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Pemberton won't support Ironman renewal

Nearly 80% of area residents oppose event's return



Citing overwhelming safety concerns on Pemberton Meadows Road, the Village of Pemberton (VOP) will not support the three-year renewal of Ironman (IM) Canada.

The motion was passed at a special council meeting on Tues., June 27, which was called in the wake of some incensed discussion about the event on Facebook in recent days.

A June 24 thread on the Pemberton Community Forum Facebook group featured talk of race-day protests, road blockages and even sabotage via spike strips and nails.

"I have to say that I was disappointed in some of the things I've seen on social media," said Mayor Mike Richman at the meeting.

"I think some of them are quite honestly shameful, and some of the threats in there I think are kind of ridiculous, but I think there has also been a really positive and strong conversation out there and that's what we're responding to here today."

About 30 people were in attendance for the meeting, with most speaking in opposition of the event.

The recurring concerns raised were about safety on the Pemberton Meadows Road, with cyclists sometimes riding three abreast and showing blatant disregard for local residents and their properties.

A survey of 369 residents of Pemberton, the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District, Lil'wat Nation and Pemberton Meadows released last month found that roughly 75 per cent of respondents saw no value in hosting the event, and nearly 80 per cent would not support its return beyond 2017 without changes.

Pick up Thursday's Pique for the full story.