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Letter: Whistler’s climate action sucks

'The only meaningful policy has been to increase parking rates.'
Aerial view of the day lots parking in Whistler Village
Is raising parking rates lame climate policy? This Whistler letter writer thinks so.

So far, the actions taken by the Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) to reduce our emissions straight up suck. 

The only meaningful policy has been to increase parking rates. Nobody, it seems, except the mayor, thinks that this is great policy. Even our most affluent residents don’t want to pay more for parking, and our workforce already finds it hard enough to get by in this town. I agree with public sentiment: raising parking rates is lame policy. 

It sucks the majority of the RMOW’s new affordable housing is more than nine kilometres from the village, in a landscape that discourages walking, thus most residents feel forced to drive everywhere, and then have to pay even more for parking. And when parking rates increase, without any other improvement in mobility for residents, I think residents have the right to be upset.

Over the past year I have heard many of our town’s leaders espouse how hard it is going to be to reduce our emissions. To draw from a recent article by Pique editor Braden Dupuis (“Words to live by this Earth Day,” Pique, April 21): “The framing right now is very negative, and this negativity makes us feel anxious, depressed, withdrawn.” 

We can thank the RMOW for making us feel even worse. 

Besides increased parking rates, the other main initiative I’ve seen to reduce our emissions is the dreadful “Small Steps for Big Moves,” an initiative with no metrics, that essentially says: “Feel guilty, and here’s some things to do about it.”

I think many residents of Whistler, especially parents, know how bad our changing climate is going to be for next generations. When we look in the mirror, we are so disgusted that we feel paralyzed: life is so hard already! We know we are the problem, but we need some leadership to help guide us to a better future.

A better future is not one where parking is more expensive. Making our lives worse in the name of “climate action” makes it even
harder to have buy-in whenever we get around to the “making lives better” part of RMOW climate action. 

The RMOW will eventually enact policies to reduce emissions that increase our quality of life and make us happier.

But so far, the RMOW’s climate action sucks. 

Brendan Ladner // Whistler