An update on the continuing environmental destruction in Whistler in preparation for the 2010 Winter Olympics.

While VANOC, the organizing committee still maintains that they are going to deliver the “greenest games ever,” those of us who live in Whistler are not buying it.

What VANOC and its team of communication experts fail to mention in their daily, self-gratifying press releases (in both official languages) is that they will leave no forest unturned, if it can be turned into a parking lot and/or real estate. Come games time, almost every parking lot in Whistler will be turned over to VANOC for their exclusive use.

To date, VANOC has removed over 100,000 old-growth trees in the Callaghan Valley (site of Whistler Olympic Park), clear-cut Whistler’s last remaining urban forest for an asphalt-laden Celebration Plaza, and built an “experimental” hydrogen refueling station with fuel delivered all the way from Montreal.

A few weeks ago, VANOC staff cleared a large tract of pristine forest at the entrance to the Callaghan Valley (past the Waste Transfer Station), to make room for hundreds of buses that will be transporting spectators to watch the biathlon, cross-country skiing and ski jumping. The visitors won’t know any differently, but the residents will definitely notice. VANOC could have avoided all the tree clearing if they had chosen the rail option from Vancouver to Whistler.

The photos can be seen at:

In keeping with the green theme, this YouTube video shot in late morning on Dec. 5, 2009, documents VANOC’s sustainability in action, at its massive vehicle compound at the south foot of No. 8 Road in Richmond, B.C.



Pina Belperio

Welcome to Word of the Rings, a new blog that aims to serve as a one-stop examination at what’s happening behind the scenes in the lead up to the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver and Whistler. Pina...