The art of compromise 

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They say compromise is the art of pleasing no one and pissing everyone off. A good example of compromise may be found in the recent presidential election south of the border.

The red state supporters of Mitt Romney wanted to take the U.S. back to some time around the turn of the 20th century, a gilded time when robber barons wielded enough wealth and economic power to sway the course of history, a time when women and minorities knew their place, a time when workers had no power at all, a good time to be a wealthy white guy.

The blue state supporters of Barack Obama wanted to fast forward towards the future, a future with single-payer health care, not unlike most other first-world Western countries, a future cognizant of the overall minority status of white guys, a future that embraced a world vision that went beyond fast cars and fossil fuels.

And so they compromised — nothing changed. No one's really happy. And there's this fiscal cliff thing that threatens to finish the job the U.S. banking system started, which is to say bankrupting the entire world.


Which kind of brings to mind the recently released Draft Garibaldi Park Management Plan Amendment, or DGPMPA, pronounced however best you can.

The DGPMPA, like all worthy government draft amendment plans, traversed a painstaking course of consultation. There was the initial planning and terms of reference period, the initial stakeholder and public input period, the development of the DGPMPA, drawing as it did on all that earlier input, and this current phase, floating the draft and seeing who takes potshots at it, something we can all do until January 10, 2013.

As an exercise in compromising, the DGPMPA apes the U.S. presidential election perfectly — nothing changes. Well, at least nothing noteworthy. The proposal calls for the same uses of the park, the same restrictions of use and the same prohibitions against use.

So what's different?

The plan embraces the proposal to build more huts in the Spearhead. It embraces development of an alpine hiking trail linking Blackcomb to Whistler. It envisions a new, vehicle-accessible trailhead on the north side of Fitz Creek to provide summer access to Singing Pass Trail, perhaps with a footbridge over Fitz Creek. And some lesser-important window dressing.

The people who are most pleased with the draft are Whistler Heli Skiing Limited, owned by Whistler Blackcomb. WHS has had some of the park within their tenure since the initial master plan in 1990. It was most recently renewed in 2011 for five years. WHS is most pleased because the draft recommends they be allowed to continue using the park. They are also most pleased because 68 per cent of the 945 people who responded to the online survey wanted them out of the park. Those supporting WHS said it was important to Whistler's economy; a tourist attraction and WHS had a good track record of managing conflicts with other users.

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