LETTER: Short term pain, long term gain

As a millwright, I am surprised that the perp (he/she/they) isn’t currently food for the bears.  As any logger, sailor, millwright knows the forces released by a catastrophic wire rope failure are dangerous to life and limb. 

As an environmentalist, I argued against the gondola because the wellbeing of the voiceless: the bears, birds, butterflies, plants and fungi need to be heard. Thinking beyond our comfort and convenience, we human-centric voters need to do more than casually nod to the importance of biodiversity. I salute the gondola management team who have worked hard to minimize human impacts on the backcountry.     

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As a former elected councillor, I want to emphasize the importance of healthy debate. Not with respect to the Gondola, that train has left the station; but, with respect to the many projects and problems facing us: Garibaldi at Squamish, a bridge across the Squamish River, dogs in the Wildlife Management area, the electric fence around the dump interrupting the Cheekye wildlife corridor, etc. Making good decisions, individually and collectively, means careful listening and consideration of multiple perspectives and interests.

A shout out to the RCMP working on the who, why and how of this act of industrial sabotage.  Also, to the team that will be charged with cleaning up a very dangerous, still potentially lethal situation. And, to the team that will check every tower, every weld, every nut and bolt, rocker panel, sheave and axle on the entire system.  Also, to the government inspectors who ensure public safety. 

This was a shot heard around the world. Every gondola, chair, and tram operator will be reviewing their security (and insurance rates will increase again). Wingnuts exist in every community, Squamish is no exception. How we handle the situation is what matters – a shout out to the mayor and the Sea to Sky Gondola GM for doing an excellent job. 

Ironically, Squamish is now more visible worldwide. Advertising can’t compete with this kind of coverage. There is and will be short term pain, but there will be long term gain, no doubt pleasing to some and not others.           

Meg Fellowes

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