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Why these people are taken from us, I’ll never know the answer. But as I sit here now, I truly cherish the memories of these lost friends, and the friendship of all these amazing people who I get to see day in and day out, or some only once in a blue moon, and feel truly blessed. Is this the positive thing that we’re supposed to take from this tragedy?

We live in the best place in the world, so everyday I wake up and look at the sunrise coming over the mountain, or the snow dumping down on my back porch, and I feel like the most privileged person in the world. What happened today magnifies that three-fold.

Sheetsy, I’m going to miss you.

Bruce Rowles

Whistler

 

Honourable Minister of Finance Gary Collins

1. Please disabuse your mind of any idea that people at Whistler are rich. Yes, there are owners of multi-million dollar houses – Trophy Homes – they pay a lot of taxes, but they don't live here.

Then there are residents, who are retirees, like me, and workers who stuck it out through or during the dark times of the early ’80s, who are not rich. The escalating values and the tax system are killing the community. This is not a good thing as it was less than 20 years ago that property here was almost worthless. The current crazy values are tempting people to take advantage and cash in. The young people with families are selling out and moving to Squamish and Pemberton. They are the people that make the community. We can't afford to lose them.

2. The first killer is the Home Owner Grant. I am in Brio, a modest area and every property I know of in this area is assessed at a value that disqualifies a resident owner from claiming the Home Owner Grant. I believe this applies throughout Whistler. Why is there a ceiling? That was introduced by the NDP as an act of class warfare – the usual insanity without knowledge of the consequences. The "little people" (as WAC Bennett called home-owners) of Whistler deserve the relief of the Home Owner Grant.

3. The second killer is the school taxes. Whistler taxpayers, resident and non-resident, pay a highly disproportionate amount of these taxes for the whole Sea to Sky corridor. These taxes increase year by year, even while the municipality holds the line. Why is it that school taxes are levied against property? Before 1996, I had correspondence with then Mr. Gordon Campbell who agreed that taxes should not be levied against real property for school purposes and that was a part of the B.C. Liberal platform in 1996. What has happened to that principle?

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