Maxed Out 

Waiting for The Plan

By G.D. Maxwell

I feel like a kid waiting for Christmas. It’s an uncomfortable, sand in your underpants, honey on your fingers, sunburned thighs on vinyl seats kind of feeling. I know it’s coming, I know it’ll get here, I know I can wait it out, but I’m pretty sure I’m going to be disappointed. My glass ain’t half empty; it’s got a hole in the bottom.

I know the toy I’ve been waiting for will be shiny and new when it arrives and I’ll open it with the highest of expectations. I’m sure its play value will give me an instant buzz before its half-life of familiarity begins to numb my senses. I’m sure it’ll break before I know it, slam up against its inherent limitations and my insatiable expectations. Before all the shine is gone, I’m certain I’ll be casting about for something to replace it, woefully aware of its failings.

Of course, what I’m really waiting for is the long-delayed, stunningly over-budget, hyped beyond all reality Officious Sustainability Plan – Whistler’s new community blueprint for managing the future of our happy mountain home.

Saddled with overblown expectations, doomed to mediocrity if not outright failure, quite possibly stillborn to begin with, the OSP has morphed into Whistler’s very own Legal Proceeding. I used to have a prof who was fond of likening the rule of law to both a sword and a shield. It had the power and truth to cut and thrust and get to the bottom of matters while, at the same time, providing a protective buffer between the individual and the state.

Too often though, particularly in the dark world where the light of public curiosity shines into the void of official decision making, the law, or at least the commencement of legal proceedings, becomes a Cone of Silence. It descends and provides refuge for public officials. It gives them an easy out to avoid the hard questions. It lets them stand mute lest they taint ongoing legal proceedings.

Whistler’s OSP has provided much the same comfort and opaque obfuscation in its enduring absence. Hard decisions have been delayed. Actions have been postponed. Opportunities have come and gone. We’ve waited for The Plan to show us the way, reveal the correct path like an all-knowing magic 8-ball.

Except, of course, for any decisions or actions involving the Olympics which is the yin of action to the yang of the OSP’s delay. Between the two, it’s like hitting the Daily Double for avoiding any concrete responsibility for action or inaction. Bonus.

But whether The Plan is in place or not, the future is unfolding all around us. What kind of future shall it be?

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