Opinion » Maxed Out

The Answer Man takes your questions



With the dog daze of summer lingering about, ambition and work ethic seem to have taken what I can only hope is a temporary leave. Try as I might, nothing currently going on seems worthy of a whole column. So rather than struggle to puff up some issue or another in my usual rambling — procrastinating — style, it seems like a good week to answer some readers' questions. Besides, the idea seems entirely in keeping with everybody else's heat-induced short attention span. So here goes.

Dear Max:

You seem to pay some attention to the ongoing WhistlerU discussions. Do you think the project's developers re-branding it as Whistler International Campus is significant or just a cynical marketing ploy?

– Dumbfounded

Dear Dumb:

"... a cynical marketing ploy?" I'm not nearly that cynical and I think you're being too harsh. Let's examine the semantics. What does a name like WhistlerU bring to mind? A university in Whistler, of course. And Whistler International Campus? Clearly a university in Whistler... but, in the words of late night TV, there's so much more.

Although an argument could be made that WU may hold some socio-cultural appeal to their intended Chinese audience, I think we can all agree WIC is a more balanced, if not more meaningful, acronym. That being said, I wouldn't be at all surprised to see even this idea being reworked to try to blend in with the preferred, local naming philosophy WOP.

I'm totally onboard with WIC's repositioning efforts and support it 100 per cent. As far as I'm concerned, the only clear relationship WIC has with WU, other than the proponents, the land and the idea, are all the still unanswered questions I believe they should address before they get their land rezoned to allow them to build what they want to build. Unless, of course they're going to shoehorn the international campus into four McMansions.


I'm confused. Until now, it's seemed like (B.C. Premier) Christy Clark has been an ineffectual puppet of (PM) Harper. Now she goes all Rambo on Northern Gateway. I don't know what to think. What do you think?

– Confused Environmentalist

Dear CE:

I think you think too much. But that's neither here nor there.

After remaining silent — well, actually avoiding the question altogether — Premier Clark scuttled the annual premiers' meeting in Nova Scotia by refusing to engage in any discussion of a national energy policy and listing five conditions that had to be in place for B.C. to approve the pipeline.

The first was completion of the environmental review process and a green light from the National Energy Board Joint Review Panel. This condition is clearly meaningless, since PM Harpo said the decision was his and the NEB couldn't stop the pipeline for environmental reasons, only suggest ways to mitigate the risks.