I must respond to Eduard Fischer’s comments in the Squamish Chief (“Laughable GAS event,” Nov. 29) about our effort to update the community with the challenges we face and options we are exploring as we seek approval for the Garibaldi mountain resort development from the Province.
I may have “droned” on about vision for a moment. Choked-up at the sight of old friends and supporters, I had difficulty speaking and wanted to apologize for delays by explaining that a visionary may have a crystal clear view of a development, but a less accurate sense of the distance to when the vision becomes a reality. As someone once stated, “…if developing a ski resort was that easy, high school kids would be doing it after school.”
Life is short and community consultation processes, while important, can be frustrating and take up a lot of time. However, it does not help the community or the democratic process to insult people who have dedicated half a lifetime trying to help Squamish realize its potential as the Outdoor Recreation Capital of Canada.
Most shameful was Mr. Fischer’s undeserved characterization of the introductory comments made by Janice Brown. Janice is a lifelong resident of Squamish, a member of the historic Munro/Desjardins Clan and a longtime member of the Garibaldi at Squamish Inc. Board of Directors. She is a hard-working, valued community representative who has contributed immeasurably to this project and never wavered in reminding our partners of the community’s concerns and issues.
Her retrospective of the history of the development was to remind attendees that the community’s role in the project’s survival has been as significant as their ongoing involvement will become for its success: Without the community’s involvement, there is no development. She also emphasized the planning and grassroots public approvals processes we have been through, going as far back as the community’s pivotal, two-year participation in creating the seminal Squamish Tourism Development Plan sanctioned by a District Council Motion in December 1994.
I am happy Mr. Fischer and his wife enjoyed especially the apple strudel and, as an Austrian who enjoys backcountry skiing, I’m not surprise he is “…actually in favor, in principle, of a ski development on Brohm Ridge.”
Garibaldi at Squamish will be developed as a world-class all-season mountain resort that will diversify and embellish the outdoor recreation, wilderness tourism and adventure travel product in the region and become a beacon to the world, showcasing the environmental values of the province, the Sea to Sky Region and Squamish — as the “Outdoor Recreation Capital of North America.” As the community becomes involved once again to review, approve and implement our master plan, I hope Mr. Fischer will become motivated to provide his obvious experiences in both the backcountry and the old country to help us develop Garibaldi at Squamish into all that it can be.