Letters to the editor 

Page 7 of 10

There are dedicated people working in this community trying to get the tools we need to have more control over our future, from keeping more tax revenues here (contributing to affordability) to expanding our municipal boundaries, and a land bank which could go a long way in helping alleviate our housing problems. They have been working on these important issues with Victoria, in some cases for years, and now this hard work may be put at risk. Why? Because Premier Gordon Campbell went ahead and put the word out that Whistler would love to host the WEF forum, and Whistler’s potential rejection of the WEF is going to give him a big ol' black eye.

This is one of those decisions where staying as we have been as a community in the past is not an option. Deciding that yes ‚ we want to invite the WEF may bring with it potential disruption, security issues and the appearance that we support the WEF and their (troubling) global corporate agenda. A no ‚ decision could possibly result in losing provincial support for the tools we need to improve the future of this community because we unintentionally embarrassed the government that could provide us with those tools. We won't be staying as we were – there are going to be real consequences either way. Even if the WEF and Olympic bid vanished tomorrow this community still needs those tools. Also, plans are underway to renovate our old hockey rink-meeting centre into a real conference centre and the plans include making it into one of the most environmentally sustainable structures in the world, an amenity that will bring conference visitors we couldn't begin to attract today, and year round. If the WEF doesn't come, neither does the cheque for that renovation.

For me the decision to encourage Whistler council to invite the WEF for One Show Only in 2004 is an easy one. We don't have any prior experience to say... "oh yes remember back in ’93 when we had that conference that required all that security? Never again!" or "It wasn't anything like the fearmongers told us it would be, let's do it again..." We have to grow up and get the experience we need to move successfully into the future or risk agonizing year after year about what might or might not happen as we are asked to host similar events. Whistler is not Davos and to say our experience will be just like that or worse is irresponsible.

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