Best wishes for the holiday season, and a healthy and prosperous New Year to everyone in Squamish. This time of year when the nights are long and the days can be dark, it is wonderful to see so many whose spirits are high.
It is a good time to remind ourselves to be thoughtful of others. Those who are in need can find things particularly difficult this time of year. I would especially like to thank the many volunteers that are reaching out to help others, like the Food Bank, Helping Hands Society and Squamish Community Care.
I have spoken in previous Council Corners that we all, each one of us, have a part to play in forming the character and identity of Squamish. Individually each one of us is a Squamish Ambassador. This is a good time to put in practice lifestyle habits that we could exercise all year long for the betterment of ourselves, our neighbours and our community. When we are out walking, look up, greet strangers and say hello, and wish people a Merry Christmas. If you are not able to volunteer, then consider giving to the many charities that are supporting those less fortunate. Get to know your neighbours and offer to help or lend a hand. If you have a Christmas gift list that you need to do some shopping for, consider the many great stores we have in Squamish and shop local.
And most importantly, stay safe. The District has invested significantly in bike lanes over the past few years. These help provide an alternative to jumping in the car every time we need to go somewhere. The major benefit is safety for cyclists who could be commuting, riding to school or just out for a leisurely ride.
We have passed bylaws and installed many bike-lane and no-parking signs to ensure the safety of these routes. The District is doing its part; however, it is critical that you do your part too. Motorists, please watch out for pedestrians and cyclists, especially when it is dark and wet and please do not park in bike lanes. To everyone else out walking or cycling, as a driver I can say from experience that it is difficult to see you. I encourage you to wear light-coloured clothing with reflective gear and cross the street only at intersections. When riding, wear a helmet and install a light and reflectors on your bike.
Let’s take care of one another and stay safe.
Merry Christmas everyone and see you at the Santa Claus Parade!
Your Mayor, Rob Kirkham