Skip to content

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: A town by any other brand

Oh, the humanity! The hand-wringing over potentially losing our precious "Outdoor Recreation Capital of Canada" slogan in last week's letters section (beautifully orchestrated with Bryan Raiser, I note) was just about too much to bear.

Oh, the humanity! The hand-wringing over potentially losing our precious "Outdoor Recreation Capital of Canada" slogan in last week's letters section (beautifully orchestrated with Bryan Raiser, I note) was just about too much to bear.

Brand the "Outdoor Recreation Capital" on your forehead or your butt, for all I care, but don't walk around crying that our image will fall apart if we even consider something else.

For starters, calling anything the (fill blank here) Capital of (insert province/country/planet) is about as last-century an idea as you can find. Reminds me of that episode of Corner Gas where the residents of Dog River tried to create the world's largest hoe as a tourist attraction, in fact.

For another thing, and this may come as a severe shock to the followers of the Church of Outdoor Recreation Capital of Canadaists (ORCAs for short, perhaps?), outdoor recreation is not the be-all and end-all of the town - at least, it better not be. An all-granola diet can't be healthy in the long term.

And when it comes down to it, those who are going to come to a place like Squamish for outdoor recreation are not going to be sold on a catchphrase on a pamphlet. They're going to want the steak and not the sizzle. A little more time spent on making sure we've got what they need and a little less time dreaming up slogans would be time well spent.

Other histrionics aside, I could agree with Ron Enns on one point: I'm meetinged out and missed the "branding exercise" too. Let the marketing monkeys with their focus groups and their slide rules enjoy some mutual gratification. I'd rather enjoy Squamish for what it is. Call it whatever you want.

John Rambaut Squamish

A more positive parking lot incident


Re: Robbery ruins Squamish visit (The Chief, Letters, Jan. 14)

Now I'm kicking myself for not having written sooner, but I guess the old adage "Better late than never" may still apply.

I first wanted to sympathize with the couple from Vancouver whose vehicle was broken into at Alice Lake. Experiences like that leave people feeling violated and threatened, no matter how indirect the threat.

I have a happier story to share, though. I also enjoy the trails at Alice Lake Park and on a recent run on the Four Lakes trail I had nearly made it back to my car when I discovered my keys had jiggled out of my coat pocket somewhere along the trail. Back at the parking lot there was an anonymous note on my window saying "Happy New Year". Someone had placed my keys inside the car for me and at that moment I was overcome with gratitude to be living in Squamish, where there are clearly some fantastically honest, caring and selfless people.

I have to believe there are more of these types than the ones being described by our unfortunate recent Vancouver visitors. Again, sorry you had a bad experience Christine, but it's not the norm around here, honestly!

C. Wilkie, Brackendale

Kayakers thank SLRD for Ashlu decision

The following letter to the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District board and staff was copied to The Chief for publication.

On behalf of all of the paddling community members in the Sea to Sky area, throughout British Columbia, across Canada, and in the various international locations where concerns about the future of Ashlu Creek were voiced, we are writing to express our sincerest appreciation. We are all very thankful for the consideration given the concerns put forward by paddlers during the review of the Ashlu power project.

Beyond the concerns that were put forward specific to paddling, as residents of the corridor the members of the various local kayak and canoe clubs, the raft guides, the small businesses, the instructors, the teachers, and all of those who choose to live, work, and recreate in this area are appreciative that the local government has taken a strong position on the maintenance and preservation of the values which we believe are central to this area.

We recognize the difficult position that the Board has been in, as a result of the amount of often contradictory information, and also due to the various community members and interests placed at odds over this project.

We believe that government is often challenged to make the right decision, and choose between the usually more clearly defined appearance of short-term financial benefits, and the often less definable and more ethereal values of the community, which are the real future and the truly key value which makes this area unique. How we define our community is as critical as the base of natural resources in supporting the activities upon which our future is founded.

We believe that the right decision was made, and in saying so mean no belittlement of anyone whose values were more centered on the project proceeding. We are appreciative of the leadership and responsive representation of the community by our local government. At a time of lack of faith in many government processes it is refreshing, and ultimately reassuring, to see representative and responsible government in action.

To conclude, we also recognize the burden this has been on the individual board members challenged to understand the breadth of this issue; on the staff whom we believe did an excellent job of sorting through the bewildering array of information and handling of the extra workload; and on the overall resources of the local government. We thank you, each and all, for your considerable efforts.

Sincerely, on behalf of all of the various paddling community members,

Stuart Smith, River Projects Coordinator, Whitewater Kayaking Association of B.C.

Ambassador's ties worrrisome


Sometimes things slip past people without us ever knowing about it until it is too late. Well, it appears that this has just happened. If it had not been for an e-mail from a friend, I would never have known the danger of having Frank McKenna appointed as our ambassador to the United States.

What is so dangerous you might ask? Just who is this man and what harm can he do?

Well, it appears that Mr. McKenna is an active member of the Carlyle Group. The Carlyle Group has $18.9 billion worth of holdings in aerospace, homeland security, defense and telecommunications companies. It has deep links with the White House, the CIA and the Pentagon. George Bush Sr. was even a member of their advisory board until 2003.

So, does this sound like a man who can be trusted to uphold the values of our nation in dealing with an aggressive, empire-building neighbour? I for one would rather see someone with more neutrality given the task of dealing with our neighbour to the south.

Jamie Grant, Squamish

The world in '04: an economic point of view


In 2004 the economies of members of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) grew by 3.6 per cent. Again, the US led the way with 4.4 per cent. Japan 4 per cent, UK 3.2 per cent. The eu being the laggard at 1.89 per cent. The latter mainly because of productivity problems in Germany.

On a world basis, China led the way with 9.2 per cent growth, Brazil at 4.5 per cent, Russia buoyed by high oil prices 6 per cent, and the next one to watch India by 7.9 per cent.

In my opinion the catalyst to this growth is incredibly low inflation, world central bank, are confident that a owe off jump in oil prices will not feed a wage-price spiral, in real terms - oil prices are at the same level as in the mid 70s.

But where lies '05? We need to focus on six risks, positive or negative. I will go into detail on the first two and just list the last four.

1. Oil prices: there is reason to expect higher levels over the next two to three decades than the past two. Strong demand from China and India is the most important factor. The world economy is also likely to become more dependent on OPEC. As reserves elsewhere dwindle, the oil market is tight and big shocks remain possible;

2. The (U.S.) dollar looks like it is in a long-term bear market (in my opinion, not the best thing for Canada). The reason: external financing exceeds what the private sector seems prepared to bear, at current U.S. asset prices. The U.S. current account deficit needs to be halved in relation to GDP. Much depends on whether China and other countries keep their currencies down against the U.S. - I think they will;

3. Prospects for demand in Japan and the EU;

4. Adjustment to the end of housing price booms in high-income economies;

5. The momentum of Chinese demand;

6. The sustainability of an open-world economy.

And lastly, congratulations to Canada for gaining access to the trillion-dollar club. In 2004, Canada's GDP was $1.02 trillion, a 2.9 per cent growth rate (source: The Economist, Times of London, Financial Times, Wall Street Journal).

Rob Greene, Squamish

Flag football isn't really boring


Re: "Bringing home the hardware" The Chief, Sports, Jan. 7:

I feel very sorry that in the article it said I felt that flag football was boring. I love playing flag football and I feel I let down my team by saying that it was sometimes boring. My mom and dad work very hard to promote the sport and I didn't help by saying that. I didn't mean it and would like to say sorry to everybody.

Cody Wright, Squamish

push icon
Be the first to read breaking stories. Enable push notifications on your device. Disable anytime.
No thanks