan World Economic Forum would be a great opportunity to showcase our splendid community for the worlds leading academics and scientists, for the greatest artists, philosophers and thinkers of our time, for the leaders of nations, businesses and trade unions and the stewards of our natural environment.
The WEF would inject at least $4 million in direct economic benefits to Whistler (using conservative estimates based on the International Association of Convention and Visitors Bureaus calculations) from some 1,000 members and 2,000 participants enjoying our hospitality, services and recreation. If the WEF comes, we will also receive monetary contributions from the provincial and federal governments for renovations to our conference centre.
A security plan is being drafted specific to Whistler, maximizing safety and convenience for all. People have expressed concern about the January timing of the event curtailing the opportunity for skiers. This will not be the case. In fact, the WEF will provide ski passes and equipment rental for all conference attendees and our other visitors will have ready access to the slopes.