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Plunge issue one of many



The most interesting message in my email box today came from SORCA - the local mountain biking group - concerned about the loss of a trail to logging.

The Powerhouse Plunge is reportedly one of North America's best trails, drawing thousands of bikers to the Squamish area annually, and the Ministry of Forests now has its eyes on the timber surrounding the trailUnfortunately, this is but one thread in a pattern playing itself out throughout the corridor and around the province. Here, kayakers are fighting to keep rivers free of independent power producers.

On a broader scale, the Sea to Sky Land and Resource Management Plan - a plan intended to simmer conflicts among land users and sketch a vision for the future - is being rushed through, all the while Land and Water BC is handing out tenures for the region faster than you can say "Gordon Campbell."

In the back rooms of the legislature, millions of tax dollars continue to be budgeted to offshore oil and gas development when 75 per cent of British Columbians told us that they don't want it.

A government that rushes development applications and abstains from meaningful planning gets us little closer to the golden decade promised by our premier.

When proper process is skipped, stakeholders - whether they be industry, recreationists, conservationists, or whoever - stall activity and block progress. This hurts us all.

We need a government committed to genuine stakeholder involvement so that all stakeholders - who usually all have legitimate concerns - are put in a position to create solutions.

The District of Squamish's commitment to the Smart Growth on the Ground process is a good example that we should anticipate good results from. But without a provincial government committed to proper process, our road to prosperity is lengthened, and cases like 'mountain bikers vs. logging' will continue to arise.

Chris Joseph


Come on BC, vote!

Editor,We have a historical opportunity - unique in the history of the Commonwealth - to have our say in changing the very way we vote.

Two citizens from each B.C. Constituency- people just like you and me - met over a number of months and considered just about every form of voting.

Out of all these methods, these 158 people voted over 95 per cent to recommend to us, their fellow citizens, the Single Transferable Vote (STV) system of electing our provincial government.

They point out that the result of an election would far more fairly reflect the votes received by each party than the present system.

Among other advantages are that the MLAs would be far more accountable to their constituents rather than the party leader and that real, meaningful debate would take place in the legislature. And independents would have a real shot at being elected.

One criticism I have heard is "I don't understand how it works". I ask those who say this: Do you understand how computers work? Most of us don't - and yet we us use them every day.

Study how STV works if you like (it really is not all that complicated), but the point is that you don't have to understand exactly how it works to use it. We use computers because they do what we want them to do - most of us could care less how they actually work.

Nothing could be easier than voting under the STV system. It's no more difficult than a child ranking ice-cream flavours.

As a voter you simply have to decide which candidate you prefer, who is your second choice, your third choice - and so on. On the ballot you mark a '1' beside your favourite candidate, a '2' beside your second choice, and so on.

You can mark a number beside every candidate if you wish. Only want to vote for one candidate, or two? You only vote for as many candidates as you wish to vote for.

Let's dump our present totally unfair system. You may never have another chance in your lifetime. Trust the recommendation made by your fellow citizens. Make the change. Vote "Yes for STV".

Come on, B.C. voters!

Barry Whaites


Letters Policy

The Chief welcomes letters to the editor. Send your letters:

BY EMAIL to [email protected]

BY FAX to 604-892-8483

BY MAIL to Box 3500, Squamish, BC, V0N 3G0

DROP OFF at 38117 Second Ave. (downtown Squamish) during business hours.

The deadline for submission is 5 p.m. Tuesday for Friday's edition.

All letters must be signed and include a phone number for verification. Unsigned letters will be discarded.

The Chief reserves the right to edit letters for length, clarity, accuracy, legality and taste.

Letters are the opinions of their writers only and do not reflect the opinions of The Chief.

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