Economic diversification urgently needed
"Moving Toward a Sustainable Future" is the major objective put forward by Whistler2020, the RMOW's current guiding vision. There is a certain element of hypocrisy here that no one seems to be talking about. If our identity is as a major international destination resort market, with an economy dependent upon tourists visiting from around the globe, how is that sustainable? Last time I checked, the fossil fuel burning airplanes and automobiles we depend on to bring the tourists to Whistler were not sustainable.
A truly sustainable economy is based on educating our community and producing what we need locally, not on imports. I'm not suggesting that we should stop trying to attract tourists to Whistler, but rather to recognize that this is not part of a truly sustainable future. What we should really be focusing on is diversifying our economy to include more sustainable industries that can provide the things we need locally.
I have been baffled lately by some local political leaders' lack of interest in our sustainable economic future. A number of proposals currently on the table, such as WhistlerU and the GEMS school in Pemberton, are much more sustainable industries than tourism. These are the types of economic opportunities we should be wholeheartedly welcoming into our community.
I am in no way affiliated with any of these proposals, but recognize the immense benefits they would bring to the region. I care deeply for this community and want to see its continued success. Sustainability and a strong, self-sufficient local economy go hand in hand. In the next election, I will personally be voting for the candidates that understand this, and I strongly suspect I am among the majority.
What really goes on at night
I would like to personally invite Mr. A.R. Symons to join me on a late evening in Whistler Village (Council must act to stop violence, Pique letters Sept. 2).
It appears that through his obscene leaps in logic he has painted Whistler to be a completely different place after dark. It almost made me second guess as to which Whistler he was referring to: Whistler, MS?
Operating nightclubs in Whistler for the last five years, and frequenting them for over 15 years, has helped me realize something - often the perception of what occurs at night is led by what one reads in the paper, especially when we are not there to experience it ourselves. I have wandered the streets of Whistler on many a late night, well after the bars have closed, and have never once felt threatened in any way.