I am compelled to again subject the readers of the Pique to another sample of my prose in reaction to the response to my letter of last week.
The motives behind my letter regarding Tourism Whistler and Resort Reservations Network were, to a limited degree, to support continued debate on the "outsourcing" of the Tourism Whistler reservations business and, primarily, to demonstrate the power of "perception". My original letter provided some examples of online reservation results that were intended to show how a person not privy to the nuances of the TW/Res Rez relationship, could easily PERCEIVE that a bias exists. As my closing paragraph explained, I personally do not believe that there is bias in favour of Intrawest-owned properties and I was not suggesting any impropriety on the part of ResRez and/or their agents. However, if you, like many Pique readers who spoke with me, perceived that I was anti-Intrawest and/or anti-ResRez, than my point was made. Perceptions are easily swayed, especially if information that could clarify a position or process is not readily available.
So, to clarify, I am not anti-Intrawest nor am I anti-ResRez. The former has done a great deal to elevate Whistler to world-class status and without their commitment to this spectacular resort, we most likely would not be the consensus number one ski/snowboard destination in North America. Like it or not, Whistler-Blackcomb is what it is due to Intrawest's ability to be pro-active in an increasingly competitive industry. As for Tourism Whistler, my position is somewhat undecided, however the reaction to my letter indicated both support for their efforts, and also elicted concern from many that they have, in some sense, lost touch with some of their constituents.
Ultimately, the point of my lengthy diatribe was, and remains, to encourage debate and discussion about decisions that impact that people and businesses in Whistler. My former employer loved to say "perception is reality", and the reaction to my letter demonstrates that there is truth to that otherwise questionable statement.
The article "New school year brings new challenges for PAC" in last weeks Pique contains several points which require clarification.
While it is true that the provincial government has downloaded its funding cutbacks onto local school boards, these boards now have greater flexibility in terms of spending allocations, which means that it is easier for boards to reduce services for students. This may be causing funding pressures at the school level.
Mr. Brett also stated that schools have used money raised by PACs to pay teachers salaries. There are no PAC groups that Im aware of, locally or provincially, that have used PAC fundraising to pay for teachers salaries. This would set a very dangerous precedent for accessible, quality public education in B.C.