Opinion » Maxed Out

Maxed out

Fresh out of outrage

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The only rational solution to all this was to think globally but outrage locally.

I mean, look at just the short list of local things a guy could be outraged about. Slash “Two-Drinks” Gordon rolls into power, arbitrarily flushes decades of workers’ rights down the toilet with his duly-rubberstamped laws gutting collective agreements in the healthcare field — now ruled contrary to the Charter of Rights’ guarantee of the right to collective bargaining — and then goes off to Maui to get nailed for DUI. More recently, he led the choir in giving him and themselves a monster raise notwithstanding the fact the overwhelming majority of B.C. residents don’t think they deserve one. Tacking on a cushy new pension plan, details to follow, didn’t seem like a stretch after that.

Even more locally, we’ve got the Olympic juggernaut steamrolling our way, not that any of us was given a choice in the matter but, in local style, we’ll make the best of it. Whether you favour the Olympics or not, one thing is indisputable about the entire enterprise: It’s a monumental, embarrassing, unconscionable, inhumane waste of money. It’s one of those many things history is not going to be kind to, at least any history that might be written by humankind that manages to evolve toward enlightenment… a longshot, admittedly.

And while it’s hard to tell whether the Olympic feedback loop is feeding or being fed by the frenzy to get things built by 2010, there are enough projects on the go — wastewater expansion, muni hall expansion, Taj-ma-library, athletes’ village, Nordic centre, medals plaza, Rainbow, Highway 99, Green River estates, Gondola to Nowhere, et. al . — to leave Whistler breathless, possibly broke but inarguably unrecognizable.

Jeez, even when we try to do the right thing we have trouble making it work. As a community we’ve got an award-winning vision of a très sustainable future. We’ve got committees and task forces peopled by every single person who lives here working on various disparate bits of that vision. But despite our best efforts, our footprint is growing like Sasquatch. More GHG, more solid waste, more, more, more.

And to top it all off, Whistler didn’t even make honourable mention in CBC’s idiotic Seven Wonders contest. I mean, really, prairie skies?