Healthy democracy-sustainable future
This letter was addressed to the mayor and council. A copy was forwarded to Pique.
My enthusiasm for the 2010 Olympics and Whistler 2020 was greatly diminished this week after reading Bob BarnettÕs editorial in the Pique.
John Furlong gave us a very inspiring talk at his recent luncheon here in Whistler that the Olympics are about teamwork, and VANOC and the 2010 Olympics are going to be greatly successful because of the "team". IÕm struggling with how keeping the community out of the debate regarding the ice arena for the Paralympics fits with this theme.
The Whistler 2020 vision reads "Whistler community member, partner and stakeholder contributions are essential for achieving our visionÉ" Once again, I find it difficult to "contribute" when the information and dialogue are being held "in camera". As BobÕs editorial states: "This is not a matter of publicly disclosing delicate negotiations, financial secrets or details of complex matters; itÕs simply informing the public about having second thoughts on something they have been told to expect."
In the 2005 Ontario Budget papers, Paper A: Appendix 2 - Transparency and Accountability, the conclusion reads "Democracy depends on a knowledgeable citizenry whose access to a range of information enables them to participate more fully in public life, to help determine priorities for public spending, and to hold their public officials accountable. By combining integrity and clarity of information with monitoring and reporting on progress to improve results, the government is committed to a fiscal policy that is transparent and accountable."
I sincerely ask that before the debate on the ice arena for the Paralympics proceeds any further you engage the community. The outcome may be the same, but by not engaging the public in such a monumental decision you risk losing the publicÕs trust. "The only way a healthy democracy can be sustained is through public trust." (Carolyn Lukensmeyer http://www.cpn.org/crm/essays/building.html).
"Moving Towards a Sustainable FutureÉ"? We need a healthy democracy.
DonÕt jam out now
Re: Village North ice arena/recreation complex
We have a chance to build a new ice arena/recreation complex right in WhistlerÕs town centre on a lot that is already zoned for that purpose. Granted, we already have a rec centre but it is not large enough for the Olympic activities planned for winter 2010.
If we do not build it here the opportunity will be lost to another locale, like Squamish for example, and then even existing business Ð like the 72 hockey teams presently playing for three weeks at our existing ice arena Ð will be lost to newer and larger venues.