Well Squamish, the future is coming fast and it's time to once and for all decide what we would like to be when we get older (acknowledging that we’ll never grow up). Recently the Adventure Centre tap-danced on many nerves as it boldly announced our future as adventure capitalists. Yes it was expensive but our contribution was pennies on the dollar and since it’s not going anywhere we may as well try to make it work. When it comes down to it, the Adventure Centre is nothing more than a grand curtain in front of our truly limitless possibilities. Yet even as the curtain is getting ironed and steam cleaned, wheels have been turning behind the scenes creating perhaps a different Squamish than advertised.
Big wheels turn slow but they crush with all the more force. Many moons ago our powers that be decided to simply let the downtown die and focused everything on the highway. During these dark ages the only bright light was their recognizing our need for shopping alternatives. Yet instead of luring a Canadian store, or even one that treated their employees fairly, we actually decided to fork over millions for Wal-Mart to set up shop right on the juiciest piece of real-estate in Canada. After the passing of the recent servicing agreement and the downright offensive deal they were given on the land ($193,000 acre.) one can’t help but feel a little extra burning on the taxpayers backside. Wal-Mart, Home depot and the Outlet mall are all coming quickly so the dream of turning Squamish into just another suburb is close at hand and every council since then has safely stood behind the old stand-by of “well, they started it”.
But we still have the ace card of our surroundings. Surroundings that are obviously much easier to sell then protect. Without a trail coordinator there’s condo’s springing up on trails, and of course there’s the logging of the Plunge watershed. BC Timber Sales (BCTS) recently gave their two cents which is understandably in favor of logging our watershed and “forestry authorized” signature trail. Over the last couple of decades our timber supply has been so badly mismanaged they’re now desperate enough to pick the scraps. Interestingly enough, when you log a main water source, assessments have to be done. The original assessment said no bloody way. BCTS didn’t like that so “There were three other assessments done by us, which said the risk was extremely low.” Does anyone else find that concerning? Sure there’s a good chance that there will be no damage to our watershed but I notice the only person who wants to take that risk doesn’t live in Squamish.
Pimping our highway for pennies, gambling with
our water supply, the fragile status of our trails… These challenging
times lead one to wonder. When the dust settles and the adventure curtain
is raised, will people see the outdoor recreation capital of Canada or
Sea to Sky Surrey?