The first Bits and Bites of 2009

The first Bits and Bites of 2009 and so much to talk about, it was a little hard to decide where to begin. Without delay, lets start with…

James Hillier, one of the young men who was banned from skiing for life on Grouse mountain after purposely skiing out of bounds and triggering a rescue effort because of it. In a recent interview with CBC, he said that  the ban will not stop him from repeating his actions in the future, and that he believes out of bound rules shouldn’t apply to experienced skiers and that it is his right to be rescued at no cost to himself. http://www.cbc.ca/canada/british-columbia/story/2009/01/06/bc-van-dongen-mountain-backcountry-penalties.html#socialcomments

Interesting viewpoint James. What about the resorts right to enforce rules on its own property? Perhaps James should take his “rights” out into the PUBLIC backcountry areas where there are no rules – that is, since he feels so confidant in his abilities to perform due diligence. It’s a heated topic for debate certainly, because when you think about it, there are no ‘rules’ that prevent anyone from receiving medical or other rescue currently. Drive drunk and crash yourself into a pole, and the fire, ambulance and police will come to save you without getting a bill. You don’t get billed if you decide to blow yourself up with fireworks either. In this regard I can see how James would feel entitled to a rescue. However, I personally think that all rescues that are initiated as a result of breaking a law, or a rule, should be billed for – and perhaps by doing so, it will act as a deterrent to others in making such ill-informed and often stupid choices. Maybe we should bill that drunk driver for damages and rescue time, because the current penalties don’t seem to be deterring anyone. Hit them where it hurts – the wallet. Where do you stand on this issue?

A big thank you to the anonymous fan who keeps publicizing my blog all over the net, including submitting it to the guys over at  www.alphainventions.com. Its nice to see new readers from all over the globe. Seems there are quite a few Canadians living overseas and in the States who enjoy hearing about whats up in good old BC while they are gone. Glad to have you!

Does Translink and the province have a backup plan to fund currently planned expansions? That is the question many are asking after word that one planned skytrain station on the Canada line in Richmond may not be happening due to the economic downturn, and it has the mayor of Port Moody worried about the future of the proposed Evergreen line as well. This is because both projects are supposed to be funded through public- private sector partnerships, where private companies join the province in paying for the costs. The Capstan Way station on the Canada line in Richmond was to be built as part of a huge development that would include retail and residential towers,but the company has so far failed to come up with its part of the committed down payments and that has everyone worried. http://www.vancouversun.com/Evergreen+Line+delay+feared/1149226/story.html

These type of public private ventures can be very beneficial in distribution the cost of projects that would otherwise have to be paid for entirely by taxpayers, but the downside is that when times get rough- like they currently are – companies hold their money close and cut back on projects like these. The province is counting on partnerships like this to fund the proposed UBC expansion as well as the Surrey expansion, and since Translink is allegedly going broke, I’m not holding my breath that we are going to see any of these lines done on their current time lines. It leaves me wondering how many more campaign promises will the Premier make that we will never see? How will he continue to justify the 2010 expenditures when desperately needed infrastructure improvements and upgrades fall by the wayside ? And does the Premier have another plan???  Follow this closely, because as you may recall, he has promised highway upgrades and new roads to all of you in the interior as well.

 

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