World Economic Forum
Whistler has been built into one of the top winter/summer resorts in the world over the last 20 or so years. Whistler as a winter resort is a world-class competitor and as a summer resort has grown to more than a respectable scale given its winter roots.
Over that period of time we have created our brand called "Whistler" to the world. When I visualize this brand I see the west coast of Canada, large trees, awesome mountains, fresh air, clean water, friendly warm people, and a safe exciting place. I see great food; healthy activities and opportunities to relax catch your breath and recharge your battery. There has always been something spiritual about the mountains, their sense of nature, the wild, you can be walking, skiing, biking or just breathing the wonderful fresh air. Our guests know Canada as one great country and Whistler as its crown jewel. This is the vision of Whistler we all helped to create.
Hosting this forum is against everything we have worked toward in building this dream called Whistler.
Stop and think of what we are and not about whom you can rub shoulders with. This event will fill this town with security issues and guns. Whistler does not want this event and we certainly dont need it. The world does not need to see our town in this light as it will cause irreversible damage to the brand we spent well over 20 years building. If this is how you justify the conference centre renovation then we are well on the way to a massive community sell out for your Olympic dream. Perhaps its time for a change. Its time you start listening, working toward employee housing, managing our infrastructure and sustainability. Leave the stage for world politics to a community who wants it and needs it. The people of this community know what we have here; we built it or we moved here to embrace it. Lets promote this resort on a world scale in a manner consistent with our brand. Dont sell us out.
Hey Max, youre getting maxed out.
I read your column in Pique Newsmagazine last week, wherein you vented your spleen against everyone from little-known Whistler council members to the prime minister of Canada. Let no man be spared the wrath of Max.
I must admit, there is food for thought about the convention-tail of Whistler wagging the ski-resort dog.
But if we want sustainability, thats the way its gotta be, Buddy. Because if there is such a thing as "buildout" (and I dont believe there is, as well no doubt find out when the Bride of Sustainability Consultants submits its master plan) our New York and Salt Lake Olympic council junkies need ways to keep the coffers full to maintain the status quo.
Take solace in the fact there are thousands of "cold bed" condos which generate millions of tax dollars from wealthy outsiders and investors who dont have to generate rental income to maintain their luxury lifestyles. True, these Fair Weather Folk dont put many dollars into the pocket of the butcher, grocer or lift company cash registers, but the tax revenue outweighs this.
Similarly, hosting events such as the World Economic Forum has its benefits, such as a potential "gift" of $22 million to renovate our conference centre (something that would be needed for 2010 or whatever).
But do we really need the WEF for sponsorship of an event that cuts into the heart of the ski season? I think not, and said so when I was phoned by the cloak-and-dagger pollsters. Also, I am confident Whistler, where it now stands in its adolescent life, can get such largesse from summer event sponsors and conventions.
It is a time for locals to sit back, relax and consider the events of today, as a boxing or tennis match Developers vs. Environmentalists Conventions vs. Skiing and Boarding Tourists against Locals Vancouver 2010 vs. Whistler (by itself 2020). Who are the real forces of evil? Is there hope for development at Creekside to fill the need for a major grocery outlet, bank, post office, bakery, pharmacy, general store etc., with parking all in one central location?
What we really need Max, is something like a Canadian Legion or Elks Club where concerned citizens such as you and I are exclusive Local Members. (How about the Royal Order of the Hoary Marmot or Toad Hall?) Here we could attack the establishment to our hearts content, berate council, Tourism Whistler, Olympic bids and the lift company. No tourists or outsiders allowed. All this while quaffing a pint of beer for the Legion price of $2 and munching on tacos and salsa. You need this NIMBY therapy so you can continue the good fight and not submit.
If not, youre going to drive yourself to the heights of frustration, eventually throw your computer into the dumpster and want to move to the Graveyard of Whistler Journalists.
Now, you wouldnt really like life in Salmon Arm, would you Max?
Interesting scene in the village Saturday afternoon.
A local artist had set up across from the Brew House, painting outside to attract people to a showing by other local artists at Millenium Place.
Two muni bylaw officers approached to tell him someone had complained he'd have to pack up and move.
In the background a TV commercial for a major bank was playing on a giant video screen. Guess no one had complained.
The Squamish-Lillooet Regional District would like to congratulate Carneys Waste Systems on taking a leading role in helping communities in the southern part of our Regional District reduce their waste by 50 per cent over the past 10 years. Waste reduction efforts rely on comprehensive recycling programs and facilities, as well as public education on the importance of changing consumer habits. While recognizing the success of these last 10 years, we need to put this success in perspective.
First: Although we have achieved a 50 per cent reduction in waste in the southern part of the corridor, the latest provincial figures rank the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District (SLRD) 21 st out of 27 regional districts in the province in per capita waste generation. In part, this is because in 1991 we were the third largest generator of waste per capita in the province. Only four regional districts in B.C. have officially received recognition by the province in reaching the 50 per cent target. The SLRD is not one of them.
Second: We have only achieved a 50 per cent reduction in waste in the southern part of the SLRD. The northern regions of Lillooet, the Bridge River Communities, and surrounding Electoral Areas face difficult barriers and have yet to implement effective waste reduction programs. We need to continue to work with these communities to provide effective, and economical waste reduction initiatives.
Third: Although we have reached 50 per cent in the southern SLRD, we cannot sit back and relax. We need to examine new opportunities for reducing our waste well beyond 50 per cent. For example, recently, many communities (including two B.C. Regional Districts and the City of Toronto) have adopted a "Zerowaste" policy, seeking to achieve a 100 per cent reduction in garbage. This may appear to be an idealistic goal, but adopting this approach provides the potential for significant economic opportunities, through the creation of new recycling businesses. And dont forget that Canadians are still the third largest generator of waste on the planet. We still have a long way to go.
We need to find new ways to turn waste into a resource. Currently, the SLRD is in the process of undertaking a Composting Feasibility Study which is scheduled for completion in March, 2002. The results of this study will outline options for the development of a composting facility that could dramatically reduce the amount of organic waste entering our landfills and provide valuable finished compost to the public. In addition, in 2002 the SLRD will also be undertaking a Construction and Demolition Waste Management Study to find ways to reduce the amount of reusable and recyclable building material ending up in the landfill.
We should celebrate our efforts in achieving 50 per cent waste reduction in the southern SLRD in the last 10 years, and recognize the significant contributions that good corporate citizens like Carneys Waste Systems play in that success. However, we must not lose sight of where we came from and where we need to go from here.
Manager of Utilities and Community Services, SLRD
3Rs Educator, SLRD
This letter was addressed to the mayor and council of Squamish.
I am writing to request you deny SNC Lavalin the right to develop their proposed incinerator project on (I-3 zoned) lands north of the Squamish Airport and south of the BC Hydro sub-station in Brackendale. I believe their project would contravene the "Conditions of Use" stated in the District of Squamish Zoning Bylaw 31.2: "An industrial use shall not discharge or emit across lot lines: a) odours, toxic or noxious matter or vapours; b) heat, glare, or radiation; or c) recurrently generated ground vibration."
It is my understanding SNC Lavalin plans a facility which will require 284 tons of combustible material per day. Our local wood waste quantity is in the order of 90 tons per day. I further understand the incinerator proposed is capable of burning at temperatures far greater than required to burn just wood waste, even though SNC Lavalin has stated their intention was only to burn wood waste. To be economically viable, 58 per cent of material to be combusted will have to be brought in from outside our community. It seems SNC Lavalin is not being up front with council or the citizens of Squamish, or our neighbours in our water and air sheds, Whistler and Lions Bay.
Indeed, their tipping fee structure indicates where SNC Lavalin is hoping to make their money: $5/ton for dry wood waste, $70/ton for land clearing debris and $90/ton for sewage sludge, which would likely include endocrine disrupters, untold pharmaceuticals, detergents, etc.
Before burning, these are to be stored openly onsite, subject to our windy and rainy climate. These conditions will cause leeching of toxic and hazardous elements into the ground water and, therefore, into neighbouring properties. This is, I feel, is in contravention of Zoning Bylaw article 31.2.
Even when the waste is burned, there are health dangers. When waste is burned, such as is planned in SNC Lavalins proposed project, materials do not disappear they are transformed into, among other byproducts, greenhouse gases, poisonous heavy metals and toxic volatile organics. Air emissions from such incinerators affect not only people in adjacent "lot lines," but also surrounding communities in the local air and related watersheds through two types of pollutions: particulate and dioxin emissions. (Reducing wastes in stack emissions does not get rid of them. They usually are just transferred, in varying amounts, into ashes and slag potential pollutants.)
These effects are significant: particulate emissions cause respiratory problems such as asthma, which could be drastic throughout Squamish and Brackendale when combined with already existing high levels of particulate from high smoke levels and sulphur dioxides from local industry. Dioxins are the most deadly chemicals known to mankind. Low doses (one million millionth of a pound per day) can cause cancers, low sperm count in men, endometriosis in women and genetic defects in children. A British study found that people living within 7.5 km of a municipal solid waste incinerator have an increased likelihood of getting cancers of the colon, larynx, stomach, lung, bladder and non-Hodgkins lymphoma. Rates of leukemia and cancers of the lymph systems were significantly elevated in people living within 3 km of an incinerator. This project has the potential to wreak havoc across lot lines.
Further, this projects proximity to the Squamish airport, its 50 foot smoke stack and the resulting turbulence caused by heated air, will surely affect, and possibly endanger, air traffic approach and takeoffs. The projects location is adjacent to a very active bald eagle roosting area. Such industrial activity will take away yet another eagle habitat.
Further, the leeching of toxins into the water system will inevitably work its way into the streams, rivers and salmon, and then into eagles, further endangering an already endangered species, as well as salmon stocks.
SNC Lavalins proposed project poses considerable reason for concern about "toxic or noxious matter" that is well beyond "lot lines." These concerns are long-term, costly to correct and a danger to the health and well-being of Squamish and our neighbours. I feel it is therefore appropriate to deny their request to locate this project here.
I understand the SLRD is currently working on a composting system for the whole Sea to Sky corridor. This seems to be a much cleaner, more sustainable method of dealing with the same waste and worth pursuing.