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Pique n your interest

Cheers and Jeers

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Give credit where credit is due, and if you don’t have something nice to say, apologize in advance.

I thought I’d use this quiet time of the year to recognize what’s good and what’s not-so-good in Whistler and British Columbia with cheers and jeers.

Cheers… To the Tapley’s Farm community for playing host to yet another stellar Halloween party for Whistler children, whether they’re privileged or not.

Cheers… To all the event organizers in town. We didn’t get a mountain bike World Cup, but thanks to people like Paul Fournier, Paddy Kaye, Chris Winter, Jason Roe, Grant Lamont, Tony Horn, Kristen Robinson and all the folks at Wild Willies, WORCA, and Whistler-Blackcomb, it was a great summer. And cheers to all the volunteers who made these events possible.

Jeers… To the absentee homeowners who are renting their places to tourists illegally, inconveniencing other residents, taking potential staff housing off the market, and making things harder for the people who rent their places legally.

Cheers… To the property owners who continue to rent to resort staff at reasonable rates. Without you, Whistler just wouldn’t be the same. Some of those transients you rented to years ago have stuck around and made a tremendous contribution to life in this town.

Jeers… To the jackass who put his tag (graffiti) on a birch tree by the Marketplace, and to all the other jackasses who feel it’s okay to deface public property with those stupid scribbles. If you want to leave your mark on something or leave an impression on someone, volunteer.

Cheers… To the bars and restaurants that have remained non-smoking throughout all the confusion over the Workers’ Compensation Board regulations. And cheers to all the non-smokers and smokers who make a point of supporting those establishments.

Jeers… To the Campbell government for stalling the latest WCB smoking regulations to conduct a "study" on the economic impacts. Previous Liberal studies have ended with the sack of NDP-hired public servants, and ongoing studies are currently in the works to dismantle, shrink, or open up parks and protected areas for industry, or to reassess moratoriums on grizzly bear hunting and off-shore natural gas drilling.

Cheers… To The Circle Skate and Snowboard Shop for running clinics at the skateboard park that emphasize the importance of safety gear while teaching little jibbers a few tricks. And cheers the municipality for building and maintaining a park of this calibre. This town will be producing pros in no time.

Cheers… To the RCMP for getting drunks off the road and violent drunks out of the village. They also deserve Kudos for embracing non-lethal bear management techniques, and their good-natured involvement in the community.

Jeers… To the RCMP’s no-tolerance policy. Last year I watch officers up from the city hand several $115 tickets for drinking in public to a group of American tourists. Ignorance of the law may be no excuse, but you have to make exceptions when the law itself is an anomaly – where they came from, it’s allowed. They would have dumped their bottles if asked, and weren’t causing any trouble when they were ticketed. Now, instead of going home to tell their friends what a great time they had in Whistler, they’re going home $115 poorer and grumbling about how uptight it is in Canada.

Cheers… To everyone who has made an effort to understand the Whistler Sustainability Initiative and The Natural Step, to the early adopters of The Natural Step (the Resort Municipality of Whistler, Whistler-Blackcomb, the Fairmont Chateau Whistler, AWARE, Tourism Whistler, and Whistler One Hour), and to the people pushing this program forward.

Jeers… To the businesses that charge more simply because it’s Whistler – there are 10,000 permanent residents here, and thousands more seasonal workers during the winter months who could use a break.

Cheers… To the businesses that offer local discounts and deals – you know who you are. My friends and I make it a point to throw business your way whenever we can.

Cheers… To the municipality for building that little playground behind the Marketplace at the end of the Village Stroll. When it was warm out, the area was swarmed by young children. The town needs more of that kind of thing for all the visitors staying in the village who don’t have anywhere to take their children besides shopping.

Jeers… To the B.C. Teacher’s Federation for pushing for an unreasonable 34 per cent raise and a strike in times when major companies in Canada are laying people off by the thousands and the civil service has to shrink their budgets once again. I know your wages have been frozen for almost a decade now, but it’s not really a good time to ask for anything more than inflation and a small raise until things improve.

That’s nine cheers and six jeers. Keep up the good work.

— Andrew Mitchell

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