Winter driving is once again just around the corner with many new arrivals coming to Whistler for the 2011/2012 Ski Season. Last year we lost a wonderful young traveller who was hit by a vehicle on our local highway. Days are getting shorter again and driving conditions will soon become much more challenging.
It's a good time to remind all of the need to be visible while out and about. Reflective strips, bright coloured outer wear or illumination devices are all extremely beneficial and help drivers to notice your presence during variable weather, driving and road conditions.
Wearing dark or neutral clothing only helps to make you less visible at night or during stormy weather when a driver is mostly focused on the road conditions, traction and maintaining vehicle control.
Even with our outstanding snow clearing and removal services, Hwy 99 and Whistler valley can have extremely challenging driving conditions where vehicles have less capacity to make successful emergency manoeuvres. We have some very steep roadways and some of the most variable weather and driving conditions in B.C. between Vancouver and Whistler. Our altitude varies and the freeze-thaw cycles are many from November to April.
Commercial vehicles, buses, taxis, trucks and emergency vehicles in addition to driving may also be looking for street names, addresses and/or in radio contact with dispatchers or other drivers while in motion adding to their difficulties.
"See and be seen" are two ways pedestrians can help avoid accidents and tragedy in the months ahead. If you must walk on highways or roadways during winter, please walk against traffic so that you can see the vehicle and wear "Be Seen" clothing so that drivers can see you.
Brian Wolfgang Becker
Where are all the new Canadians?
I heartily agree with your October 13 editorial on "Where are all the women?" In my seven years in the Alberta Legislature I learned more about public service from my seatmate Marie Laing than from the many alpha males in all three parties.
But to push our local version of representative democracy even further we need to ask "Where are all the New Canadians," those emerging leaders from our ethnic and multicultural diversity?
Canada welcomed the world in 2010. But in looking around it seems that in our councils and decision-making bodies we are governed by a stale homogeneity. Some may try to survive with the older status quo, but the future is for those who thrive in diversity.
We saw a glimpse of this at last June's Multicultural Celebration on Main Street where with 30 eager volunteers and a measly $10,000 budget we were able to host 25 different cultural activities and had close to 3,000 locals and visitors revel in the diversity.