Legend has it that one of modern Whistler’s pioneers was holding court in a bar one day several years ago when he pronounced that Canada was the greatest country in the world. Not only that, said the man who was born in a country on the other side of the globe, but British Columbia is the greatest province in the greatest country in the world. Moreover, he went on, Whistler is the greatest town in the greatest province in the greatest country in the world. The man paused, looked around the room and said: It must follow then, that I am now sitting on the greatest bar stool in the world. For many people Whistler is the greatest town, in the greatest province, in the greatest country in the world. But for others it has become, particularly in the last year, a frustrating place. The problems and pressures associated with Whistler’s building boom — and with the end of that boom now that it is within sight — have created uncertainty. Lack of affordable housing, the high cost of living and a relatively slow start to the winter season have dampened some people’s enthusiasm for living in Whistler. These are very real problems that make day-to-day living difficult, and there is no immediate solution to many of them. But for all it’s faults, we are still fortunate to live in Whistler. It is not just that the skiing and boarding are unsurpassed, that the economy is healthy, or even that we enjoy peace while many around the world are fighting. Whistler’s greatest virtue is its people and the energy they have for life. Certainly, there are some gouging landlords, irresponsible tenants and a few others who show no outward signs of compassion for their fellow man. But there are also some very giving people, like the ones who decided to buy turkeys to give away to locals this year. To those people living in crowded, substandard housing, those who are struggling because of the slow start to the season, we can offer no immediate solution and can suggest only patience. But remember, the greatest bar stool in the world is in Whistler.

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