Letters to the Editor for the week of October 30th 

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Bear politics exhausting

As our bear population gets tired and prepares for a long winter's nap they're not the only creatures that are exhausted.

I am officially sick and tired of Whistler bear politics. I am fed up with reports of bears being shot by conservation officers just for doing what they do (search for food sources).

I am equally mad at shortsighted, knee-jerk campaigns to rid the community of fruit-bearing plants, and potentially fining those who let their fruit ripen, or who have compost bins. I can only laugh at the ridiculous bear obituaries and propaganda.

I shake my head at those who stop in the middle of the road to snap photos or feed them. This is the direct opposite of co-existing with bears.

I have lived on the land in bear country for 20 years. I have dozens of fruit trees, hundreds of berry bushes, multiple gardens, chickens, several compost piles, outdoor eating areas, even an unmanned roadside produce stand, all unfenced. I have never had a major bear incident!

Sure, I have shared my bounty with them over the years (I wish they would learn some pruning skills though), but I've also had to share with rodents, birds and other wildlife. That's what I call co-existing.

I don't own a gun, have never used poisons and would never call a CO if I felt the need. Why? So they can... shoot and then dispose. I would rather a hunter bag it and use it.

I am glad I don't live in Whistler any more because there I would be considered a criminal and politically incorrect. Here I'm just surviving and growing food in the ways humans have for thousands of years. It's that type of attitude that I need a rest from.

Sweet dreams Whistler bears. I hope you can forget your nightmare till next spring.

Mike Roger

Birken

Whose job is it anyway?

Whose job is it to pick up the trash that is currently littering our highways, streets and trails? I have been noticing garbage and litter accumulating on the roadsides of Whistler all summer.  

This includes the highway, municipal streets, bus stops and valley trails.  If you are surprised by this statement I invite you to take a look at the west side of the highway directly across from the village continuing on to the Nordic and Alta Vista bus stops.  Once you start noticing it you'll see it's everywhere.

We market ourselves as a world-class resort, but really the state of our roads and bus stops make us look like no better than the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver. Last night on the news I saw our mayor speaking about the unsightliness of election signs, and how they often get buried by snow until spring and about the decision not to use signs this election.  

What about the unsightliness of the litter?  And what does it say about us that we ignore it?

We cannot rely on the once-per-year citizen pitch-in day to deal with this issue. This litter needs to be picked up on an on-going basis. Imagine the first-time visitor on their way into town. What do they think when they see the trash everywhere?

So, whose job is it? Is it the highways contractor or the municipal road crews? And who is responsible for cleaning up around the bus stops?

Darel Lee

Whistler

Clarification on cultural planning

It is refreshing and timely to see cultural planning being discussed in our local papers, and throughout the community.

We're so excited by, and impressed with, the many wonderful cultural events taking place in Whistler that we may be unaware of the significant foundational work that enables all this to take place; not just by arts organizations and their volunteers, but also by the municipality, through planning documents, supportive policies and funding opportunities.

As Whistler's community cultural officer, I recently reviewed seven related community reports and, as reported by Cathryn Atkinson on Oct. 9 and October 16 in Pique, identified over 100 recommendations related to culture and/or cultural tourism in Whistler. Of those 100+ recommendations, 31 were contained within the Community Cultural Plan.

My point in writing this letter is to clarify that there still are over 100 recommendations and, as much as I might like to take credit for "already whittling them down to 31," that's not the case.

Instead, the process of exploring and implementing any of those recommendations will require a focused and collaborative effort by many individuals, organizations, and businesses throughout the resort. The Community Cultural Plan alone has 31 recommendations for growing local arts and culture.

The good news is that there are 70 or so other supportive suggestions that give strength to Whistler's Community Cultural Plan and reinforce our ability to accomplish these goals, together as a community.

With an election on the horizon, let's see if we can keep this momentum going!

Anne Popma

Whistler Community Cultural Officer

Consequences

Canadians would be naive to imagine we can drop bombs on people in the Middle East without consequence. But I fear the tragedy in Ottawa last week was only mildly related.

Michael Zehaf-Bibeau was like many I met during my years as a supervisor at Vancouver Detox Centre, and later doing emergency psychiatric assessments for the police, crisis lines and mental health units. He was drug addicted, mentally unstable, and estranged from family and support.

Yet Mr. Harper would curtail the civil liberties of 35 million Canadians because of the actions of this one sick individual?

Our own community has given birth to an organization that builds playgrounds in war-torn areas of the Middle East. In contrast, Mr. Harper and his ilk prefer to drop bombs, utter threats and pick sides. We'd better decide which approach best fits our vision of Canada's future. Because one thing is guaranteed — they will both have consequences.

Van Clayton Powel

Whistler

Re: Science backs the organic team

The recently published article, "Science backs the organic team" (Pique, Oct.23) inaccurately characterized the farming practice that produces 97 per cent of the food we eat.

Canada has one of the most modern and stringent pesticide regulatory systems in the world. This means that whether the food you eat is grown conventionally or organically, it is among the safest food available anywhere. Both organic and conventionally grown foods use an array of pesticides that have all been approved by Health Canada to control threats to their crops.

Readers should know that health experts overwhelmingly agree that the mere presence of pesticide residues on food does not make them harmful. According to a report released in 2013 by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, 99 per cent of the fruits and vegetables it tested complied with Health Canada's standards for pesticides residues. In fact, most had no detectable levels whatsoever.

Canada's plant science industry takes its responsibility to protect human health and the environment very seriously. We are meticulous in our research — conducting hundreds of studies, which are reviewed by regulatory authorities around the world, to ensure that our products will safely enhance the ability of farmers to protect the food they grow.

Canadians should feel confident that they have access to one of the safest food supplies in the world.

Ted Menzies, president CropLife Canada

Ontario

(Editor's note: CropLife Canada is the trade association representing the manufacturers, developers and distributors of plant science technologies, including pest control products and plant biotechnology, for use in agriculture, urban and public health settings.)

Death reference went too far

I was extremely displeased to read Leslie Anthony's (Pique'n) article (Pique Oct.23) and see him disrespect the memory of Tim Horton with his reference to leaving "bits of Tim all over southern Ontario's QEW".

Mr. Anthony made his point about congestion and traffic. He also made his point about the arrival of the Tim Hortons franchise in Creekside.

However, his reference to Tim's death was totally beyond what a civilized person should be writing.

Ian Anderson

Whistler

Upper Lillooet IPP

In the efforts to attain the permits to develop an IPP on the Upper Lillooet, Innergex made representations and assurances pertaining to creating local employment and economic benefits to business and repeatedly stressed the economic development benefits to Pemberton and B.C. of the Upper Lillooet IPP during presentations and public meetings about the project.

I am delighted to hear that some local business owners are satisfied with the fulfillment of representations pertaining to the business community. But I hope that satisfaction was not meant to imply that representations about local employment should not be examined.

After hearing much talk about how the construction of the project was being conducted on site, I asked Innergex directly about the fulfillment of the representations pertaining to employment of locals on Oct. 9.

After no response from Innergex by their self-imposed response deadline, I contacted Jordan Sturdy, our MLA, with my now expanded list of questions. He requested that Innergex answer my questions (but) to date I have not received a response from Innergex.

Why the hesitation and feet dragging in providing answers to my questions?

Perhaps not all skills to build this project will be found in Pemberton or the Sea to Sky corridor, but the majority can be found in B.C. It is important to ascertain that there is a fair hiring process in place for the Upper Lillooet project.

One of the most important components of economic development is the multiplier effect of salaries/wages being spent in Pemberton, the Sea to Sky corridor and B.C. Where are the wages and salaries paid on the Upper Lillooet IPP being spent if there is very little local engagement of our labour force?

A group of concerned citizens have come together and formed a community group to examine these issues. To keep informed of the activities or become involved with this group please email me.

If you have had an experience with the hiring process or on the Upper Lillooet IPP job site that you would like to make known, but still maintain your confidentiality, please contact me.

Carmen Stacey

Pemberton

Remembering the victims

In the span of a week, the strength and resolve of Canadians was tested by despicable attacks in St.-Jean-sur-Richelieu, and on Parliament Hill and the National War Memorial in Ottawa.

These brutal and violent attacks sadly took the lives of two members of our armed forces, Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent and Corporal Nathan Cirillo.

My thoughts and prayers are with their families, friends and colleagues.

Thanks to the bravery of our security forces in the RCMP, the City of Ottawa Police and in Parliament, the second attacker was stopped before he could do further harm.

These cowardly acts were an attack against our values, society and our way of life. But where these terrorists sought to tear us apart, we became stronger.

As Prime Minister Stephen Harper said, "Canadians will never be intimidated.  We will be vigilant but we will not run scared.  We will be prudent but we will not panic."

I am also proud of constituents, such as Ernest Lang and Farid Rohani, with whom I worked to create a forum last Saturday night to discuss a strategy for responding to ISIS that goes beyond military engagement. An animated audience exchanged ideas about humanitarian aid and other responses beyond military engagement with panelists Minister Jason Kenney, Majed El Shafie, "Regular Canadian" Ernest Lang, and myself.  Canadians can be proud of how we are responding to the complex problems of the world, at home and abroad.

If these acts of terror were designed to fracture our country, they have fortified our resolve. Parliament will stay open. No doubt, things will change, as I am sure we will all see heightened security as never before. Sadly, that is the world in which we live. But Canada is a leader in the world and takes its responsibilities seriously. We will not shirk from them. We will be vigilant; we will be engaged. But for now, let us all remember the victims.

God bless them. God bless Canada.

MP John Weston

West Vancouver - Sunshine Coast- Sea to Sky Country

Champagne Problems For Anthony

Free, dry, safe, underground, ski-lift-adjacent parking with five minute waits to access Hwy #99. "Oh the Humanity!"

And then this mean callous (to me) gem as part of contributor Leslie Anthony's "argument" (Pique, Oct. 23). Wait — didn't the founder (hockey player Tim Horton) die in a horrendous solo car wreck that essentially left bits of Tim all over southern Ontario's QEW? But I digress...

Wow! Just wow!

Brian Buchholz

Tapley's Farm

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