Letters to the editor 

Ah, What a wonderful world we live in at Whistler.

I laughed until my tummy ached when the Pique article appeared last week on the options for "upgrading" the Sea to Sky Highway.

First came a snicker when I read "there are even discussions about paving the B.C Rail line to get around road closures."

But the Laugh of the Year was in the next paragraph: "It has been estimated the road would be closed for four hours each day and eight hours each night four days a week, for three seasons of the year for four to six years."

If that wasn't hilarious, I don't know what is. Let me now defer to the Alaska Highway, which was built 60 years ago (completed Nov. 20, 1942) through unmapped wilderness.

It is 1,500 miles long. It took eight months to build from scratch, through mountains and muskeg. It included 133 bridges and thousands of culverts. Granted there were 11,000 military troops working those eight months, alongside 16,000 workmen, and 7,000 pieces of equipment.

If you crunch the numbers, they built the road at the rate of 44 miles per week. Now, 60 years later, we have widening the Sea to Sky Highway coming in at "four to six years."

On Sept 28, 1996, the Alaska Highway was designated as an International Historic Civil Engineering Landmark. Perhaps in the year 2006 we’ll hear about the road to Whistler being designated a Historic Event that never happened.

Meanwhile, let's all keep laughing.

Al Eaton

Whistler

I oppose the proposed bylaw amendments on tourist accommodation. I feel that they are unwarranted, will not achieve the stated objective, will just add another layer of bureaucratic control of the rights of private property owners, and will create nothing but resentment. They should be permanently withdrawn. This initiative by the bylaw department, gives arbitrary powers to an un-elected civil servant that could easily lead to abuse of the enforcement or decision-making process. There is already a legitimate public concern over the conduct, attitude and agenda of city hall in its TA rental "enforcement" activities and comments.

Basically, all TA-zoned properties have the legal right to rent, without any bylaw licence requirement by city hall. I am advised that if the RMOW brings in these licencing bylaws in their current or any modified form, they can be legally challenged and overturned on various grounds.

What the RMOW needs to do is to address the underlying problem that it created almost four years ago. That is to correct the inequity that currently exists on the issue of TA rentals. Because council cancelled the "spot zoning" option, and did not offer any alternative, it disenfranchised the majority of Whistler chalet owners. It then labelled all these chalet owners who would like to have the right to rent for temporary accommodation as "illegal" and tried to marginalize and discredit them, after denying them any rights to have a means of applying for TA rentals. This is the most pressing singular reason for dissent in this community that the RMOW needs to address in a constructive, pragmatic and equitable fashion.

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