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Where is the vision?

I have been checking in on the coming municipal election with real interest. It's great that Whistler has so many people who care enough about its future that they want to run for mayor and council this year.

I have been checking in on the coming municipal election with real interest. It's great that Whistler has so many people who care enough about its future that they want to run for mayor and council this year.

However, I've got to say that I'm struck by how parochial so much of the debate is. Where's the vision? Where's the inspiration? In tough economic times it's easy to focus only on short-term problems and scapegoat anything that doesn't seem to be of immediate benefit.

I think that real leadership in these kinds of times is about dealing with current challenges while keeping an eye on the community's vision, dreams and aspirations. There is lots of talk about "overspending" at municipal hall,  "unacceptable" tax increases and the need for local government to focus on "core services."

What I haven't heard much about is how Whistler can continue to build on the great successes it's achieved, how it can maintain and sustain its amazing public amenities, and how it can continue to be an incredible place to visit and live in.

The people who articulate that kind of inspirational vision - and have the game plan to make it happen - are the kinds of leaders I'll be voting for.

Kevin Washbrook


Venue too small

Monday night was the first time in almost 40 years that I have missed an All-Candidates Meeting - thanks to the Chamber for choosing Millennium Place. It was far too small a venue. Did the Chamber not notice that there are 25 candidates in the running for municipal offices and that there is a lot of interest in this election? What happened to Whistler Secondary, or the Conference Centre? Why was Millennium Place chosen? I was there just before 5:00pm and still couldn't get in. Along with many others who couldn't get in, I was very disappointed.

John Hetherington


I endorse Nancy for mayor

Reading the first "Letter to the Editor" last week ( Pique Nov.3) shocked me a bit given that so many people are running for mayor and council. I wondered how many "Letters to the Editor" you are expecting given you took the time to allow someone to endorse a specific person? If that's the case I would like to endorse Nancy for mayor.

Reading Mr. (Tim) Wake's comments from Bowen Island made me wonder if he's actually been following the local council meetings and newspapers since his departure. His endorsement included that Ken should be the mayor again because "he's best positioned to pull a new team together and get the RMOW back on track." Well Ken had a "new" team three years ago and that obviously didn't go so well and does anyone in Whistler believe he was able to steer us "on track"?

Mr. Wake also mentions that another reason for Ken to be elected again is that he "has seen a lot of change in his time at Muni-Hall, has learned some tough lessons and has been willing to listen, he knows leadership."

Oh boy, so in order to run a town with a $77 million budget you only need to have seen change, learn tough lessons and listen? The biggest shocker in that line is "listen." Mr. Wake, please watch the council meetings' question and answer sessions for the last three years and witness your so-called "listener" in action. I have witnessed Ken talk down to people, cut them off, not answer questions and when he had to "listen" to a question he didn't like he'd say, "your question isn't germane to the subject" or my personal favorite, "it's moot."

For you to presume the other councillors running for mayor have not shown this ability would then be "moot," as I am certain everyone running for office has seen change, learned tough lessons and has two ears to listen.

Tim Koshul



Vote for change

I suspect ex-councllior Wake has been living on the (an) island a little too long. The fundamental reason the RMOW is in such disarray with unsustainable fiscal policy and our community is so fractured is a direct result of the appalling LACK of leadership over the past six years. Leaders make decisions. Leaders inspire. Leaders don't defer every decision to "staff," or highly paid consultants or the results of biased surveys. Leaders listen to their constituents.

Vote for fiscal accountability, vote for transparency, vote for responsibility to those who pay the bills, vote for change!

Chris Shackleton




Find the facts, not the rhetoric

Having served on council with three of the mayoral candidates, I feel compelled to share some insights.

There are a number of hot issues in this election: the asphalt plant, economy, staff wages etc. For the record I find it disturbing that many of these issues are being blamed on the current mayor yet both councillors Forsyth and Wilhelm-Morden were part of the decision-making process on many of these issues.

There has been a lot of rhetoric about Mayor Melamed not supporting business, yet I always found him to be fair and sympathetic. For example, Ken recognized the enormous benefit the Peak 2 Peak could provide business; Nancy on the other hand did not support the initiative. Is it coincidence that Whistler has had a series of summers with best-ever visitation since the Peak 2 Peak?

As a member of the Finance Committee as well as the Long-Term Financial Committee, I know that a zero per cent property tax increase means cuts. Take a lesson from Toronto and ask exactly where those cuts will be. "Cutting the fat" in Toronto has not been what the voters expected. Be sure you understand before you vote. As Mayor, Ken puts in untold hours, has integrity, honesty and an incredible passion for Whistler. Do not underestimate these qualities; he is the real deal.

The Mayor is to promote the community, be positive and to reflect the will of council, no matter how the mayor votes. Councillor Wilhelm-Morden repeatedly spoke publicly against council decisions she did not support and her columns were consistently negative. Not qualities Whistler deserves in a mayor. Before you vote, please find the facts behind the rhetoric.

Bob Lorriman

North Vancouver


Experienced leadership needed

It's all too easy to be an armchair mayor; the real chair is a lot more uncomfortable. As much as it is a privilege to be mayor of Whistler, as I was for nine years (and councillor for another eight), it is equally stressful, demanding and complex.

There are times when you need nerves of steel, the patience of a saint and a skin as thick as a rhinoceros. From that perspective, when I look at the candidates running for mayor this year, I believe Ken Melamed is the best choice for the resort community.

I worked with both Ken and Nancy Wilhelm-Morden on council, and both are dedicated, hard-working and principled. However, I believe that Ken has proven himself, under considerable fire, as a leader and a strategist, who is able to look beyond what's easy and popular, to what's best for Whistler as a whole, in the long term.

Ken understands the immeasurable value of developing strong partnerships, particularly with other levels of government, and I know he has earned the respect and accolades of many leaders in tourism, sustainability and government, negotiating fiercely on behalf of the community and the residents he has so loyally served, nonstop, for the past 15 years on council.

Whistler is going through tough economic times. We all are. This calls for experienced leadership; for the ability to make tough decisions that might not win votes, but wins for the community; for an innate understanding of sustainability; and for the integrity and the courage to tell it like it is. That's Kenny all over. I wish everyone good luck.

Hugh O'Reilly




AWARE survey

On behalf of the Association of Whistler Area Residents for the Environment (AWARE) board, I would like to thank the audience and candidates who braved last Wednesday's cold, snowy weather to attend the All Candidates Meeting we hosted. The evening gave great insight into the candidates' thoughts on the environment, sustainability as well as more general issues and some "out of the box" ideas.

In recognition that we were only able to provide a limited time for each candidate to present we issued a 10-question survey to candidates prior to the meeting. We were delighted that 27 of the 31 candidates took the time to complete the survey and some results were briefly presented to the audience last Wednesday.

Questions covered topics such as future development in the Callaghan, increasing the bed cap, old growth logging as well as asking candidates' views on Whistler's top environmental priorities, their own lifestyle choices and more. The full results of the survey are posted on our website ( and I would encourage everyone to go and check them out for insight into the way our candidate really view environmental issues.

The event would not have been possible without the support of fellow Board members Julie Burrows, Michele Thomas, Melanie Tardiff and in his first MC appearance Jeff Grant for their volunteer efforts on the night. I would also like to thank Moguls Coffee House for donating some much-needed hot drinks on that chilly night, with compostable cups of course! Pina Belperio was kind enough to take full minutes of the meeting and these are also available on our website.

Claire Ruddy

AWARE President


AWARE questionnaire misleading

(The questionnaire) asked the candidates: "Do you support the proposal to build a university on the Zen wetlands"? I would expect every candidate to answer "no" for two reasons. First, there is no such entity as the Zen wetlands - like Brigadoon, it is a mythical place created in the lore of this community. Second, there is no proposal to build a university on any wetland!

There are two wetlands below Creekside. One is the Alpha Creek wetland, which is owned by the municipality and the other is the Millar Creek wetland, which is privately-owned. Obviously and rightfully, the municipality is not going to allow any development on its wetland; and also rightly, the owner of the Millar Creek wetlands intends to see their wetland preserved for all time.

The only full university proposal I am aware of is for the WhistlerU Learning Campus. This campus would be built on benchlands and, as confirmed by three environmental studies, would bring no danger or harm to any wetland.

However, this proposal would bring a huge and long-term economic boost to the community.

So what was AWARE's intent in asking such a biased question? It was to bring fear to the community and to support the current mayor's "spin," which is clearly misleading and untrue.

As any good researcher will point out, this one question makes the full AWARE questionnaire suspect for both the reliability and validity of its data. Since the organization does not appear to have the expertise to draft a truly unbiased questionnaire, I have an offer of assistance. I will provide free of charge two seats in WhistlerU's course on research methodology so that future questionnaires they create will provide useful data, which is both valid and reliable. I urge the public to truly understand the WhistlerU proposal before accepting the misinformation coming from both AWARE and the current mayor.

Doug Player



Let's work together

With expectations of change and improvements running extremely high in this community at this time of local municipal elections, I am also caught up in this fever. Whoever gets elected will have their work cut out for them and has my full support and admiration for their courage to step up to the plate. Let's face it; it will be hard to perform anywhere close to expectations.

At this time I would like to pass on one thought that I had for a while and that was again activated by a comment I heard from one candidate in the all candidates meeting at Millennium Place.

This community has attracted residents from so many walks of life, so many experts, and so much talent. We all want to contribute to make this the paradise it could be (even better than it already is). One way of tapping into this unique wealth of experience would be a hotline website where residents could send in good ideas for improvements. These ideas, in my opinion, should be filtered by a qualified panel and then forwarded to council for consideration.

Whistler has the incredible advantage that many of our locals, and especially part-time residents, have been in leading positions in many fields globally and if we invite them to contribute ideas to problems like transit, engineering, marketing, budget control, efficiencies, environment, waste disposal etc. we may be very surprised by the value of their input and help.

Let's work together on making improvements!

Kurt Mueller



Against us at every turn

I would like to comment on Jack Mann's letter to the editor published in the Pique last week ( Pique Nov.3). I cannot blame some members of Whistler's Coalition of Concerned Citizens for not disclosing their names. In our experience, if a business speaks out against the municipality, their business is at risk of being adversely affected.

When our steam kettle exploded in La Bocca Restaurant in October 2008, all our restaurants were closed. It took us two and a half months to reopen and after speaking to an investigator after the incident, it was found that the municipality had no right to close our establishment because there wasn't a fire.

We feel that we were unfairly treated because my husband Norbert has always been very opinionated when it comes to some of the decisions that the municipality has made over the years.

The entire time our establishments were closed, we felt like the municipality was working against us at every turn. Instead of trying to help us reopen and get our 120 employees back to work, they tried to find any excuse to keep us closed. Having to deal with Bill Barratt, Rob Whitton and the Chief Building Inspector was a complete nightmare for us.

For Mr. Mann to say that "one retailer was financing most of the ads to drive home the idea that homeowners should foot the bill for the parking so that the retailers could enjoy continued free parking for their customers" is totally ridiculous.

Our company alone pays well over $400,000 in property taxes per year. If you multiply this amount by every building in the village, you start to see how much businesses contribute to the livelihood of this community.

Without us, Whistler would not exist. And charging for parking is ensuring that local businesses are slowly being run to the ground. Eventually it will only be multinational chains that will be able to afford to do business in this town.

Terri Ohyama



Beyond Belief.

So... after dropping a frivolous lawsuit, Bill Barratt still feels the need to call out certain council members he thinks were negligent in protecting the municipal coffers from himself.

Pardon me?

I applaud them for giving a blow hard bully the proper send off.

Brian Walker



Old growth cuts must end

Every year Whistler spends hundreds of thousands of dollars promoting itself as a model of "sustainability." At the same time it continues logging its old-growth forests.

Up until now, our politicians' response to this hypocrisy has amounted to, "There's nothing we can do ... blah, blah, blah," or "Oh well, they'll grow back. Some day. Maybe."

But last week one of the mayoral candidates had the "cojones" to stand up and say, "This isn't good enough. We can do better."

Ironically, it's the only mayoral candidate who wasn't actually born with "cojones."

Yes, Nancy is the one who suggests we should tell Victoria that cutting old-growth trees is inconsistent with Whistler's image and values, and lobby them to change the policy that "requires" us to do so.

Would we be successful? Who knows? But at least we'd have tried, which is the only way we ever find out what's possible; accepting the status quo has never resulted in a single instance of progress.

Meanwhile, the alliance responsible for cutting down the old-growth trees (with plans to continue to do so for the next 20 years) has borrowed a page from the Alberta tar-sands companies that produce those green and fuzzy TV ads. Their new website is flush with beautiful photos of pristine forests, mountain vistas and kids kissing trees, all awash in a background of (you guessed it) green. Nice job. Really.

The only thing that might make it more realistic would be a few shots of loggers with chainsaws, slash piles and whole logs on their way to China.

Van Clayton Powel



End old growth logging

Old growth logging could end in 20 years, Community Forest chair says. Yes, it will end when all the old-growth forest have been logged.

These are shocking comments, which just show that the logging company called Whistler and the B.C. government will just keep logging these rare forests through out B.C. These forests are worth more standing than logged.

With 1,900 endangered species in B.C. and no law to protect them, it is time in this day-and-age to stop logging the old-growth forest and start selective logging of second growth. Community Forests are heavily subsidized and need to be shut down. Vote out the Liberals and any government that won't protect these forests!

Paul Morgan


Transit costs money

Congratulations to Whistler Transit, BC Transit and the RMOW in having made a start to cost cutting and reeling in the deficit on Whistler Transit Operations. With a 19 per cent reduction in service hours and the other measures used to reduce your annual costs, you are heading in a much more positive direction.

As a monthly pass holder and someone that uses your services frequently, I would be willing to pay $100 per month for a monthly pass or $3.50 per use ticket. If you increase cost of service, we collectively as riders should make up for the additional $870,000 that still needs to be achieved in order to break even in 2012. There are real costs associated with all forms of transportation be it owning your own vehicle, taking taxis, public transportation buses, riding a bike and even walking.

Brian Becker



There are a few good men

Yes, the long awaited election which many of us have been waiting for is here. I just wanted to share some thoughts after reflecting on last week's news, the "not so closed'' comments that is...

As a wise person once said, one bad apple... well, you know the rest, but I have to add the other famous words of wisdom "A few good men."

And from watching many, many council meetings we are blessed to have a few good men on the council that I hope to see re elected.

Ted Milner -very impressive, a councilman that absorbs the information, respects everyone that approaches council, makes excellent decisions. A man of few words, but believe me those words are spoken by a very wise man who I believe has the best interests of the community at heart.

Grant Lamont - this councillor has established immense respect from many, many individuals of Whistler. Great judgment in very important issues. He is a man of the people and has the wisdom to resolve many of our issues that affect all of us.

Eckhard Zeidler - yes, the guiding light that has the strength to keep on track. The determination and patience, dedicated to do what is right. I hope that for the future of this valley, we re-elect these "few good men."

Iona Lake



End pay parking

This past Sunday November 6, I came up to Whistler from Squamish to return some unneeded ski-gear. I thought to myself, let's go check-out Lots 1-5 and see how many vehicles are parked there. There was not a hope in hell that I was going to spend my money to park there.

Here is what I found out. As of 11:00am on a beautiful sunny Sunday, I observed the following: Lot 1 had 15 vehicles, Lot 2 had 27 vehicles, Lot 3 had 10 vehicles, Lot 4 had 21 vehicles, Lot 5 had five vehicles. That's a total of 78 vehicles on a sunny Sunday.

Pretty bad, I would say. Why is this? Because people do not want to pay. I probably would have stayed and had lunch at Tapley's or the Longhorn, but I wasn't going to pay to stay to have lunch.

I drove into Marketplace and found that their parking lot was at least three-quarters full with several hundred vehicles. Why? Because they offer FREE parking in order to get people to visit the shops there.

I then went to return my ski gear and paid 50 cents for a half-hour of parking. That will be the LAST 50 cents that the RMOW gets from me for parking.

Meanwhile here in Squamish I was seeing lots of people from Whistler and Pemberton shopping and enjoying all the FREE PARKING.

I truly hope that all the candidates running for council in Whistler will get the message about the damage that the pay parking is doing to the village and the business.

My message is this: get rid of pay parking everywhere and people will come and that includes me.

Gord Gunner



Pay parking money must go to transit

With the final official implementation of pay parking in Lots 4 and 5, I'm hoping that: 1) they plan to pave Lot 5 because I don't see how you can justify forcing people to pay to park in a gravel parking lot, and 2) some of the money is going to the bus system because higher fares with reduced service has not made people "reconsider" driving to the village regardless of pay parking.

If the cost each month ends up the same, if not cheaper, to drive then purchase a bus pass without the inconvenience of a terrible bus schedule. For the sake of the present and future muni and council I hope the money earned from this cash grab is put to good use to at least try and put some good faith back into the residents of this great community.

Spencer Huvers




Movember about more than moustaches

It's 3:39 a.m. and there's no way I'll be sleeping anytime soon. I found out an hour ago the man who taught me how to whistle when I was a little girl, the key male figure in my life (my grandpa) is no longer "here," though there is no doubt in my heart he will be with me forever. And how ironic (it's) Movember 6th.

Way back in October, myself and MoBro Josh started going around, educating our community about the upcoming Movember campaign, about the Movember in Whistler network, about registering (both men and women), about showing the world what a close knit place Whistler is and about putting our individual efforts together.

We got three local bars: Moe Joes, Tommy Africa's and Maxx Fish (who may consider themselves competition) to share the Movember events that we were planning to throw in support of our hairy friends. I thought, what a great way to show all the newcomers to the town what we are about: "Live each day of your life to the fullest, but find a balance between fun and health."

We went around town in hope that at the end of the month, we could wrap-up this year's Movember by presenting a big cheque with all the business logos and team names to Movember Canada...even if there wasn't a huge financial donation this cheque, I thought, would symbolize so much more.

I was so happy when I got a call from the Pique saying they were writing an article on Movember... But I read it... and felt... hurt.

You see, just a month ago I was lucky enough to travel home to Poland to spend what turned out were my last moments with my family as a "whole." I got to hang out with my grandpa, whose prostate cancer had receded since he started chemo, but which was causing him much pain, discomfort, and at times embarrassment. Fair enough, he was 88 and fair enough, my whole family got to say goodbye, and he didn't suffer...falling asleep on his bed, in his home, surrounded by people he loved and who love him.

I didn't get to be there...I am here, in Whistler planning my next Movember event that means so much (more) to me than to some. At the end of the day, (is this) all this is about.... who can grow the biggest, best bush of facial hair ( Pique , Nov 3, 2011)? REALLY??!!!

This is what I have this to say to that: I am a woman with zero intention to grow facial hair, but I am wearing my Movember button, I have a fake mustache attached to my girly shirts, and I will continue to put all my efforts into raising awareness about the more serious side of the campaign.

I don't care if you decide to grow the "biggest, baddest" Mo on your face. I also don't care if you are a woman or a man. I don't care if you raise the most money... I DO care that you show an understanding that this month-long campaign may mean to some a bit more than just a furry bush on a guy's face.

My "selfish" meaning to Movember is making sure that the men in my life, who I love, adore and care for take care of their bodies and health...cause loosing them hurts way too $*# much!

Magdalena Cockle



Clean water before free concerts

At the AWARE all candidates meeting the question of how to pay for the sewage problem happening in the waterways towards the south of town was asked.

I see the orange junk and lack of water flow; I have just looked at it as some sort of mystery. To hear that this problem is known and the question is whether or not we can afford to fix the problem was eye-opening to myself. How can we afford not to fix the problem?

Please let me say this, I don't understand how there is money to pay for free Tom Cochrane concerts, but not enough money to ensure sewage is filtered properly? Whistler culture is more about free concerts than clean waterways? It is all about balance!

The free concerts and the paid street entertainers attract visitors. Cool, I kinda get it - street entertainment and concerts are fun!

I really just don't get how the math is being done. There was some differentiation on the math between mayoral candidates when it came to RMI money. Nancy said: "tax dollars, are tax dollars, are tax dollars."

Where as the other two major candidates seemed to differ on this.

Michael Fanning



Bear-proofing not easy but essential

Reading the editorials and articles about Jeanie the bear and the circumstances leading up to her death paints a very disturbing picture ( Pique Oct.27). How is it possible that all the restaurants mentioned, which have been in this town for years are incapable of managing their food waste?

Let's start with the biggest corporate entity here, Whistler Blackcomb. Two of its restaurants were "broken into" by Jeanie. How do you break into the Roundhouse or the GLC? Buildings with rock and steel cladding, steel fire doors and wire-reinforced glass? You don't.

If you leave a door open or have latches a bear can manipulate then the animal will "enter" a building.

I lived 500 metres from the Whistler Landfill for decades. Couldn't see it, couldn't smell it, but this area had the highest concentration of bears in all of Whistler. Saw them every day. Bears, that because of the RMOW's largely ineffective efforts, knew all about garbage.

My house is made of wood, with wood doors, has lots of windows on the first floor and I have never had a bear "break in." Even when the landfill closed and I witnessed the largest diaspora of starving, raised on garbage, desperate bears in Whistler's history I didn't have any problems.

(I'm) not saying it is easy. Constantly educating friends, tenants and visitors about zero food waste outside takes effort. So how is it possible for me, one lone individual, to coexist with bears and Whistler Blackcomb cannot? A company who has been operating in bear habitat since 1965?

What's WB valued at? I read it was $700 million. A company that can build one of the biggest gondolas in the world, but can't manage its trash? I blame Jeannie's death, for the most part, on Whistler Blackcomb's poor and sloppy management of its food waste because when she gained access to their restaurants, and a food source beyond her wildest dreams, she was then a dead bear walking. There is no chance of rehabilitation once this happens.

The irony here is that Jeannie made money for WB, with tours and increased visitation. Was a financial asset. And this is how they manage their assets?

As far as ... any other restaurants involved in this sad story I would like to rake them over the coals too. To do that I think maybe a social media shaming site is needed. If anyone out there with more tech savvy than me sets one up so pictures of restaurants that have overflowing garbage cans and don't manage food waste could be posted for all to see. I, for one, would love to, when going out to eat, be able to whip out my phone, check that site then reward businesses that show me they take this problem seriously.

As for Whistler Blackcomb I am so disappointed that you do not dedicate sufficient resources to deal with your garbage. The biggest company in town and yet what a poor example you set for everyone else.

Lyall Fetherstonhaugh


Bear Smart?

I find it hard to believe that Whistler has become a Bear Smart community. I know that there are a lot of people here in Whistler that have worked hard at this, but we couldn't be farther away from Bear Smart as we are right now. We just lost one of our most recognized bears a few weeks ago. A few weeks before we had a bear in a pizza shop and that shop is still open for business, no fine or temporary shut down to hurt the bottom line.

Over 10 bears (have been) shot or run over by cars. This past week Cheakamus Crossing had there Halloween night and never cleaned it up?? Pumpkins are bear food and pumpkins were left out overnight and the next day until my friend and I drove down the next night to take them to the compost.

I had an argument with a woman about this that lives at Cheakumass Crossing. She kept telling me the bears were there first. No joke, but does that mean we leave out food for the bears? What don't you get lady? The rule is pick up all garbage (pumpkins) and lock it up so the bears don't eat it. To the guy last week that got injured by Barry the Bear. Way to go on the way you explained yourself about what happened with you and Barry. You were fair, honest, and clear on what happened to you and your dog. Unfortunately some of your neighbors don't get it.

This town needs to wake up and realize if we don't change human behaviour we won't have any more bears in Whistler. The moment you change human behaviour you change bear behaviour. Until that happens we will continue to have dead bears.

Geoff Gerhart



Halloween 4 Hunger

This is a big, big thank you to the students at Signal Hill Elementary school and l'Ecole de la Vallée de Pemberton for bringing in food to the food drive for Halloween for Hunger.

In total we raised 104 kilograms (229 pounds) of food for the Pemberton Food Bank. And a special thanks to: Mr. Maynard, Ms. Bartlett and Mr. Benes for letting us have the food drive at the school. Thanks also to: Sakura Kawano, Xiola Aldrich, Naomi Prohaska and Freyja Rimmer for helping give out the flyers to all of the students. Special thanks to Amy Ertel for helping us with the school announcements, putting up the posters up and helping with the flyers. And a very special thanks to Owl Creek Veterinarian for letting us weigh the food so we know how much we raised. And also thank you to the Pemberton Food Bank for letting us donate all the food and to our moms for helping us along the way. Thank you!

Trinity Ellis and Alyssa Richman

Students at Signal Hill Elementary and Ecole de la Vallée de Pemberton


Wanna Hear A Secret?

Living in Canada, it is likely that someone you know has Crohn's Disease or Ulcerative colitis - and is suffering! That isn't good news. But there is something that you can do to help the tens of thousands who suffer in silence - become aware. Read on - we have made it easy for you here; in 60 seconds it is likely that you will know more than when you started out.

What is Crohn's and Colitis? These are Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD), which affects over 200,000 Canadians, and the number is growing rapidly.

How can it be that a family of diseases which represent a greater number of patients in Canada than MS and HIV combined is still so unknown by so many people? The reasons for low awareness may be due to the fact that the symptoms and effects of IBD are not pleasant ones to discuss around the dinner table or in the coffee shop. Who wants to hear about stomach pain, diarrhea, gas and bloody stool when you are digging into a nice savory entree - right? Well for those 200,000 people, their families and loved ones, these effects of IBD are the subjects of dinnertime conversation.

November is IBD awareness month - learn more at

Be aware and share (talk about it if you have it - ask about it if you don't). The cures are out there - and they will be found, but not until there is greater awareness. Canada leads the world in the fight to find the cures; and we will find a cure. But in the mean time we dare you to make IBD and it's effects dinnertime conversation in your house. It truly will make the world a better place.

If you or someone you love suffers from IBD and needs someone to talk to locally for support - drop us a line, and we will help anyway that we can.

Dave and Wendy Clark

Founders, Whistler Friends


Chamber Responds

Thank you to those who attended the All Candidates Meeting on Monday, November 7, 2011 at Millennium Place. With almost 400 community members in attendance, Monday's event drew an unprecedented crowd and clearly demonstrated the level of engagement in the community around the upcoming municipal election.

Thank you also to the staff at Millennium Place who, in order to accommodate the larger than expected audience, quickly arranged for the activity in the theatre to be streamed to the downstairs reception area.

We would like to apologize to those individuals who were unable to participate at the event on account of the venue reaching its capacity. In context, previous All Candidates meetings have attracted an audience of 100-150 people and we did not foresee that attendance would be almost triple the size of previous audiences. We acknowledge the disappointment felt by some community members, who were unable to gain access to the theatre and, with the benefit of hindsight, can see that we ought to have considered hosting the All-Candidates meeting in a larger venue.

The content of Monday's event was recorded and to ensure that as many people as possible have access to it, we have posted a link to the recording on our website - - and encourage community members to view the full meeting at their leisure.

An engaged voter base is a cornerstone of a healthy democracy. The Whistler Chamber of Commerce is pleased to provide community members with an opportunity, either directly or indirectly, to hear and/or engage with the candidates running for public office, so that they can make informed choices on Election Day.

Fiona Famulak

President, Whistler Chamber of Commerce