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Letters to the editor

Death and taxes Kudos to the RMOW for commissioning a study to determine that the U.S. resorts have a tax structure which is more equitable and helpful to the resort sustainability than that experienced in Canada.

Death and taxes

Kudos to the RMOW for commissioning a study to determine that the U.S. resorts have a tax structure which is more equitable and helpful to the resort sustainability than that experienced in Canada. The irony of local government complaining about inequitable taxation is refreshing.

Hopefully this information will be used to argue for a better distribution of tax revenues (particularly those generated from tourism and the local economy) rather than justification for handful of new locally collected taxes to be paid by visitors, owners and residents.

I would also be interested in seeing a study, which compares our per capita municipal operating and capital expenditures to other resorts. Are we under funded, or are we spending money ineffectively and unnecessarily? I look forward to seeing this analysis.

Visitors and residents regularly comment on the plethora of taxation that they face here in Whistler. Strategies which increase the individuals and businesses tax burden will certainly have a negative impact on the future success, and consequently, the sustainability of the resort community.

Pat Kelly



I would like to thank Mr. Tom Thomson for his support of a publicly owned railway. After all, we cannot let corporations rule the world. Although, I suggest that instead of building new rail-buses, we repair our passenger trains and put them back into service with a new schedule. This will be to provide us with an alternative form of transportation for the best price.

Economical growth from a new highway will be from an increase in fuel consumption, automobile reliance, highway maintenance and traffic accidents. These are all benefits to our economy, but are they a benefit to us?

Bjorn Gimse



A masterful plan for the Callaghan, by G.D. Maxwell

Good idea Maxwell, but if you can afford a "nice aluminium Airstream" you should park it next to the "dark empty houses in the Callaghan" rather than get a spot in the "affordable single-family trailer park for da people."

Christa Hammons



Empty package from stolen postal truck

We recently received an empty package with a standard letter from Canada Post with their sincere apologies. I think the thieves are the ones who should be apologizing.

The empty brown paper wrapping was addressed to my daughter so we weren’t sure if it was a birthday present for my soon to be 2-year-old or an early Christmas present. After a phone call was made to her Great Aunt it was discovered that the intended gift was a hand-made Santa quilt for her crib.

If anyone from Squamish (where the truck was stolen) to Richmond (where the truck was found) thinks they have found any items from the stolen truck they can call Canada Post at 1-800-267-1177 and quote incident #PA0207741S. If you happen to find a crib-size Santa quilt that is looking for its rightful home I can be reached at 1-888-556-2266.

Adriane Cochrane



Keeping up the Spirit

As if the lack of snow were not enough to depress any Spirit Pass holder, some recently showed up at Guest Relations to find their name was not on the list – after having finished the Spirit Course! Yes, the Chamber had a computer glitch in the batching of some employees to Whistler-Blackcomb. The problem has been remedied, and we apologize for any inconvenience this has caused.

So in a couple of weeks when you’re standing up to your thighs in powder snow with a Spirit Pass around your neck, say a quick prayer for the phenomenal team at Whistler-Blackcomb Pass Administration and Guest Services who pulled out all the stops to get you there – at the pace they’re working they’ll need it.

Brent Leigh


Whistler Chamber of Commerce


Re: Whistler-Blackcomb terrain park best in country, Pique Nov. 22, 2002

I read with not some little amusement about the "award" recently handed Whistler-Blackcomb by Ski Canada magazine. As is too often the case with such manufactured moments, the joke's on the reader when the reporter misses the story behind the story.

1. Irony abounds. Last time I checked, everyone in town was still talking about how the Intrawest and Whistler-Blackcomb folks were apoplectic over misinformation and out-of-context quotes concerning terrain parks contained in a recent Ski Canada article entitled "Carnage Corral." Legal action had not been ruled out.

2. Better late than never? The so-called award was actually announced last year in Ski Canada's 2002 Best of Skiing issue, so this apparent glad-handing is more than 10 months overdue

3. Zero authority = zero credibility. Given that the folks at Ski Canada only recently discovered what a terrain park actually was, they are about as qualified to hand out an award on the subject as the Pope is on birth control. Those pictured in the newspaper article know this, which makes their hollow smiles even more transparent.

4. In any event, although one could reasonably arbitrate over terrain park rank on a North America-wide basis, there is ZERO de facto argument on the topic in Canada. Whistler-Blackcomb's park – by dint of any number of natural, historical and economic factors – is an order of magnitude superior to anything else out there. Public celebration of such self-evidences is tantamount to flogging an award for highest vertical drop in the country.

All of this leads to an obvious conclusion: What's really going on here?

Hamish Kinney



Re: The Romanow Report

With respect to delivery of diagnostic services and health care services, this report is flawed. Mr. Romanow has missed a tremendous opportunity to address the Health Care system in these areas and has offered more of the same rather than being innovative. But what would you expect from a Saskatchewan socialist?

It may be of interest to you that there are now over 70,000 patients waiting for surgery in B.C. Some of them up to two years for a hip replacement, for example. There are private surgery clinics in the Lower Mainland, one of which does several thousand operative procedures a year, and this is only one. You can imagine how many more in several other private clinics in the Lower Mainland can also perform similar such valuable services. It is mind-boggling what the list would be if this were not the case. Romanow dismisses this. Let the public institutions compete with this or better let the Romanows, Cohens and Chretiens go on the waiting list. Believe you me, they would be the first to jump the line. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand this. So we are now going to eliminate private diagnostic clinics such as MRI scanners etc. Suddenly, largely to the thanks of the largesse of the Canadian taxpayer, we are going o create public MRI facilities to take care of an enormous backlog of patients – some waiting a year for such a study, to solve this problem. Mr. Romanow's solution will not only not solve the problem, but will succeed in bankrupting the nation in the process.

The statement had been made by the commission that we have the best health care system in the world. Well tell me then why does the World Health Organisation rate us #32 in this category?

Mr. Chretien having chosen Mr. Romanow to head this commission only served to prove the fix was in. A doctrine socialist who believing in a centrally state-run monopoly which has consistently failed in terms of innovation and efficiency and has offered nothing new in this report regarding the actual delivery of Health Care services and we are back at square one and $15 million less in the bank – just the same old story. Pour more money into it, increase taxes to pay for it and damn those who would be innovative, efficient and patient orientated.

KC Hill



The Whistler Naturalist Society has just held a very successful fourth annual general meeting, including a great talk by the co-author of Plants of Coastal B.C., Andy Mckinnon. Thank-you to everyone who participated in the meeting and those who attended the presentation.

I would like to thank Bob Brett and all of the past directors for all their hard work in making the Whistler Naturalist Society a great organization in which to become a part of. I am pleased Bob will continue to be involved as one of the directors for the next year and carry on organizing the speaker series that has been a great addition to Whistler evening events.

I was thrilled to see so much interest from such a diverse group of people that have made the decision to join the board of directors. I hope this interest will be duplicated through community participation in Whistler, Pemberton and throughout the Sea-to-Sky Corridor. If you are interested in becoming a member of the Whistler Naturalist Society or would like more information about this organization, upcoming events or volunteer opportunities please feel free to contact me. I look forward to a very successful upcoming year.

Veronica Sommerville


Whistler Naturalist Society