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Letters to the editor

This week's letters


Re: Woman hit by train in Pemberton

A warm grateful thank you to the Fire Rescue Crew and Dr. Fisher and his emergency team. Their dedication and expertise is the saving grace in the most important hour of my daughter’s life after being hit by the train in Pemberton.

A heartfelt thank you to the Whistler Emergency Team who brought blood. Without the timely response of these dedicated individuals at midnight, I am sure I would not be blessed with my daughter's smile today.

As she struggles daily at the Vancouver General Hospital to recover from her many injuries, broken bones and right leg and severed left leg, we all find comfort in the second chance she has been given due to medical wonders. Her recovery will be a very long one, learning how to walk again. She greatly misses all her friends and associates and offers a special thank you to all those who have prayed for her, sent flowers and visited. Those prayers have pulled her through.

Her friends and neighbours have set up a trust fund for donations at the North Shore Credit Union in Pemberton, Branch 14, Account 1933 for her son Taylor and her.

Rita Marie Blais,

Mother of Chantal Beaudoin

Grand-maman of Taylor

We are opposed to turning the Nancy Greene Bridge into a one-lane bridge (as suggested by council to improve cyclist and pedestrian safety) because:

• We bought in White Gold subdivision because of its easy access to the village.

• In the past, to leave White Gold we had to wait at the highway, which was cumbersome and frustrating. Once we could access the village via Blackcomb Way our trips in and out were quicker and safer. We want it to stay that way. We are particularly concerned about quick access because medical emergencies require immediate attention.

• Traffic, including Spruce Grove and bus traffic, has been allowed over this bridge which was once exclusively used by White Gold residents. With this increase in traffic, changing to one-lane bridge is a backward step.

• The municipal draft (page ii) suggests that pedestrians and cyclists will continue on over the bridge to a Valley Trail from Highway 99 to Ambassador Crescent. Why should there be a Valley Trail on a residential road going to Ambassador Crescent? It doesn't make sense, since there is no trail to link up to.

If there are several cars, or a bus and cars, waiting at any one time (which could happen in busy winter months), access from Blackcomb Way to Nancy Greene Bridge will be slower than it is now.

We are also concerned with improving pedestrian and cyclist safety, but these are the options we would prefer to spend our money on:

• Speed bumps at each end of the bridge (and on other roads in the subdivision).

• More and better street lighting.

• Caution signs regarding pedestrian and cyclist safety.

• Addition of a sidewalk to the edge of the existing two-way bridge.

• A stand-alone pedestrian bridge.

A pedestrian bridge in addition to a two-lane vehicular bridge would be a step forward, not backwards, with pedestrians, cyclists and motorists all winning. It might cost more, but would be an attractive, as well as functional improvement to this subdivision and to Whistler.

White Gold is a delightful subdivision, and has been part of Whistler since its early days. An important reason that owners bought here was its easy access to the village, and that is one of its best assets. Furthermore, White Gold is long overdue for capital improvements.

We urge you to listen to our voice as long-standing, loyal residents of White Gold subdivision, an area we love. Let's make not only White Gold better, but Whistler better.

Don and Echo-Marie Fawkes


It is difficult to understand Intrawest's lack of interest in promoting their natural setting, i.e. hiking to Flute Mountain. It would be a major irreversible mistake if they alter the Flute area in anyway. I know it is now under their control but I am willing to fight to preserve this area.

It is ridiculous that access to Garibaldi Park and the nature experience is continually being snubbed by Intrawest and the resort. They can even make money if the approach was the right way. Europe has been coexisting with its mountains for centuries in this manner, and we can do it better. Whistler is still in the early stages of creating a living and working relationship with its natural surrounding. The resort and Intrawest have the amazing opportunity to take what we have learned from the rest of the world. The opportunity is to recognize this asset and to properly promote and gently develop the tourist experience in the backcountry. It is a huge, sustainable, win-win for everyone.

The Musical Bump(s) are gone. Oboe Mountain will be the only remaining untouched peak left in the Piccolo, Flute, Oboe Musical Bumps group, one of the most historical and spectacular high alpine ridge walks in the world.

Making memories? On my fourth hike to Flute summit last summer I met a solo senior hiker from Texas. Knowing of the spectacular view of Cheakamus Lake visible from Flute I guided him to the vantage point 200 metres from the summit. He was emotionally moved by it's beauty. He said to me "I had six hours to spend in Whistler. I couldn't have done anything better."

John Nemy


Whistler-Blackcomb does good!

So often in this community, one hears Intrawest’s name thrown around in the same sentence as certain four letter words. The big targets are always the easiest to hit. Frequently overlooked are the "random acts of kindness" that this company performs. In particular, the kind and generous efforts put forth by The Whistler Blackcomb Foundation come to mind. For years, this group, led by Intrawest Senior Vice President David Brownlie and Executive Director Louise Lundy, have been pouring hundreds of thousands of dollars back into the community, mainly without fanfare.

In this case, the big guy is giving back to Whistler, and we are all the better for it. 

Let’s take a moment to thank Whistler’s largest employer for giving back to this community.

John O’Neill


Whistler Lodging Company

Westin Resort & Spa, Whistler

After a couple of years of project planning, consultations and getting permissions in place, the group of local residents who formed the Pemberton Valley Trails Association is seeing considerable progress on the ground this season. As links in the Valley Loop Trail are improved, the public will notice new directional signs indicating the route which begins behind the Peaks on Pemberton Creek. As well, the Mosquito Lake Rec. Site and Trail Network is in the process of being upgraded and signed – a big project still needing volunteers.

The word is beginning to get out about these and other projects and the PVTA is grateful for some wonderful donations in support of these important community initiatives. Many thanks to Ross and Diane Sherwood, Mike Walsh, Barry Higgins, Wim Tewinkel and WORCA and The Bike Company for the Loonie Race participants. The PVTA also appreciates the support we receive from the SLRD and Village of Pemberton for our trail projects. Memberships are available at the Bike Co. in Pemberton!

Jan Naylor, for the PVTA


This letter was addressed to Premier Gordon Campbell

Re: South Chilcotin Mountains Park – Outrage at the Recent Logging in

Bonanza Basin and Another Well Documented Liberal Promise Broken

Your government has broken yet another promise while committing a great travesty. In the Conservation, Recreation, Tourism and Community offer that government accepted in April 2001, Bonanza Basin was left out of South Chilcotin Mountains Park as a last minute concession to mining. Government’s no logging designation for Bonanza was the catalyst which allowed this concession to happen.

Nevertheless logging took place in Bonanza Basin in the lower Tyaughton Valley (the very edge of South Chilcotin Mountains Park) in November 2001, when Ainsworth Lumber Company penetrated six miles up Tyaughton Creek, bypassing all other timber in this old growth valley, to take a cut block in Bonanza Basin, just four miles from Spruce Lake. When your government realized its mistake following the predictable public outrage, it declared a moratorium on further logging in the area pending your government’s final decision on the Park. Tom Syer, then Ministerial Assistant in the Ministry of Sustainable Resource Management, and now Director of Issues Management in your office, in a widely disseminated message to the public on December 13, 2001 stated:

"First, I can report that through the work of SRM staff, Ainsworth has agreed that they will not conduct any more harvesting activities in this area pending the final decision of government.

"Second, I would like to put to rest any suggestion that SRM and Minister Hagen knowingly approved of this logging activity or had any prior notification that it was going to take place. This is not the case.

"Third…. as a result of discussion with MSRM, Ainsworth now recognizes that it is in everyone’s interest to end any resource development activities in Lower Tyaughton/Bonanza RMZ until the final decision of government is made."

Now we have confirmed that Ainsworth Lumber has logged a half-dozen clearcuts over this past winter in Bonanza Creek – right at the entrance to the Park. Another breach of public trust! This is an absolute travesty committed against the people of B.C. by your government and by a shameful corporate citizen. Apparently a promise in the Campbell government is not a promise. We are past asking for explanations and additional promises. We now demand an official inquiry.

The South Chilcotin Mountains Wilderness Society includes many organizations representing a very significant segment and cross-section of the British Columbia electorate. As such we are demanding that you accept the facts for what they are: that the Lillooet LRMP was justly decided and adopted by Government in April 2001. We expect your government to respect the boundaries of South Chilcotin Mountains Park, as set out in the OIC of April 2001, and that you will re-affirm Bonanza Basin as a no-logging zone.

Michael Pitt


South Chilcotin Mountains Wilderness Society

Grade School is almost over for the WSS Grad class of 2004 and first I want to congratulate all the grads!

Of all the grads three in particular expressed their hopes and dreams of marriage and family in front of the school community, and oddly enough the gymnasium burst into laughter each time. Another sign of the times I suppose; I thought we were a society who promoted choice.

Jane Dow


After several letters to the editor have been written recently about the negative behaviour of Whistler’s youth population, we are motivated to write this letter to inform those that continually focus on the negative that there are scores of youth who contribute greatly to this community and beyond.

The Whistler Class of 2004 celebrated their Dry Grad on June 12 at Meadow Park Sports Centre and deserves to be acknowledged for their willingness to participate in an alcohol-free all night party. Dry Grad parties have increased in popularity throughout Canada and point to the fact that youth can have fun without being drunk. The reality is that youth do party with alcohol but in Whistler we are confident that families, schools and community groups have equipped its youth with good decision-making skills and alternatives to unhealthy lifestyles.

Dry Grad this year was jam packed with activities at Meadow Park. Joust, floor hockey, Sumo wrestling, temporary tattoos, massage, Kostas Man and his Reggae Band (who played until 4:30 a.m.!), tarot card readings, the film Jaws viewed in the pool, pool Olympics and more food than you could fathom kept the grads busy until 5 a.m. This would not have been possible without generous contributions from the RMOW, Rocky Mountain Production Services, Nesters, Wildwood Catering, Inspired, 10 Volunteers, Showcase, Can-Ski, Whistler Youth Centre, Rogers’ Chocolates, Zero Ceiling, Perimeter bus lines and a dedicated school fundraising committee.

At the end of the night, a reverse draw was held for a car! Graduate Tom Stall won the car and was ecstatic with his luck. Joe Maika from Fine Motor Cars — Local Automotive, donated the car and deserves special recognition for providing this great prize at the last minute to help motivate the grads to commit to the event for its duration.

With such incredible community commitment to show the grads not only that we are proud of them but also that we know they are capable of making healthy choices, we are happy to report to those that only see the negative that the Class of 2004 is a group of dignified, courageous young people that hold themselves with integrity. We are proud to say they are from our community.

Greg McDonnell — Community Outreach Youth Worker

Sue Oliver, RMOW Youth Programmer