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Letters to the editor

VANOC working with Right to Play


Recent media coverage regarding challenges associated with Right To Play’s possible presence and role in the Athletes’ Village at the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver and Whistler requires clarification.

Right To Play is an organization that the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC) has and continues to fully and whole-heartedly support. We respect their vision, mission and mandate and greatly admire the work they have done around the world. We have athletes and executives on our team who are Right To Play board members, ambassadors and supporters.

VANOC has been in ongoing discussions with Right To Play to establish a formal partnership that would allow them to deliver on a number of their key programs in association with the 2010 Winter Games. Over this time it has been extremely heartening to see them enjoy great success in securing many new sponsors to help fund their programs and initiatives. We fully support these fundraising initiatives. This new dynamic does, however, require both of our organizations to be diligent in protecting the rights we’ve promised to our sponsors.

Our 2010 sponsors have made significant and unprecedented financial commitments totalling over $1 billion to the 2010 Winter Games, the Canadian Olympic teams, Own the Podium 2010, numerous grassroots sports initiatives and other charities. VANOC has a responsibility to protect the exclusivity that has been promised to our sponsors to ensure the success of the 2010 Winter Games and the long-term financial support of high performance and grassroots sport in Canada. As a matter of trust we must deliver on our promises, which will help ensure that support for amateur athletes will continue long after the 2010 Games.

One of these sponsors is General Motors, which has been unfairly blamed for interfering with Right To Play’s desire to have a presence in the Athletes’ Village. Not true. To the contrary, GM has strongly encouraged us to find a way to work with Right To Play. The 2010 Winter Games, Canada’s Olympians and children across the country who participate in sport are far better off because of sponsors like General Motors.

Our door is open to Right To Play and always has been. We have informed them that we would like to continue our discussions but with assurances that Right To Play activities and sponsors will not be positioned in a way that could infringe on the rights of Olympic sponsors. We are optimistic that a solution can be found through which Right To Play can do their great work during the 2010 Winter Games while we deliver completely on the promises we have made to our valued sponsors in return for their generous support for the 2010 Winter Games, Canadian Olympic athletes and sport in Canada.

Dave Cobb

Executive Vice President

Revenue, Marketing and Communications


Pass the puke bucket

When I worked in the financial markets and we had meltdowns we would ask a colleague to pass the puke bucket. What's going down now in global credit markets is very, very serious, with central banks spending their weekends shoring up collapsing banks. Even throwing a trillion dollars at the problem has not stabilized the markets. Puke buckets must be in demand even at these austere institutions.

We should ask our candidates running for our municipal election what their Plan B is to cope with the inevitable global recession which is overtaking  us. Have they even considered the burden of large capital investments and maintaining legacy (albatross) projects against declining revenues? Even California is running to the U.S. Treasury with cap in hand for $10 billion. Can Whistler stickhandle through this mess any better than America's most favoured state?

A recent survey finds 25 per cent of Americans convinced we are heading into a depression. In response to the crisis in America Fortress has instituted their plan B, canceling the dividend to their suffering shareholders who, if they purchased their shares at the opening debut on the NYSE, are now down 80 per cent on their investment. Fortress itself apparently has $800 million in debt against $300 million in cash. Fortress partners must also be reaching for their buckets, albeit likely silver buckets.

Remember, a politician's job is to keep the chickens from coming home to roost, while in office, and this is most often achieved by increasing the debt load eventually to be met by their constituents. Will Whistler's taxpayers be reaching for the puke buckets post the Olympics? I think so.

Remember Mayor Ken and council, if you try to fly like an eagle you can't expect to crap like a canary.

Lennox McNeely


Let the world know our troubles

This is in addition to Stephen Baumberg’s letter in last week’s Pique (Somebody, anybody, please help these people!)

This quote is from the movie Network and I feel it fits our situation here in Whistler very well. "All I know is that first you've got to get mad. You've got to say, ‘I'm a human being, goddamn it! My life has value."

So, I want you to get up now. I want all of you to get up out of your chairs. I want you to get up now and go to the window, open it and stick your head out and yell, "I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore!"

Skip sending your letters to Mr. Ken; if you think about it, what has he really done for us anyways. I'm sorry, but having the pleasure of riding with him on the bus does not make up for what we are about to face.

You have to think outside of Whistler here. Start making posts on Facebook, MYspace; start sending letters to The Province, the Georgia Straight; start sending letters to anyone with an address. The world is coming to Whistler for the Olympics so start letting the world know about the troubles we are going to face because of these Games.

There is not one single person that has made Whistler what it is today. It was the collaboration of everyone here today and gone yesterday. We the people are the reason why the Olympics are coming to Whistler, why we have been the No. 1 Ski Resort in North America 12 years in a row now. And we need to start coming at this housing issue as a we, and not an I.

Both local newspapers give us brief answers, something to keep our mind at rest. But let me tell you, there is no rest for the wicked and the problems and the housing issues are going to get worse and worse until we do something about it. I do not have the answers but I can give directions. Letters to the Province: provletters@png.canwest.com. Letters to the Georgia Straight: letters@straight.com. Toronto Sun: torsun.editor@sunmedia.ca. Seattle Times: editpage@seattlepi.com.

Paul Rowe


Commitment to a great trust

School trustees are being sought for SD 48 (Howe Sound). The deadline for nominations to trustee and all positions is this Friday, Oct. 10 th , at 4 p.m. In Whistler there are two positions for school trustee, and so far only one candidate has been declared. Thanks go to outgoing trustee Andree Janyk in Whistler and Mike Milner in Pemberton for their work on the Board of Education.

Boards are entrusted to uphold and support public education in B.C. Teachers in Howe Sound are encouraging school trustee candidates who believe in and support a public education system that is accessible, fully-funded, and equitable for all students; trustees who encourage professionalism, positive relations, and improvements in class size and class composition for the improvement of all students’ learning.

Consider making this commitment: public education is the foundation of our democratic society. It is a great trust to ensure the learning of our children.

John Hall

for Howe Sound Teachers

Bloodied noses

Canadian casualty count in the war in Afghanistan is nearing a sad milestone of 100. If Harper gets the majority, I am sure he will find a way to extend Canadian involvement in that war indefinitely. This will result in many more deaths of proud Canadian soldiers.

However, it is not my intention to advocate for one side of this election issue. I would only like to share information about an amazing book I recently came across. The book is "Caravans" by James. A. Michener. This book is a fantastic read for those thirsting to know more about Afghanistan. It is set at the end of WWII when the Soviet Union and the U.S.A. started competing for the influence in the country. Reading that book one can understand why all the super powers that stuck their noses into Afghan affairs have left with their noses bloodied.

Drago Arh


It’s time to act

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is calling for countries to decrease their carbon emissions by 25-40 per cent by 2020 based on 1990 levels. Stephen Harper's Conservatives are proposing to cut emissions by 20 per cent by 2020 from today. Factoring in the increases of emissions between 1990 and now, Harper’s plan would translate to about 3 per cent by 2020 from 1990 levels. A lot lower than what the IPCC, run by the United Nations, is calling for. All other political parties in Canada have agreed to targets within the IPCC's range by 2020.

But what about the economy? Many people are worried that for Canada to stay competitive internationally we cannot commit to such large emission cuts. A leading economist, Nicholas Stern, who was a British Government chief economist until recently and is a past World Bank economist, has stated that if governments did not act soon it could cost the global economy $9.6 trillion. He also states, “If we act now, and work internationally, we can reduce the risks drastically at modest cost. But if we delay just 10 or 20 years, the costs will be much higher, and the risks much greater. With strong and urgent action, governments, businesses and individuals, working together, can safeguard our future growth and prosperity.”

If you care at all about the environment, climate change, the future of this planet, your children, or the economy you will not vote for Harper. Go to www.voteforenvironment.com to learn more. Get out and vote on Tuesday the 14th at the Westin Resort and Spa!

To find out exactly what you will need to vote check out the ads in this paper, or go to www.elections.ca

Sara Jennings


Have the right I.D.

I went to vote early on Oct. 3rd and found that it was going to be much harder now that I had sold my house and had only summer, temporary accommodation. The problem was I didn't have photo ID with an address where I live. All other pieces of identification that were acceptable (credit card statement, bank statement, vehicle registration, etc.) only had a postal box address. The third option was to have someone on the list of electors come with me and vouch for me. I was more than willing to go through this to realize my vote, although it was not entirely convenient for my friend to come with me.

I wondered at the polling station about the incoming residents to the whole Sea to Sky corridor and how easy it would be for them to supply identity cards and mail with a correct address or to bring along someone who could vouch for them, who is on the list. I realized that many people moving to this corridor, the young and young-at-heart, might be the likely types to vote anything but the dreaded Conservatives. They would possibly be disenfranchised if these election conditions couldn't be met. I write this as a warning or message in advance to bring the right ID or an Elections Canada-approved friend along.

This week I also became aware of a new website written by someone who detests Harper's Conservatives' stance on the environment: www.voteforenvironment.ca . The site promotes strategic voting to get rid of Harper. You can check your riding and according to the polls it shows which party would win if the elections were today. Or it shows you how you can vote strategically and change the outcome. The West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast riding that Whistler and Squamish fall in, has a very close outcome with the Conservatives leading at present. Please check the site and think strategically about how you will use your vote.

Jean Hnytka

Housing Games

My name is Stephanie Schipper, and I live in Emerald Estates, in the basement suite with my fiance, Jon, for the past year and nine months. We are a hard working couple, both with decent full-time jobs, never miss our rent, no parties etc. Jon even helps our landlord fix things around the house, with no charge (even though he is a carpenter). Our landlord tells us all the time how we are the best tenants she has ever had.

Our rental agreement was a one-year lease and after that lease ends it is now a month-to-month agreement with no end date. Funny enough, I am currently studying property management from UBC, so I am familiar with my rights as a tenant. Legally she can’t have us move out, unless for the reasons stated under the Tenancy Act. But she has told us she is going to rent out the main portion of the house, and have herself and her family stay in the basement suite portion of the house so they are able to be in Whistler to watch the Olympics (for a 2-4 week period). Again it is illegal to kick out your tenant for these reasons.

She said she is going to research the issue more, so I am curious what loophole she may find to have us out. I think she was also shocked how well I know my rights as a tenant, and she will definitely be pursuing this issue.

I am informing you of my situation because this is happening to so many tenants in Whistler, and I think it is important that these tenants know their rights. What are we doing to prevent landlords from illegally evicting tenants? I am sure you already realise this is a major issue in our town, but if we do not do something soon there will be a lot of homeless working people in Whistler come the 2009-2010 winter season. At a time when we want to showcase our town to thousands of tourist as a well-run destination of choice there will be no one here to carry their bags to their rooms or taxi guests around Whistler.

I hope that we as a town can find a solution to this problem. This is not only discouraging to me and the other residents of Whistler currently renting and battling with the same problem, but it is also going to discourage new people moving to Whistler. As you are well aware, the main work force in our little village depends on seasonal workers. Where are our winter 2009/2010 workers going to live? If I cannot be protected as a long-term resident then what rights will the newcomers to our small community have?

Stephanie Schipper


Looking for missing jackets

I am writing this letter on two fronts. On Friday, Sept. 26 th I was at Maxx Fish nightclub and lost my coat check ticket. At the end of the night my jacket was not there. Now the likely scenario is that someone found it and has taken my jacket. Due to the surveillance cameras not being in working order, as I was told at this time, I have no way of knowing.

However, on the same evening my friend’s ski jacket was missing and she even had her coat check ticket. I am a little surprised at the coincidence to all this but due to the lack of interest and helpfulness of the management I will never find out!

I please ask, however, if you have or know who has my black leather biker jacket (a family birthday present) which had my broken screened IPod nano in its inside pocket, would you please find it in your heart to drop it of at the Firerock Lounge located in the Westin Resort and Spa. No questions asked.

The same would apply to my friend’s new ladies ski jacket. There would just be two extremely happy people. Thank you in advance. We realize there may have been mistakes that caused these actions.

Jeff Higginson


Rescue thanks

Re: Paragliding Crash Sept. 30

Thanks for the effort put out, and the stress/anxiety experienced while helping with my rescue.

Thanks especially to Dr. Jel Coward for flying out to deal with a very difficult situation. Thanks also to Pemberton Search and Rescue and Steve the Heli pilot for a not-so-easy scenario.

Whistler Health Care Centre Staff, thanks for working late!

Ground Crew: Mags the main radio communication/dispatch gal, Janet R. for the “Basket Belay” and storytelling while we were waiting for the heli.   Mark for hopping on your motorbike to rush to the valley in order to initiate the rescue. Thanks to Chris for the shade and giving me a “hand” when body parts went numb, Lisa for the H2O and comfort, Susan for the nurturing, and all three of you for the “ant management”!

Squamish thanks: Adam M for dropping everything to deliver some cash, James D for the visit/IPod loaner — now I know what “Weeds” is all about!   Thanks to J&J&J for the hospital supplies, prunes even! And sweet Bridget for delivering stuff from my home in Whistler.

Thanks very much to the fantastic nursing staff at Squamish General Hospital, a special one to Marilyn for that first “illegal?” bath on day two or three!

I’m home as of the 7 th , the ribs, vertebrae, knee and ankle will all heal eventually. No working on skis this winter, but no organ injuries and I’m alive!

I’ll be sipping many warm bevies at Mt. Currie Coffee Co. this winter!

Linda McLaughlin


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