Letters to the Editor for the week of June 27 

click to enlarge FILE PHOTO BY MIKE CRANE / COURTESY OF TOURISM WHISTLER
  • FILE PHOTO BY MIKE CRANE / COURTESY OF TOURISM WHISTLER

Keeping the Rainbow Lake dog park

There are many things I would like to say about dogs.

I would like to mention that I grew up with a dog named Bula, and from when I was four until I was 18, she was my best friend, but I won't mention that.

Years later, in the summer of 1991, I made friends with a ski patroller who was looking for a puppy to train as an avalanche rescue dog. My friend found a true puppy who went through training and spent most of her life working with her best ski-patroller friend, but I won't mention that.

After my friend said goodbye to his avalanche rescue dog, he went on the search again and found another true puppy who went through her life working with her best ski-patroller friend, but I won't mention that.

When I was turning 30 years old, my partner's family brought a funny-as-heck puppy into our lives—my first dog since I was 18. Five years later when I had a tumour removed from my brain, he laid his big head full of love on my lap and did not move at all until we got home, but I won't mention that.

The dog park in Rainbow Park is the biggest, most accessible dog park in Whistler. I am mentioning this because its location at the end of the park where people could bring their dogs (needs to be protected as) people who do not want to be around dogs can enjoy the rest of the park.

Parking and transportation are a big part of planning in Whistler for people and dogs who live here, (as well as) visitors. This I am mentioning because sensibility tells me Rainbow dog park should remain where it is, from the fun I remember and the fun I hope dogs and their families can have in the future.

Leslie Weir // Whistler

Lake protection essential

The alpine lakes in our valley are one of Whistler's greatest assets—one that distinguishes us from nearly every other mountain resort in North America. But we need to look after these unique assets.

In Canada, regulating what happens on lakes is largely a federal and/or provincial responsibility. There are more than 31,000 major lakes (with a surface area of more than three square kilometres) in Canada, which effectively means there is only periodic monitoring of each lake's health. It is up to us to look after our lakes.

Last weekend, volunteers with Divers for Cleaner Lakes + Oceans teamed up with Whistler residents for the seventh annual Great Lake Cleanup. More than 400 pounds of golf balls, sunglasses, bottles, cans, tennis balls, phones, machinery and cable were removed from Alta Lake and Lost Lake. Some of this material had been sitting at the bottom of the lakes for decades, reflecting Whistler's past; some of it was deposited recently, suggesting some of us still don't appreciate how precious our lakes are.

For those still unclear on the concept dive leader Henry Wang explains it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Cgg_da9BA0

Thanks to all the volunteers who pitched in to clean up the lakes last weekend, and to the organizations that contributed to the effort: Backroads Whistler, Creekside Market, Nesters Market, Fairmont Chateau Whistler, Gnarlyroots, Hostel International Whistler, Whistler Fire Rescue and the Resort Municipality of Whistler.

Roger McCarthy // Whistler

Post-secondary learning in Whistler

The Pique article on Whistler's Community Life Survey (June 20, "Satisfaction with Whistler stays high, while faith in leaders slides") reported that Whistlerites are "least satisfied with existing opportunities for formal learning through schools, colleges and other accredited courses in Whistler and the Sea to Sky (34 per cent)."

We are proud to report that the Whistler Learning Centre (WLC) in partnership with British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) is bringing accredited business and leadership courses to Whistler and the Sea to Sky community. Courses provide three to four credits each and are transferable into certificate, diploma and degree programs, such as Associate Certificate Leadership or Diploma Business Administration.

Over the past year, the Whistler Learning Centre met with community organizations, employees and employers in Whistler to assess the education environment and which course areas will match people's needs.

The first offering of BCIT's courses will start in September and they do not have prerequisite courses, making them accessible to many community members. They provide face-to-face delivery of accredited education in the centre of Whistler, and will feature the use of case studies geared towards the Whistler business environment.

Financial support is available thanks to a kind donation from the Community Foundation of Whistler—10 bursaries will be administered by the Whistler Community Services Society. For more information on courses and how to register, see: whistlerlearningcentre.com/bcit-2019fall-courses.

Should this pilot prove successful, the Whistler Learning Centre will broaden course offerings for the spring semester. We encourage early registration to ensure minimum numbers are met.

The Whistler Learning Centre operates as a virtual centre connecting learners and educators. Our focus is bringing post-secondary institutions to Whistler in order to facilitate life-long learning opportunities in the mountain resort community of Whistler. The Whistler Learning Centre is a registered Canadian charity.

Leslie Alexander // WLC Director

Suki Cheyne // WLC Executive Director

Green action

The Green New Deal for Whistler team would like to thank everyone who came out to our first Green New Deal (GND) town hall meeting held last Thursday, June 20, at Maury Young Arts Centre.

For those who are unfamiliar, "The Green New Deal is an ambitious plan for how we can eliminate poverty and create millions of jobs while tackling the biggest threat of our time: climate change. It involves massive public investment in clean energy, transit and climate adaptation work."

The evening was a great success with a larger turnout than expected and some lively discussions about substantive issues. The Whistler event was one of more than 150 town halls across the country organized by The Pact for a Green New Deal (GreenNewdealCanada.ca), an umbrella organization comprised of more than 80 civil society, environmental and First Nations groups including Greenpeace Canada, 350.org, The Leap, LeadNow, SumofUS, Union of BC Indian Chiefs, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and more.

In just a few short months, the GND movement has shifted the political landscape: in Canada both the federal Greens and the NDP have adopted some form of the plan and in the U.S. the leading 2020 Democratic candidates, including Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Joe Biden, have backed the plan.

The GND is arguably the most exciting development for progressive movements in decades of activism. If you would like to join our group, or find out more, please go to our Facebook group Green New Deal Canada Whistler.

On behalf of our team, thanks again to everyone.

Dave Heighway // Green New Deal Whistler

Hydro is not 'clean' power

Kudos to Pique and writer Glenda Bartosh for their extensive June 9 feature "Here Comes the Sun." Exciting, indeed, to learn how much leading-edge research is underway at the University of British Columbia.

The excellence of the feature was somewhat marred, however, by its continuance of the myth that hydro-electricity is "cheap and clean." As BC Hydro's deferred liabilities accounting practices and the continued methane pollution at WAC Bennett dam show, it is neither.

On Dec. 11, 2017, while reneging on his pre-election rhetoric, NDP Premier John Horgan announced his government had made a "difficult decision" to continue the controversial Site C Dam project.

Horgan's decision was also made in the face of considerable science-based data that show a rapid decline in the costs of solar energy.

What may have encouraged those who continue their lengthy fight to protect British Columbia's irreplaceable Peace River Valley, was a presentation made nearly 13,000 kilometres away in Australia.

The speaker was Dr. Tony Capon, the world's first Professor of Planetary Health, who was featured on Jan. 6, 2018 in the prestigious, peer-reviewed journal, The Lancet. An expert in public health and the effects of urbanization, indigenous issues, energy consumption and public policy, Capon could not be in a better position to understand that continuing the $10.7 billion Site C project is wrong at so many levels, including the local.

In his interview with The Lancet, Capon said, "Planetary Health is about safeguarding the health and wellbeing of current and future generations through good stewardship of Earth's natural systems and by rethinking the way we feed, move, house, power and care for the world."

The NDP-Greens know the Campbell-Clark governments negotiated quiet deals with a consortium, one member of which has withdrawn for lack of financing, and that no-bid contracts were awarded to another corporation that was barely halfway into an unprecedented 10-year debarring penalty imposed by the World Bank.

These facts give British Columbians no assurance that their financial, agricultural and environmental assets are being protected.

Canadians are rightly urged to "eat local", pay carbon taxes and mend their auto-dependent ways—all in the name of protecting the environment.

For those who are doing their bit, though, the Horgan-Weaver decision to continue the Site C Dam is just one more multi-billion-dollar boondoggle that fits well under the heading of what Dr. Capon calls "maladaptive public policy."

If we truly want "cheap and clean," this exciting discovery at UBC is but the latest of many pieces of evidence that show how much $10.7 billion-plus could buy us in the way of solar, wind and geothermal energy that can be built where, as and when required. Do we need a revolution?

Elizabeth James // North Vancouver

Community thanks from Zero Ceiling

Here at Zero Ceiling, we see the best of this community on a daily basis. Whether it's families donating their Nesters points to our programs, busy locals taking time out to volunteer, or businesses giving generously to make our work possible, we're always in awe of the generosity of the Whistler community.

And this was truer than ever at our Whitewater Rodeo. On Tuesday, June 18, the community came together to raise $30,000 to fund our fight to end youth homelessness.

More than 230 Whistler locals rafted down the Green River with Wedge Rafting guides in their bid to win the 2019 Whitewater Rodeo. At the end of the day, when points were tallied from the race and raft games, two teams tied: Ducks in Tux and returning champions Blood, Sweet and Beers. The winners were decided by a dance-off at the after party, with Blood, Sweet and Beers taking home the winning paddle!

Thank you to the dedicated and extremely generous local businesses that make it all happen. Firstly, Joey Houssian, Wedge Rafting and The Adventure Group, who have donated all proceeds from this decades-old event to Zero Ceiling since 2017. There's Gibbons Whistler, which uses their party-planning prowess for a good cause and keep the drinks flowing all night long.

Good Fortune Collective once again pulled out all the stops to create beautiful branding and limited-edition Whitewater Rodeo paddles for our supporters, and Coast Mountain Photography captured the amazing atmosphere and gave the photos away to participants for free! Then there were our rock-star volunteers, who threw themselves at the challenge and pulled off one of the most unique and memorable fundraisers out there.

This year, we were excited to bring new partners on board too. We couldn't have asked for a better venue than The Hangar in Function Junction, which was kindly donated by Whistler Sports Academies, and Red Bull Canada brought the party this year with music from DJ Nick Bike, and the show-stopping Sugga DJ truck.

Forged Axe Throwing threw a kickass VIP reception for supporters who gave more than $1,500 to the Whitewater Rodeo, and offered free axe throwing all night long. Evo donated $20 to Zero Ceiling for every bullseye thrown, raising $1,000 before the night was up!

Finally, Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, Treeline Aerial, Whistler Brewing Company, Whistler Cooks, Blackcomb Helicopters, Scandinave Spa, and Your Independent Grocer all donated to put the finishing touches to the event!

Thank you for helping young people experiencing homelessness transform their lives and become part of this wonderful mountain community. It really does take a village, and we couldn't do it without each and every one of you!

Chris Wrightson // Co-executive director, Zero Ceiling Society of Canada

Whistler hosts gymnastics comp

During the June 21 to 23 weekend, Whistler Gymnastics hosted its fifth annual Whistler Summer Classic indoor/outdoor gymnastics meet. The event hosted 386 athletes, their families, coaches and judges from around B.C. and Alberta. Children aged six to 16 years old participated in the three-day unique event.

The annual Whistler Summer Classic is the largest fundraiser for the club and the event wouldn't be possible without the community support and countless volunteer hours.

We would like to recognize so many generous local businesses for the support. This event would not be possible with the best volunteer parents in town. Endless hours leading up to the event and during the event made this year's Summer Classic flawless.

Oros Whistler Gymnastics Club is a not-for-profit, community club that provides classes, camps and drop-in programs for kids and adults in both gymnastics and trampoline from recreational to competitive.

Through various fundraising initiatives, we can keep fees accessible for all, provide ongoing professional development for our staff, purchase equipment and provide travel assistance to various championships.

Finally, on behalf of Oros Whistler Gymnastics and all athletes who participated in such a unique event, a very special thank you to all of the club members who came and volunteered. Your time and commitment is invaluable for this big fundraising event!

Tami Mitchell // Oros Club director

Ice-time fun

On June 2, we held the first Mother Son Skating Party benefitting the Whistler Children's Centre.

This event would not have been possible without the help of the community. I would like to thank our food sponsors (Nesters Market, Creekside Market, IGA Marketplace, and Tim Hortons Marketplace and Creekside), our prize sponsors (Ziptrek Ecotours, Green Lake Station, The Great Glass Elevator, and Whistler Blackcomb Mini Golf Course), and our raffle prize pack sponsors (Suco's Beauty Salon and Hailey Elise Photography).

I would also like to thank the ladies that made this event happen by volunteering their time: Irene Rankin, Nadija Watson Veach, Rebecca Callender, Robyn Spencer, Marie Kuzilov, Ashlie Girvan, and Clare Mozes.

Lastly, I need to give a huge round of applause to the staff at Meadow Park for helping us set up and run the event day of.

Dana Elliott // Mother Son Skating Party event coordinator

Fun Day at Myrtle Philip school

I would like to say a big thank you to the sponsors who donated or gave us discounts for Fun Day. It was a huge success with lots of laughs and what a beautiful day we had.

I would also like to say thank you to all the parents who spent the morning with us to run the stations. We couldn't do these events without all of you.

Thank you to: Nesters Market for donating all the hotdogs and fixings; Whistler Grocery Store for delicious cookies; Your Independent Grocer for dry goods donation for our house of carbs station; Rona for pails and sponges for our water station; Sabre for your discount on the barbecue rental; and Cutting Edge Signs for our numbered signs.

We are always so grateful for your support and generosity.This is an annual event that the kids look forward to as it not only ends the school year, but kicks off summer.

Thanks for another great year, Myrtle Philip teachers and staff.

Marcia Meszaros // MPCS

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