Maxed Out 

Best guesses and the disapproval process


It would be less than truthful to say wastewater is the furthest thing from my mind right now. It would be completely truthful, however, to say Whistler’s wastewater battle is the furthest thing from my mind right now.

It’s a cold, dreary, thoroughly British spring day. A stiff breeze is blowing from the southwest. A brisk chop punctuates the English Channel yawing to the horizon past the breakwater off the stern of the pirate vessel Is There 2 . The world’s a watercolour study in shades of grey, a horizon lost in the mist where darker grey bleeds into ever so lighter grey, presumably the sky. At least it’s not raining… for the moment. Rule Britannia.

To the extent wastewater is a pressing issue, it is pressing only as it relates to my stubborn inability to remember the sequence of events needed to keep a marine toilet from becoming a fountain instead of simply flushing. This being a thoroughly modern pirate ship, the issue boils down to which button to push first, not whether to fly my personal colours from bow or stern or do some arcane dance of levers, checkvalves, pumps and backflow pressure regulators, whatever those are. Still, while in port, the long walk to the marina facilities seems, in the end, easier.

But since it would be unseemly to leave the overworked Mr. Barnett wondering whether this is a week he should fall back on one of the rerun columns I left him in case this ship’s satellite system proves as weak as English coffee, here goes. Besides, by this time next week we’ll be plundering the Bay of Biscay and the last thing on my mind will be… what was it again, oh yeah, to P3 or not to P3. Barring a revelation of stunning malfeasance, I promise these are the last words I’ll ever write about the subject.

The effort to get 892 bona fide Whistler electors to sign the Elector Response Form, saying "Thanks, but no thanks," to going the private route in expanding our town’s beloved poo plant, has snowballed to the extent it seems likely to reach the required number. Given the time of year, the absence of many bona fide electors who are melting the season out of their bones on some beach, the rush of many others to leave town and put their Whistler years behind them, and the general lack of interest in the subject, that’s no small feat.

But even the relative success – word used advisedly – of this effort by a small group of people for whom this is a passionately interesting subject, underscores one of the myriad flaws with which this bogus procedure is so plagued. If this were a referendum campaign and the Nay side had gotten off to such a robust start, the Yea side would have an opportunity to muster their troops, marshal their arguments, roll out their own squadron of scare tactics and attempt, in a thoroughly democratic way, to turn the tide in their favour. Who knows, maybe they’d be successful in garnering a few more votes for their side; maybe they wouldn’t.


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