I am writing in support of the proposed Garibaldi at Squamish mountain resort development and in response to reportage in the local Sea to Sky press resulting from the “deputation” of Whistler/Pemberton politicians who ambushed Minister of the Environment, the Hon. Mary Polak, at the recent UBCM with a petition to not issue an Environment Assessment Certificate for this important development.
Notwithstanding inaccuracies about the viability of the development and inconsistent logic about the market potential of the project presented by Whistler Mayor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden, it is not without irony that her fear and loathing about the prospect of some healthy competition comes at the same time as Whistler is basking in post-Olympic success with the best summer season, including record-breaking hotel bookings and room rates since the 2010 Winter Games. Whistler now serves an international destination market and the more product diversity that exists in the region, the more visitors the Province will be able to attract.
I am also writing to applaud the column by Squamish Chief’s Helmut Manzl, “Stepping on the GAS” (Quantum Leap, Chief, Oct. 10). It is unfortunate that Pemberton Mayor Jordan Sturdy, whom I endorsed for the privilege of representing my former riding in the legislative assembly, was mentioned as participating in this meeting with the Environment Minister. He may simply have attended the meeting as the regional MLA. But as a new recruit to the provincial assembly, and especially since he is wearing two hats as both the MLA and mayor of Pemberton, he has to be a careful that he is not perceived to be in a conflict of interest.
On Dec. 30, 1998, the former Minister of the Environment and retiring president of the provincial New Democratic Party, the Hon. Moe Sihota, was famously quoted in the Vancouver Sun as stating that, “...in some cases here in British Columbia it has taken longer for us to approve a ski hill than it took us to fight and win the Second World War. That’s clearly not acceptable.” In order to allow legislated government processes, free enterprise and healthy competition to flourish, it is time for our elected representatives to get beyond petty politics and recognize the positive benefits of this development for both the local community and the region.
Hon. John D. Reynolds, P.C.
Former Member of Parliament
and Member of Legislative Assembly