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.
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?
"... 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
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.
The second and third conditions concerned having best practices in place to avoid and, inevitably, clean up spills on land and in the ocean. Enbridge, suggesting either their former practices were haphazard or Premier Clark was more gullible than even we believe, said they'd be spending additional millions to make the pipeline as safe as possible. I believe their exact words were, "Your concerns are our concerns." Or words to that effect.
The fourth condition was that First Nations receive more than trinkets and beads for befouling their sacred lands. I'm pretty sure that is a variant of "the cheque's in the mail" assurance and, frankly, I'm pinning my hopes on a native uprising to keep this turkey from ever crossing the B.C.-Alberta border.
The final condition was for B.C. to get a "fair share" of the fiscal and economic benefits, the Show-Me-the-Money clause. There seems to be some debate in learned circles over whether it was Winston Churchill or George Bernard Shaw who best captured the essence of this element. Needless to say, the punchline goes something like, "Madam, we've already established what kind of woman you are. Now we're just haggling over the price."
Of course, the dumbfounded might consider all this just a cynical ploy that may have something to do with an upcoming election and approval ratings even lower than Harpo's. But like I said, I'm not nearly that cynical.
You seem to have some sway around here. Can you get the muni to turn down the volume at Whistler Olympic Park? I can't get my kids to sleep and can't hear myself think.
– Sonic Assault
The muni's gone overboard because of complaints over the volume of music at WOP. I could barely hear the VSO when they played. What gives?
– Can't Hear
Dear SA & CH:
Clearly the municipality can't please both of you. SA, I suggest you chill a bit, accept the fact you bought a place in a RESORT, and re-evaluate your whole irrational stance on bedtimes for children during the summer. Perhaps you've forgotten summer is what we all pretty much lived for when we were kids and staying up until well past dark was one of summer's delights, along with ice cream, swimming and generally getting our parents off our freakin' backs for a few months. If none of that sounds appealing, I'd suggest you give Sun Peaks a look; sounds right up your alley.
CH, I suppose sitting closer would be too simple a solution but I'll propose it anyway. An appointment with an audiologist might help too.
But since this seems to be an issue unlikely to be resolved, I think it represents a whole new avenue for the festivals,events and animation people to explore. I say we get SA and CH to duke it out on the mainstage at WOP right before we have the International Mime Band perform one of their Quiet Concerts. I'm sure the rest of us would love it.
I know you've spoken out in the past on the heliport at the Health Care Centre so maybe you can help. Even though it's open again, people still aren't stopping when a chopper is taking off and landing. How can we get pedestrians and cars to stop?
If the muni had listened to me this wouldn't be a problem. You may recall my proposal to form a herd of semi-tame Whistler bears. Instead of shooting our problem bears, we'd corral them, de-claw them, feed them all our food garbage and use them as a tourist attraction, e.g., the daily après Running of the Bears. If we built them enclosures where we wanted traffic stopped and opened the doors when a chopper was nearby, traffic and pedestrians would stop immediately to take their pictures, feed them rice crackers and try to put their children on the bears' backs for family pics. Problem solved.
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