Letters to the Editor for the week of May 3rd, 2012 

Whistler wetlands impacted by development proposal

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Page 7 of 8

Jim Clark

Pemberton

Mac's convenience store

I was discouraged to read in the paper that Mac's convenience store will be going into the (old) Roger's Video space in the Marketplace.

What need could they fill that 7-Eleven, IGA, Rexall and the Great Glass Elevator cannot? And all located within minutes of each other. As a small business owner I am concerned that there is no process to ensure that we have a thriving, and more importantly a diverse marketplace.

It is time for a planning committee to come together to oversee the granting of business licenses to ensure that Whistler is not flooded with like stores and becoming a strip mall that could be found in anywhere, Canada or U.S.

Cathy McGeough

Whistler

NDP MLA says tourism matters

I'd like to thank Bob Barnett for his interest in our tourism policy (NDP needs to commit to tourism, Pique April 19).  Adrian Dix and the B.C. New Democrats recognize the vital importance of tourism for British Columbia's economy. As Official Opposition critic, I've been excited to work with many industry leaders and small business owners to develop our vision for a stronger tourism sector. I've also been pleased to share that vision with the Tourism Industry Association of B.C. at their leaders' summits on a few occasions.

I've been advocating for the creation of an industry-led tourism marketing organization with stable and predictable formula funding — much like we had with the New Democrat-created Tourism B.C. before the Liberals dismantled it right before the 2010 Olympic Games. Businesses and organizations like Tourism Whistler need to be able to plan more than a year in advance and have confidence that tourism-marketing dollars will be there and be used wisely.

Greater focus on cultural tourism, which the Canadian Tourism Commission has acknowledged is one of the fastest growing sectors in the industry, needs to be taken. The Whistler Arts Council is a great example of an organization that demonstrates the value of culture to society and to tourism.

I've also been delighted to work with Aboriginal Tourism B.C., and am excited about their ideas and contributions to a stronger society, economy, and tourism sector.

Rather than making the deepest cuts to cultural investments like the Liberals did, I believe we need to work with our artists, event producers, and creative economy leaders to grow tourism and support culture in B.C.

New Democrats have been impressed by the number of jobs and new business opportunities in tourism and will continue to work with the industry to advocate for this vital sector.

Spencer Chandra Herbert

Official Opposition Critic for Tourism, Culture, and the Arts

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