Time to confirm Olympic bid, or not Whistler, not unreasonably, takes a certain amount of pride in its pioneering ways. From the concept of the original village and how it was built to the current plans to seek tax reform that would shift some of the burden from property owners to visitors, Whistler has frequently championed "new" ideas. Part of the reason is that federal, provincial and even municipal formulas often don’t fit a community of 8,000 with an infrastructure to support and host 40,000. But in many ways Whistler is also really quite predictable. Most people don’t give a hoot about employee housing or pensions — until there is a proposal for their neighbourhood. It’s human nature — few people paid any attention to native treaty settlements until the Nisga’a agreement was initialed last week. It takes a bit of imagination and effort to look to the future and see some of these things developing and to try and discern how they might affect us, especially before the details are ironed out. But in the case of the Vancouver/Whistler 2010 Olympic bid, that effort should be made — soon. Perhaps the people of Whistler have looked at the Olympics and decided Whistler will be well served if Vancouver/Whistler wins the Games. By most accounts, Arthur Griffiths’ presentation to chamber of commerce members last week was received with polite nods; there was little discussion of the pros and cons of hosting the Olympics. A telephone poll conducted by the Vancouver/Whistler bid organizers last winter also reportedly found strong support locally for an Olympic bid. But the suspicion remains that most Whistlerites haven’t really considered what hosting the Olympics may mean, whether positive or negative. The Games are nearly 12 years away. It takes some effort to conjure up an image of what Whistler will be like in 12 years, especially given the phenomenal changes that have occurred in the last 12 years. It takes some effort, but it’s not impossible. Whistler’s development plan is well laid out. It’s also easy to see how the Lower Mainland is growing. The echo boomers — children of baby boomers — are obviously going to be a major market force for years to come. Some industries look like they will continue to grow for years while some traditional ones are shrinking. Next month the Canadian Olympic Association comes to Vancouver and Whistler for site inspections. In November the COA decides whether to back Vancouver/Whistler, Calgary or Quebec City for the 2010 Games. If there are concerns or outright opposition to the Games coming to Whistler, now is the time to make it known. If the majority of Whistler is in favour of going after the Olympics, it’s time to get working. The Calgary Olympic bid is aggressively moving ahead.

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