This latest local referendum has caused many things to happen. For one it got everyone talking about Squamish's need for new facilities. It also kicked off the municipal election campaign so very early. It looks to be eight long yet action packed months until we go to the polls to find out Squamish's next direction.
A sure sign of the heat coming off the street was the startling amount of private money spent on referendum advertising. Each expressed their own valid concerns of not knowing enough. Now, ordinarily you have to wait until the final weeks of an election campaign before we get to veiled threats. I guess no one ever accused Squamish of being ordinary as the first attack ad was unleashed with the line "Let our 'Leader' and the Squamish Five know that we mean business". Wow, already our mayor, plus five (that would have to be New Directions including Raj Kalhon and Jeff Dawson) are being compared to the same unfortunately named terrorists traveling through town that put Squamish on the map so many years ago. And, just who is "we"? The fact that the level of discourse has been taken to this level so early in the game is disappointing to say the least. It's only a matter of time before we hear "3:30 at the bike racks man, you're dead!" or "we're gonna beat you like an Elaho Hippie!" Both timeless classics in the bully bible.
For those willing to actually discuss issues there is thankfully no lack of material being built before our eyes. Ahh the Adventure center, with each glance you can almost hear the *tick*tock* of the incredibly expensive deadline coming fast. The skeptics certainly have ample ammo ever since the RCMP abomination was erected. Perhaps there's a reason it looks like a grade four castle drawing. I'm sure the little A.D.D. boy was very disappointed when he was told they weren't going to include the shark filled moat, and that the underground tunnel to Tim Horton's would cause huge overruns.
But back to the Catch 22 center, it's certainly a good idea to have the visitor info booth on the highway rather than on the road of broken promises. However the devil's in the funding details. The Provincial Liberals are so cocky, even in an election year the they're playing us for the same inneffectual saps they always have.
Whatever happens in the end, for better or worse, we're going to have a showcase building at our disposal. I hope when it's done that it acts as a catalyst for the downtown rather than a detractor. Case in point, last year the downtown core experienced vibrant life for one spectacular day. It was the amazingly successful Wild at Art festival when downtown oozed life and for a brief moment you could almost see hope for the ol' girl. Now there's talk of moving it to the highway at the Adventure center. Once again leaving us hoping for clearer heads to prevail and for our shiny new toys to be used for good rather than evil.