Letters to the editor 

Safe once again

Well, I am writing this letter now that I feel safe in my own village again. The “crowd” from the “unmentionable city” has left and I have walked back out my door. I am not going to get beat for anything I am about to say, until at least next year when the village of Whistler invites our intolerable guests back with open hotel room doors!

I say this because, unfortunately, I feel as if each year I am closer to being stabbed in my own town. I know as I am writing this letter I feel as though I may be a bit over exaggerating, but then as I started to think about all of the “abuse” that has been happening, I realize I am not over exaggerating, but actually have waited far too long to write this letter.

Well, due to the business that I work in, I have had to stay in the village this weekend (my most dreaded weekend every year!) and unfortunately, have felt every night the fear of going home, and every morning how amazing our village stroll looks… and reminds me of somewhere else… Ohhh that’s right of Granville Street after the Canucks lose a Stanley Cup… I know we can all imagine this!

Fortunately for us there are a lot of businesses that are stepping up to their responsibility of screening hotel occupants and who is entering into clubs, and who we let ride our public transit. Unfortunately for us there are still owners and managers that will let anything go for a quick buck.

I believe this has to change or our village will not be here (neither will our employees) for next year or the year after, etc. It is a funny thing when everyone’s Facebook messages read stay away from Whistler, and first words on Monday night are “Screw their money, thank god they’re gone!”

I hope that I receive a response and serious consideration to this letter, and maybe another town meeting should be held this year and more new bylaws enforced. Either that or our poor RCMP should be more heavily armed for their safety. (A big thanks to them by the way.)

Sherry Blake

Whistler

Let’s take back the weekend

As a member of this community I believe it is time to claim back the Victoria Day weekend from all the little thugs who come up here to pick fights and act like they own the place.

The May long weekend used to have the Great Snow, Earth, Water Race and a fun party atmosphere that brought locals and weekenders together in a fun competitive environment where families and singles could have a good time.

I realize that bylaw and the RCMP are doing there best to control the little thugs but we as a community have to stop this downward spiral by putting our foot down NOW!

Intimidation, fights, stabbings and swarmings are what the May long weekend represents now and if we truly want to build up the shoulder seasons to bring more business into town we better get tough and creative.

A small example of this behavior showed its teeth while I was in the 7-Eleven grabbing something cold to drink. Several youths of Indo-Canadian background were taking sips from their cups and then pouring them on the ground in the store and laughing at the check-out people. They were butting in line and pushing kids out of the way when I finally had enough. I asked them to wait in line and behave like human beings instead of animals and they began to bristle and give me the group stare. Nothing happened but I gave myself a kick as there could have been eight guys waiting outside to jump me by speaking out. Is this right?

Let’s take back the weekend by either having roadblocks like New Year’s Eve to weed these folks out or maybe start fighting fire with water. Nothing like some water cannon action to cool them down.

Where are the Tasers when you need one?

Grant Lamont

Whistler

School board elections important

I read with interest Bob Barnett’s remarks, “Preparing for change” (Pique Opening Remarks May 15). He notes all the different areas of election that we as a public will be focused on over the next year, but forgets to mention the election of local school trustees to the Howe Sound Board of Education. 

Unfortunately, over the past 12 years the interest and coverage of these elections has been minimal. What a shame — the elected or often acclaimed individuals to the position of school trustee are entrusted with the policies that shape the educational experience of our children at our local schools.

I have had the privilege to represent Whistler on the Howe Sound Board of Education for the past 12 years but will not be running for a fifth term.

During the nomination period for this last term I was the only one who submitted nomination papers and the nomination period had to be extended while a few of us phoned around in search of another willing soul. For this we should all be thankful to Chris Vernon Jarvis for coming forward and giving of his time towards the excellent education our children receive.

We as trustees face many important issues and struggle with limited budgets to meet the many demands of parents and staff who only want the best for the children in our communities. But making statements and pointing out areas of concern are not what school trustees do — we must find solutions to the increasing landscape of educational demands.

Just recently our mandate has expanded to include early education and adult education, but our budget has not. However, we as a board of education are finding ways to meet these needs.

We are also faced with an every increasing challenge of staffing our schools with excellent leaders, but we continue to meet this demand knowing that every child counts.

So please take some time to ask your local papers for more information about school trusteeship, for more articles about education and what our board of education is doing, and finally take the time to consider running for school trustee in Whistler. Let’s have an election, not an acclamation! Let’s have debate about education at meetings and let’s put a focus on school trustees. They are worth it — after all they are your local education policy makers and leaders in conversation with the provincial government.

Andrée Vajda Janyk

Whistler

Two cents worth meaningless

Why do editors follow what appears to be a dictum to describe elections in a lopsided way, as in federally only talking about the Liberals and Conservatives as though there were no others and only leaning on polls which are only a measure of the grasshopper voter who seems to think that changing their vote between Liberal and Conservative is an epoch, no matter how often it happens?

Or in provincial political reporting referring to the leader of the opposition as having little impact as though you weren’t listening, rather than quoting the party’s position, and then trying to say that the leader of the government was worth emulating because he put a two cents tax on gasoline as though it was a good and sensible thing. In view of the huge rise in price lately of gasoline, this token tax means nothing. People will make changes when they can, following years of preaching to use, use, use. We cannot change overnight and the two cents won’t help.

As to who anyone thinks will get elected, it would be a different perspective if we had proportional representation in all our assemblies, both provincial and federal.

We were promised reform in B.C. but arrangements were made to make it not happen. So instead of being able to vote for a P.R. system we got a piece of nonsense which we hear we may get a chance to vote for again.

Terry Smith

Garibaldi Highlands

Guilty until proven innocent

I came to Whistler to work. There are help wanted signs all over this town, the papers are swollen with classified ads, politicians are frenzied about the Olympics.

Knowing full well that housing in Whistler is scarce, I packed up my camper van, prepared to camp until I found long term accommodation. Every night I drive this big old van to camp by Pemberton, or I stay at friends’ houses. (I cannot afford the hefty $1,500 per month at the campground here.) Every morning I drive back into town to work, without one word of complaint.

I was looking forward to my one day off in town and arrived to the day lots, ready to go boarding for the day, when I was presented with a fine from a bylaw officer claiming that I was camping overnight in the day lots. Her reasoning was that, "We can’t prove that you weren’t here."

Why is the Whistler municipality making it so difficult for the people that are answering their call for help? And why were these tickets given only to older camper vans, not to new or rented RVs? Some of us don’t have a choice but to drive our temporary homes around, and I find this discrimination insulting. I have done nothing wrong, and would appreciate seeing this ticket voided.

K. Hughes

White Rock

Gobbling up history

I just finished reading Kevin Damaskie’s 2020 column on the No Trace Loonie Race. What a great idea.

Just wanted to let him know those fun old garbage collectors were called Garbage Gobblers and were placed at rest stops all over the province. I remember having my photo taken with one as well. It’s too bad fun items like this have disappeared from our landscape; maybe kids would get the idea recycling can be fun if they were still around. Perhaps Whistler could come up with some fun (bear proof) garbage gobblers that would not only encourage proper disposal but make those “green bins” look more attractive. The rest of the community looks good, why not the garbage cans as well?

As an aside, the same thing has happened to the big stop of interest signs that were at many of the rest stops and pull outs. If they were still around perhaps visitors would slow down and enjoy the scenic and historic spots and learn a little more of the history of our province.

Kevin also says Barkerville is a replica Gold Rush Town. In fact Barkerville is British Columbia’s Gold Rush Town and is a real town on its original location with the majority of the buildings original to the site. This is unique because it is quite rare for historic sites in Canada not to be reproductions. Barkerville was the province’s special project in celebration of the 1958 Centennial and this year Barkerville is celebrating its 50th anniversary as a Provincial Historic Site.

If any of your readers are coming to the Cariboo and Barkerville areas remind them to bring their bikes and hiking boots as there are many great trails in the area.

Good luck with the fight against litter and we hope you all have a great summer.

Robin Sharpe

Manager, Visitor Programs

Barkerville Historic Town

Misdirected howling

Re: Neil Thompson’s letter, Too close to home, too far removed (Pique letters May 15)

Neil, Neil, Neil. What's going on in West Vancouver that's got you hating women? All of your points with regards to the B.C. government seem valid. I haven't checked the facts, but you sound like you know what you're talking about. You may even be right.

What I take issue with is the early 1900s attitude toward women. Did you not hear that the bear was killed near the school? Don't you think some of the "howling" was about the fact some guy is walking around the school with a loaded gun?

I'm pretty sure the maternal instinct to protect your child kicks in at this point. I guess your mom didn't hug you enough. If you keep writing letters like this I don't like your chances of making a female "howl" ever again.

Chris McKinney

Whistler

Way to go Pemberton

Congratulations Pemberton for securing an “Accessible Playground” for kids with disabilities and all abilities. It will be a great asset to your community and I am hoping Whistler will follow shortly with one of its own.

In the last two weeks alone I have been contacted by a school board from Vancouver with classes that have kids with disabilities wanting to come up to Whistler and looking for inexpensive activities for the kids. Although this would not be the main attraction or activity for them it would be an added benefit and at least if they went by the playground near the Marketplace IGA they would not feel left out because they would be able to stop and play for a bit. If the kids have a great time they will come back with their parents and most likely stay a few nights as well.

I have also just secured accommodations for a very special child coming up for a few days with his family and we are setting up things for them to do right now. These are just some of the visitors who have contacted Whistler For the Disabled but there are thousands of others who are using the website to find the information they need to visit Whistler.

I hope the RMOW will be able to fund a similar project in Whistler. I have already spoken to them about this over a month ago and they are looking into it. Let’s all cross our fingers and hope for the best for the Whistler community and that a similar project will come to Whistler soon.

Hugh Tollett

Director, Whistler for the Disabled

www.whistlerforthedisabled.com

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