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In the effort to shape Whistler’s international outreach program, a community task force has just been formed last month. One difficult subject that needs to be dealt with is where and how we are going to start this outreach program.

In the effort to shape Whistler’s international outreach program, a community task force has just been formed last month. One difficult subject that needs to be dealt with is where and how we are going to start this outreach program. Are we going to help a community in Africa, Indonesia or other Asian countries? I believe while we are discussing the “where and how”, we should not forget about “why”. Because, I believe, many people in this community still have no clue on why we help some foreigners while we are still busy with other things here at home.

We all understand that this effort will need support from everybody in this community, businesses, government agencies, and various community groups. I never question the generosity of this community to various causes here and anywhere. However, I think this community has yet to make a serious effort in its international outreach program, which has been a public discussion since the 2004 Tsunami in Indonesia. It is easy to be generous with various causes directed to our own community, but it takes a much bigger heart plus a very good reason “why” we help some foreigners in the long-term basis, not just during natural disasters. We need to communicate this to the community, because we probably need to do fundraising for this effort too. This issue will, no doubt, determine the future of Whistler’s international outreach program. Will it become a long-term community effort and source of pride or just another ill-fated, under-funded program?

I believe this issue cannot be separated from Canada’s own history. Many of us may not know that Canada is widely recognized in Asia as the “ Samaritan State ” for being the pioneer of aid programs to the poor countries. Every kid in Indonesia learns from school that Canada was the initiator of the Colombo Plan, which has been part of Indonesia’s history. At Colombo (Sri Lanka), Canadian delegates under Lester Pearson formalized a relationship with the Third World — a term unknown until 1952 — that began with Canadian missionaries and doctors who had been going to Africa and Asia for decades. Before the Colombo Plan, organized regular giving from the governments of wealthy countries to the governments of poor countries for the purpose of helping them speed up their economic development was an unfamiliar pattern in the history of mankind. Canada, in a sense, invented a new pattern in the arena of foreign policy. The money committed would go up and down, but there was no turning back. From then on, foreign aid became the prominent face of Canada to this world.

I am hoping that Whistler will get on with its international outreach initiative to the developing countries and inspire other Canadian communities to do the same as we did with Whistler 2020. Delaying this initiative for another year or two, for whatever reason, will make us all lose faith in the vision set by Canada’s own founding fathers, and ultimately tarnish Canada’s international image.

We should also learn from our history that if we want to play a role in our world, however small it is, there is a cost to doing that. Maybe the words of another great Canadian, Pierre Trudeau, will remind us why we are doing this: “The social, economic and political betterment of any man anywhere is ultimately reflected in this country. If at the same time our consciences — our humanitarian instincts — are served, as they are and as they should be, then so much the better. Unquestionably, the concept of international assistance is appealing because it is one of the most uplifting endeavours in which man has ever engaged. But we must never forget that in this process Canadians are beneficiaries as well as benefactors.”

Congratulations to the graduates of Leadership Sea to Sky Program third cohort. Your leadership training would be beneficial to this international outreach program. If you wish to participate, please come to our next meeting on June 27, at 4 p.m. at municipal hall.

Jay Wahono



WAG leader moves on

This letter is a tribute to the accomplishments of Carol Coffey, who has recently resigned from the position of Executive Director of the Whistler Animal Shelter (or WAG).   For those who don't know her, Carol was a part of WAG for over three and a half years and during her time as Executive Director, she was instrumental in WAG's incredible growth and successes.

Carol was a dedicated and compassionate crusader for the lost, homeless and unwanted animals in the Sea to Sky corridor. She spent countless hours organizing and co-ordinating fundraisers, overseeing the operations of the shelter, developing and implementing the Spay and Neuter clinics in Mount Currie, the FANS program (Financial Assistance for Neuter and Spay), strategic planning and being part of the new WAG branding process.

Some other successes that we saw in Carol’s leadership were: the opening of the new shelter location, greatly increased employee retention, formalizing policies and procedures for the organization, stronger financial viability and transparency in financial reporting.

Carol is a true leader in all senses of the word, leading by example and taking a stance that no job was too small nor no challenge too big.

Carol has moved on from WAG, but her legacy will continue and we have been honoured to have her as our face of WAG.   We wish her the best in her future.

Joanne Russell, Shelter manager

And the WAG Board of Directors and friends



Dogs the answer for bears

I am writing as someone who hasn't always read the letters to the editor so I am sorry if this has been brought up already.

I was in a restaurant in the Creekside area on Thursday afternoon and a black bear cub walked down the hill to the paved area, to my disbelief and continuing amazement at the lack of knowledge that people have of wildlife I watched many people walk up to the bear.

At one point my husband went to the group to warn them that while the cubs are cute, they are still wildlife and should be left at a safe distance. He was told by one that she was informed by a local in another restaurant that the black bears are docile and not to be feared at all.

The point to this story is while I was watching from my table the bartender informed about programs in Alberta and Colorado with dogs that are trained to chase bears away. These Karelian Bear Dogs simply chase the bears away out of populated areas so that the death toll of bears doesn't have to be so high.

If there is such a safe way to keep the area safe for people and just as importantly be able to save a couple of bears isn't it worth bringing in some of these trained dogs and their owners to protect Whistler?

Donna Guerrinha



A real hero

The real heroes in life are the ones that do what needs to be done — when it needs to be done.

This is a special tribute to Mr. Paul Vadik of the Pemberton RCMP detachment.

Greetings: My name is Wendee Cristante, Team Marshal for The Canadian Clyde Ride Team of America. I was recently forwarded an article on the 20 horses saved by the guiding hand of Paul Vadik of the Pemberton RCMP detachment.

The herd of horses that were eventually seized by the SPCA back in July 2006 were immediately transported to Cedar Springs Ranch in Langley. The facility was chosen for the recovery of the horses, and happens to be the home base of my Canadian Clyde Ride Team.

Well it is now one year later, and I am pleased to report that all the horses have found new homes. But the real life miracle story is the 14-year-old Shire stud who arrived at my farm in the worst condition of all the 20 horses.

Today the SPCA black beauty, Prince Charming, has risen from starvation to stardom. Once unruly — now a magical gentle giant.

After one year of a very costly recovery program, Prince Charming is now ready to join his other Clydesdale teammates to become part of The Canadian Clyde Ride lineup. Princeton has been in light training under saddle since January, and will proudly make his parade debut at The Calgary Stampede on July 6.

But that's not all! The story has captured the hearts of Disney, and Prince Charming may be strutting his stuff on the streets of Disneyland during the Christmas-themed parade in December.

This fairy tale ending for Prince Charming and Wendee, comes thanks to one man's plan of action.

Pleas make a difference in the lives of abused animals. Reach out to your local animal shelter. Report animal abuse!

For more information, photos and video on Prince Charming visit

Wendee Cristante

Langley, B.C.


A big thanks

The Grade 7 students at Spring Creek Community School, Myrtle Philip Community School and Ecole la Passerelle had a fun filled day at Meadow Park on June 1st.

Sometimes with our busy schedules, we don’t get a chance to see a lot of our friends at the other schools. This was a great way to catch up with new and old friends before we all meet again in high school this September. We spent the day playing California Kick Ball and we were treated to many goodies during the day. We had yummy pizza which was provided by Domino’s pizza…. Thanks Domino’s!

We would also like to thank Nesters Market, IGA Marketplace and The Grocery Store for their donations of watermelon, drinks and ice cream.

Each one of us received an awesome prize and we would like to thank the following businesses for donating them to us:

Rogers Chocolates,   Starbucks, Meadow Park, MacDonald’s, Cows Ice Cream, Splitz Grill, Great Games and Toys and the Great Glass Elevator.  

Last but not least, a huge thanks to the Grade 7 teachers and parents that made this day possible.  

The Grade 7 Students

Myrtle Philip Community School and

Spring Creek Community School


Chamber engaging business community

Re: Opening Remarks – Whistler’s barely engaged? (Pique, June 7)

In last week’s editorial, Bob Barnett indicated that there is not much information on the Games to engage the community. Since you mentioned the Whistler Chamber, I would like to clarify our role in engaging the business community in the endless opportunities coming our way.

First, your article indicated that the Whistler Chamber has asked businesses to hold off on making any commitments to leasing their spaces to groups trying to secure commercial space until we have a “policy” in place. Actually, we are setting up a service, not a policy. The purpose of which is to assist businesses and the more than 80+ Olympic teams and sponsors in securing space in an organized process so that the Resort can adequately plan, accommodate Games operations and most importantly ensure our many guests have somewhere to eat and a positive Whistler experience. This exercise is a little like herding kittens and requires a well thought out plan and the co-ordination efforts of many groups, as you can imagine. We will communicate how the business community can take advantage of the service in late July as promised.

Here’s a list of other things the Whistler Chamber has been doing in the last year and a half to communicate to the business community:

• We’ve held five 2010 Business Opportunities Workshops. The next one takes place on June 19 th with Rob Arthurs, Manager 2010 Business Opportunities at the 2010 Commerce Centre. Rob will be available for individual interviews with attendees after the session.

• In June 2006 the mayor spoke to our members about lessons learned from Torino.

• Last September D ennis Kim from VANOC spoke about 2010 merchandising opportunities.

• At the Chamber’s Spirit Luncheon and at Spirit Day last November, over 2,000 people heard an update from the RMOW on our preparations.

• Two guest speakers this year at our luncheons were Felicity Shankar and Debra Lykkemark. Both are entrepreneurs with extensive “Olympic” experience. Both luncheon presentations were very informative and gave very practical advice to businesses on how to prepare and take advantage of this amazing opportunity.


• Our quarterly newsletter to members always includes Games-related information.

• The 2010 section of is evolving and includes significant resources for businesses and we add any new information to the site as it becomes available. Later this year we will post the first version of the Business Opportunities Guide. In the fall of 2009 a Business Readiness Guide will focus on operational questions, such as transportation, access to the village, parking, things you need to know and what’s going on where, etc.

• Later this year, we will introduce other workshops on brand protection, selling official 2010 merchandise and how to complete a business plan and submit RFPs to VANOC.

• In November, the Spirit Program will include another update from the RMOW to our business leaders and we will communicate interesting Games information to our more than 4,000 workshop attendees.

What can businesses do today?

• Join the Whistler Chamber to get all the latest information.

• Check regularly.

• Join the Whistler Business Ambassadors to network with foreign delegations and promote local business opportunities. ( )

• Register to receive updates from VANOC at

• Sign up to receive procurement opportunities at

• Register with the 2010 Business Network at

• Attend Chamber information luncheons and workshops!

• Call the Chamber with any questions or ideas. Mecki 604-932-5922 ext25

Thanks for the opportunity to share this information to your readers.

Louise Lundy

President, The Whistler Chamber