Editorial: Let's rally around the gondola, Squamish

If the Sea to Sky Gondola cable was deliberately cut, as at this point it appears it was, Squamish must focus its energy to reset in a positive way.

A crisis often shows us who people are. So who are we?

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It only takes a look south of the border at the uproar over how their president and some citizens have handled recent mass shootings for proof of how a crisis can bring out the worst in people.

Of course, what happened here isn't that dire, but this close-knit town will not tolerate an attack on one of our own.

Will we?

It is time to rally around the gondola, Squamish.

Our community has been increasingly divided — old versus new, anti-LNG and pro, left and right, pro-development and anti, the list goes on — but this is something we can unite over.

This act wasn't just a hit to a company. Hundreds of locals work there, some of us have gotten engaged or been married there, we take our kids and grandparents proudly to the top.

It is one of our only truly accessible spots for people of various abilities.

It is our pride and joy, in many ways.

It helped us go from ignored to seen on the world stage.

Yes, that has had its downside — the side effects of increased tourism — but it has also brought us great benefits.

Perhaps we can all move forward more grateful, knowing it could have been so very much worse.

Damage was done, but no one was killed or injured.

The gondola can come back better than ever from this.

And so can Squamish.

When bad things happen, mental health professionals note that reactions can range from self-victimization, "Why is this happening to us?" to anger and hatred, and even to depression.

While it is natural to be angry at whoever caused this, let that be temporary.

Skilled RCMP and other investigators are on this. Let them do their jobs. We can help by not spreading rumours, like have bubbled up online, and by staying out of the way until it is cleared for us to go back.

Instead, let's quickly move on to how as a community we can come together to help.

And then we need to all go back to ride the gondola — in droves.

For the staff at the gondola, this will be a time to regroup.

If workers are out of work for an extended period, hopefully, local businesses are stepping up and offering support.

From every crisis, there can be renewed strength.

We have a choice, Squamish. We can shrug our shoulders and continue to be Negative Nancys (we see you commenters vowing never to go back to ride the gondola) or we can do what we do other times when people are in need, such as every year for Squamish Community Christmas Care — we can come together.

Post or send us your favourite gondola moments or words of support for its staff to editor@squamishchief.com and we will publish them in an upcoming paper.

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