The problem in a nutshell. Government tinkering has granted Whistler Blackcomb 33 km2 of prime alpine terrain in Garibaldi Park. Mountain Resorts Branch is the provincial agency that oversees resort development and approvals for the province. In 2017, the provincial agency approved further expansion of Whistler Blackcomb resort. Meanwhile, the agency ignored binding provisions that would have restored and maintained the public road and parking lot up Fitzsimmons Creek. Park goers now walk an additional 4 or 5 kilometers on a boring logging road with potential hazards before reaching the old parking lot. In another slap in the face, Whistler Blackcomb offers what it calls "privileged access" for $56 per person to use its lift system to access Singing Pass. Christy Clark of the recently defeated provincial Liberal government is tilting the Scales of Justice towards "Pay 2 Play" with her right hand. In her left, Ms. Clark grasps hefty political donations to "party with the premier" as the Globe and Mail newspaper had termed it. Vail Resorts, the new American owner of Whistler Blackcomb, registered lobbyists with Elections BC and those lobbyists made significant donations to the BC Liberals. Further donations came from Whistler Blackcomb, its subsidiary Whistler Heliskiing and Blackcomb Aviation, the heliskiing contractor. The donations are perceived by some as elements of the "cash for access" election issue that helped bring down the Liberal government. Was there political meddling that impaired objective decision-making? That's the innuendo of the cartoon. Now, the New Democratic Party forms government with support of the BC Green Party. Isn't it time to end the political cronyism, backroom deals and perceived culture of cash for favors? Abate what amounts to a public nuisance. Re-establish the public road and parking at the Singing Pass gateway to Garibaldi Park.
Read about the human history of Signing Pass access and the complex political and corporate machinations beneath the pleasant veneer of a mountain resort town here Singing Pass Access Summary 1900-2017. The summary chronicles the 40-year long, systematic erosion of park access by a now foreign-owned megacorporation devoted to profit-making and compliant governments beholden to tax dollars. Connect the dots between hefty political donations and government actions or inaction. See large chunks of Garibaldi Park given away 5 or 10 square kilometers at a time to maximize terrain and profit at Whistler Blackcomb. Check for conflict of interest. Watch as public parking and park access withers contrary to binding agreements that would protect it. Marvel how government agencies are compelled to ignore their own policies and master plans and allow park access and infrastructure to deteriorate while tax revenue and private profits increase, massively rewarding insiders and shareholders.
Support the parking proposal of the B.C. Mountaineering Club. Click here Singing Pass Issue Summary and Parking Proposal to view the full proposal.
Get involved. Write to the Minister of Environment, the Honourable George Heyman. See our talking points here Singing Pass Talking Points.
Issue Lead Advocate - Paul Kubik