University a phenomenal opportunity
Re: University proposal under the radar (Pique, Feb. 15)
I can’t think of a more exciting addition to Whistler than a university. Not only would it constitute a superb cultural and social asset, but also an important element of economic diversification in a valley still precariously dependent on winter recreation, an industry whose long-term future faces a real threat from climate change.
On the subject of environmental considerations, I hope AWARE relents in its opposition to the construction of the facility on the Alpha Creek lands. Over the years we’ve already sacrificed hundreds of hectares of swamp, marsh and riparian habitat for the sake of golf courses, ball fields, residential developments and parking lots. We’ve also allowed Kadenwood and Stonebridge (whose full-page ads were also featured in last week’s Pique) to sprawl way upslope: extravagant, unsustainably car-dependent residences.
In contrast, a small university community north of Function Junction would be conveniently accessible by bicycle and transit. With imaginative design and emphasis on minimal accommodation for automobiles, I’m sure a compact campus could be built with an acceptable footprint, a showcase for the type of efficient land use that has become essential in the 21 st century. Some loss of natural habitat would be inevitable, but in the long run the net ecological impact of such an institution would likely be positive, especially if University of Canada West offers a curriculum that includes courses on outdoor education, climatology and environmental studies.
Whistler already lost one opportunity to host a university when Quest was rejected over a bed cap issue. We mustn’t blow a second chance over another minor obstacle. As a life member of AWARE, I suggest we give up one more little swamp in order to take advantage of a phenomenal opportunity to improve life in this valley.
Thanks from London Drugs
I would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank all of the residents and business leaders who encouraged us to locate a London Drugs store in Whistler Village.
While we are disappointed we respect the decision of the Whistler Council. We understand the RMOW is doing what it believes is best for Whistler.
Of utmost importance to London Drugs is for Whistler residents to know we have sincerely appreciated your encouragement and efforts on our behalf. Rest assured that if the RMOW were to revisit its decision in the future, London Drugs would be pleased to consider the business case for a Whistler store.