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Russell Peters

Whistler

Scoop your poop

My family just returned home, having spent two fantastic weeks vacationing in Whistler over Christmas and New Year’s. We enjoyed both the spectacular skiing conditions, in addition to the very festive and winter-like atmosphere of the village and surrounding areas. Unfortunately, while walking the valley trails, the winter wonderland was spoiled by the unsightly and unhygienic display of dog excrement scattered on the path every few feet.

As we have noted while visiting during the summer, most of the dog-owning residents of Whistler prefer to allow their pets to "do their thing" in the forest a few feet off of the trail, and are therefore not accustomed to abiding by the poop-scoop bylaw which I know exists there.

Unfortunately, this does not work in the winter when snow is piled two feet high on either side of the trail, making it impossible for dogs to defecate anywhere but right on the walking path where it in turn degrades that much slower due to the freezing temperatures.

As 2010 approaches, your council has to start now to educate dog owners and to enforce the bylaw both in the winter and summer to avoid an embarrassment to your community when the world visits for the Olympics.

Dr. Ron De Marchi

Burnaby

No taxation without representation

I was appalled to read the comments of Councillors Tim Wake and Eckhard Zeidler quoted in Pique regarding the six per cent property tax increase.

To pretend that they represent the whole community and that there is any form of democracy involved is incredible. According to statistics I found on the Tourism Whistler website, Whistler has 9,248 permanent residents and 9,100 second home owners. This would seem to indicate that well over half of all property tax is paid by second home owners.

The proportion is likely to be substantially higher given that many of the larger homes (with higher tax bills) are owned as second homes. As only B.C. residents can vote in elections for council, this disenfranchises the many second home owners from the U.S., Asia and Europe.

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