Opinion » Maxed Out

Maxed out

Solutions for this summer's problems

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Summer’s here and the time is right for marchin’ in the street. Or maybe Village walkway.

I can’t imagine a street protest in Whistler. I mean, if you look up "complacency" in the dictionary, there’s a little picture of Whistler Village to illustrate it. Protest? In Whistler? You might as well contemplate skiing in Kansas or palm trees in the Yukon.

It’s not like we’re stupid enough to host the G7 conference or the World Economic Forum or something of their ilk that suck in protesters from around the world like phony rich guys suck in Realtors. Let’s face it, there is some conference business that hopefully even we’re not greedy enough to book.

But the Luddites, the anti-freetraders, the chippers away at the monolithic corporate power pig, the underemployed and overworked, and the just plain wackos who "love the smell of teargas in the morning," might be coming to town to protest the annual meeting of the Pacific North West Economic Region cabal. Max to protesters: Get a life.

Of course, it you decide to come, it’s in our nature to welcome you. Try to leave the village more or less standing and remember, panhandling is illegal in Whistler. So is swearing. Up against the wall, Motherlover.

Protests, if they come, will be interesting if for no other reason than it will give our local RCMP another chance to overreact and send out press releases about Whistler going "up in flames" or some other overwrought hyperbole. This assumes they trot out the same old, worn out reactions to protesters – clubs, teargas, pepper spray, body armour, swat teams, assault rifles, stun grenades, fire hoses, hungry dogs, trained bears... okay, I made up the part about the bears.

What’s clearly needed here is a change of tactics. In Quebec City earlier this year, the various arms of law enforcement spent enough on teargas to have quelled the mobs by simply dropping that much hard cash on them from a floating dirigible. The unruly would have stopped in their tracks, scooped up bills, retreated to a local brasserie and gone home with a few bucks left in their pockets, a good buzz and epic tales about how they beat the moneymen at their own games. But nooooo, the cops wanted a fight and a fight is what they got.

I’m not suggesting showering money on any protesters who come to town. That’s so Eastern Canadian. Here on the left coast, we need a made-in-the-West solution and I’m pretty sure you can guess I’ve got one in mind.

What’s B.C. known for? Well, other than letting logging companies rape old-growth forests. Yeah, and other than crooked politicians who can’t finish a term in office. Pot. B.C. is known world-wide for growing possibly the strongest pot on the face of the earth.

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