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It is only a "problem" in Whistler because we are a small community, so incidents are magnified, and we seem to have this belief that realities of life dont exist in our town.
Our community is changing, growing and evolving, as any will. We dont need to handcuff the bar industry we need to assist it, the same as we do the retail and tourism industries in times of slow growth. The bar and club industry, in this town, is a race horse that has been put in a stable when all it needs is a leash to walk with.
It is a testament to subjectivity that two people from the same town can visit the same country, at the same time, and come away with two different impressions. The China that Mayor O'Reilly toured, and the China that I have been seeing for the past seven weeks is a very colourful and fascinating culture.
But, I wonder how "fascinating (it was) to see the construction and changes occurring" when this goes hand in hand with the destruction of Beijing's Hutongs (historical alleyways). Of course the prerogative to destroy a country's culture lies with that particular country, but the mayor is not part of the Politburo (is he?). "Giving top priority to the environment and sustainability" is NOT a concept that leaps to the forefront of life in China, as that country plans for anything. What I've seen is deforestation, water pollution, strip mines, coal dependency, and the damming of one of the world's longest rivers resulting in habitat destruction human and otherwise.
China's dismal record of human rights, and the destruction and subjugation of non-Han cultures in the country's southern- and western-most provinces is abhorrent. Whether the mayor was a willing pawn of Beijing's information machine, or whether he was duped by alligator smiles and cold handshakes is irrelevant. The mayor's comments would be acceptable if they are those of a private citizen, or if his trip was courtesy of the Chinese government. But, if his visit was financed by public coffers, the reporting of it (which smacks of Chinese half-truth propaganda) does a great disservice to Whistler's population.
The West boycotted the 1980 Olympics in Moscow because of the Soviet Union's occupation of Afghanistan. How should the West's acceptance of Beijing 2008 be in light of China's dubious presence in Tibet?