Opinion » Editorial

Letters to the editor

New documents shed new light

comment

Page 3 of 6

Reading Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet could help to address this issue, which revolves not around sex and violence but rather around a deep-seated perception of us vs. them.

Those on one side who believe an asphalt factory in Whistler that produces a brew of deadly particulates should not be operating in this valley versus those who declare that once the plant is updated the air around it would be better to breathe then the air around the Meadow Park Sport Centre. The numbers, however, do not add up here.

Although Meadow Park is located close to the highway and the bus depot, a source of much air pollution as the municipality's man of science Mr. Kim pointed out, so is almost every subdivision within the RMOW. And did the municipality not just spend close to a million dollars for a greener, less polluting, and more sustainable system to warm the swimming pool and showers? And should not the brand new bus depot that houses the greenest hydrogen bus fleet on the planet help create cleaner air around Meadow Park?

There are those who believe that these deadly particulates would affect only the new neighborhood of Cheakamus Crossing versus those who think they will not hang around the asphalt plant but rather drift up the valley on the prevailing wind of summer which tends to bring it closer to Whistler rather then taking them away. These particulates unfortunately do not make the distinction between the old and young, the healthy and frail, the rich and poor. These particulates do not make a distinction between Cheakamus Crossing and the new Rainbow development or anything in between - including the most expensive neighborhoods of Whistler. These particulates have been polluting Whistler every time the plant is fired up for some 20 years without anyone's knowledge up until recently.

Now that this issue is in the open surely it will bring people together and galvanize Whistler to protect what we have here and what we all depend on to be here - the tourism - instead of tearing this community apart.

This should not be a problem between people who bought homes in Cheakamus Crossing and the RMOW. It is an issue with long-term health, social and financial impacts on the whole community.

Some people will disagree with no matter what the final decision by the council will be, as Mr. Melamed pointed it out. But will it be the right of Mr. Silveri to keep operating the asphalt plant or the right of every visitor and taxpayer of Whistler for healthier air to breathe?