Opinion » Letters to the Editor

Peak to Peak has world talking

Legacy trails in perspective; Bearing up; A degree of relief; True to our words; A great beginning

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I want to thank Minister Thorpe for his powerful leadership and determined efforts to rewrite the previous unfair tax system. The municipality of Whistler has had years to come up with some sort of a solution but their mantra was always “no net loss of revenue”. They were concerned about the revenues with no consideration given to the effect it had on a certain portion of the taxpayers.

There has to be some accountability in taxation. According to the Vancouver Sun, a home with the assessed value of $750,000 pays property taxes of $1,500. In Whistler a condo with the assessed value of $360,000 paid $8,000 under the previous tax structure. It will now pay $4,000. We need to examine not just the revenues but also the expenditures. The RMOW receives enormous revenues for a small community. Maybe it is time to review the RMOW’s seemingly insatiable appetite for tax dollars and tighten its financial belt.

Colleen Talbot

Coquitlam

 

Let us be true to our words

If the U.S. and Canada comply with emission reduction measures as mandated by the Kyoto Protocol, will the world be free from the threat of global warming? Well not really, so what is the use of pushing the Kyoto standard if it won’t remove the global warming threat completely?

The problem with Kyoto is that the protocol does not impose any punishment or incentives for the countries to meet them, not alone do more to remove the global warming threat completely. Many developing countries still also do not agree with the basic principle of the Kyoto Protocol. The current system focuses on reduction of emissions relative to 1990: the more a country polluted in 1990, the more it is entitled to pollute in the future. People in developing countries naturally ask, “By what rights are people of the developed countries entitled to pollute more than we are, simply because they polluted more in the past?” Their logic says, “because they polluted more in the past, they should be made to pollute less in the future and we should be allowed to pollute more”. Moreover, if a country like Canada can walk away from Kyoto commitment, what kind of message will the developing world get from us?

In 2005 the developing countries were producing nearly 40 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, and by sometime around 2025, on current projections, developing countries will be emitting more greenhouse gases than the developed world. So in a sense in 2025, even after all of the lifestyle changes that we have made and sustainability measures we have taken at home, we will still be at square one in terms of reducing global greenhouse gases.