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COMMENTARY · 21st August 2011
Stacey Tyers
MMC has not put forth a strong option. The essential feeling I get is the "If you're not with us, you're against us" attitude. Many, many people, who do not support City taxpayer money going into this project, completely support the project... or did.

The feeling of being alienated because you don't support a City grant is overwhelming. The BEST thing MMC could have done was acknowledge this is a contentious issue for the tax payers and ask for their support; privately, not through the public purse.

There are recreational and sports grants available. They are meant for this purpose. There are business grants available, they are meant for this purpose.

I wonder if KidSport would fund season passes and equipment for kids who want to ski.

There are other issues though. Bruce Martindale, step down from this vote. The direct conflict of interest is a HUGE problem.

I want to be supportive of MMC. Firmly believed I was, I don't have the spare $300 to buy a share though to be honest. Had MMC reached out to the community and asked for various help I would have gladly helped. That was before. Now I’m frustrated with their aggressive behaviours. I am frustrated with their sense of entitlement. I am frustrated with the polarizing of our community.

The ski hill, as it sits, would not be even considered as a for profit business. There are many businesses in Terrace that have come and gone because they are not sustainable even if they are for the benefit of the community; the indoor playground for one.

Does it suck; yes. Is it reality; yes.

The ski hill is an option for a very select percentage of people in this community. I for one think the current owners wanted to take the losses to avoid the debt and get the tax write offs.

Why else would you shut down food service BEFORE the mountain closes? It makes no sense and is the silliest thing I had ever heard of when I went up there the first time.

Just the transportation alone is impossible for many people in the community. Let alone the costs once you arrive.

The pointing out that it's an election year was a tactic that made my stomach churn. It is an election year, yes, but to use a tone such as this because councillors are trying to be responsible with taxpayer money? I have openly spoken out against taxpayer money used for this. If taxpayer money is going to be used for social purposes, it must benefit the greater community. Unfortunately, Shames benefits a very small community.

I don't appreciate the comments that it brings professionals, "important people" or people with money here. I migrated here, not for a ski hill, which then implies I am none of the above. I don't have a lot of money but what money I do have gets spent in this community. I invest endless hours of time and support into this community. So because I don't have bucket loads of cash does that make me a; less contributing, less important, less worthy member of this community?

If so, I shall step down from all my volunteer work, go to work 9-5 and stop investing what I have to offer into this community who apparently appreciates more; ‘the dollars your spend vs. the efforts you make’.

The truth is though; I've never seen or heard MMC ask for anything from the community other than money, which I don't have to spare and now support from taxpayer money, which I also don't have to spare.

I sit on the 'Terrace Measuring Up Committee'... all winter long we hear about snow removal. The problems with snow removal; the plowing of seniors and people with disabilities into their homes. We hear about how there isn't enough money in the snow removal budget. We hear about sidewalks and the problems that come with lack of snow removal or ill repair or heck, the lack of sidewalks entirely.

$91,000 would make a nice improvement to the snow removal budget in my opinion. It would benefit the greater good and would help to ease a health and safety issue.

All I asked from the first moment I made a comment was that MMC take a fair and realistic look at what they are asking. They are setting a HUGE precedent for City council to be funding large sums of money into the non-profit sector; a City council who has not been overly generous with not-for-profits (No offense guys and gals.). This is not untrue though. Terrace Anti-Poverty, a not-for-profit AND registered Charity, was made to pay $600 a month plus half the maintenance for a City owned building, unlike ANY other not-for profit in town. In fact even MMC is getting their building rent free rent and free administration support.

At what point do you show your appreciation and gratitude, thank them for what they HAVE done for you, and seek elsewhere.

Had Terrace-Anti-Poverty gotten the free rent every other not-for-profit did, their doors would still be open, you would see less furniture at the landfills. You would see less people going hungry. I will point out that council did give a break on rent but it was clear it was time limited. Now, because Northern Health has the building the city invested $30,000 in upgrades and charges $1000 a month. It did not note whether they are responsible for sewage etc...

The food bank literally had to beg for $5000 to do renovations on a free space to meet city bylaw standards.

I just want MMC to realize, they already have far more support from City council than the rest of the not-for-profit community. This is not uncommon where the elite rise above and get the support others can't.

Many people move here because Terrace is the service hub of the North West. They are just not always people with bucket loads of money, so I guess that is what makes them less important.

I have never been a person who speaks my opinion based on the popularity it might achieve for me. I speak what I truly believe and feel. I often take the voice of that which has been silenced. I do however, like to believe, that even in my opinions, I am fair, reasonable and willing to listen. I have read all arguments for the city to give money and none have me sold.

I do appreciate that the City is offering you free space. Though I think the administration support goes too far, to be honest. Those are tax payer resources. If MMC needs administrative support they should actually ask the general community. I gladly would have volunteered as I'm sure many would.

I know you are all very passionate about your cause, much like the rest of us who take up our causes. However, your passion is polarizing the community and drawing a definitive line and given that this is a Co-Op, you need to remember there is a whole community out there ready to support you, or not, depending upon how you respond to them.
transient workers/time marches on
Comment by blocky bear on 23rd August 2011
Not so simple....I was transient worker in 73 that stayed. I agree with most of your points. In 73 we could enjoy soaking in a fine hotsprings pool, beer parlour and lounge available weeklong . People came from Terrace , Kitimat, Prince Rupert to rent rooms and attend the caberet`. A ski hill was attempted on the Mount Layton and was unsuccessful. What do we have now? d.b.
Considerations
Comment by Not so simple on 22nd August 2011
First off - to our elected officials who have taken the time and energy to serve in government, listen, and voice their opinions, whatever they may be. Readers who comment as well. I respect that, even though I don't necessarily agree with everything you say

So... you think that 91,000 is going to go to the food bank or a shelter? Think about what your council has council shown their priorities to be, through action, not words. $200,000 to destroy a liability that was purchased on the open market, by many of the same councilors a few short years ago for $1,000,000 (apparently we didn't have not-for-profit organizations in need then, this time will be different, right?). $545,000 for a scenic clearcut at the airport for all our visitors to receive as a first impression of Terrace upon landing (between what has been spent to date, and what is planned through 2015), oops I mean Industrial Park, sans-industry. Oodles more to rip up and repave the same old blocks of Eby, Park, Lazelle, etc seemingly every year, while all other roads are left to be gutted by the weather to the point where, if you are luckly, your struts and shocks will prematurely fail, at worst you may suddenly find yourself without a rear axle (not making this up folks.)

According to our mayor, he would like to see every citizen of Terrace donate $25 or $50 to the My Mountain CoOp, then he will believe it is supported by the community. Is this how we built the second sheet of ice? The old CoOp building, the only use of which has been for grafitifest (at least it was used for something before it became a great mudbogging site for 4x4's). Apparently he doesn't include himself or council in the community. Sorry, lip service doesn't count for anything, and to everyone on council, thank you for the one positive out of your meeting tonight - you have woken up a few voters and we won't be seeing you at city hall for christmas.

Consider that for the next few years we will have between four and six thousand transient labourers living in our area. They aren't from here, and many will have never experienced all that our unique winters have to offer (good and bad). Most will not be equipped for, nor appreciative of, the many outdoor recreation opportunities that surround us, such as exploring on snowshoes, cross-country skiing, ice climbing or ice fishing. Like most north americans, the recreational opportunities they know have to be easy and canned, microwaveable, and disposable. They will be housed in atco trailers surrounded by chainlink fencing, and have money to spend. If these opportunities are allowed to disappear at a time when they are needed the most, and have a larger population able to help support them, what can we expect?

At best, alot of ill-equipped and inexperienced winter drivers spending an extra 5 hours of driving in some of the worst winter conditions this continent has to offer, in the precise region with some of the worst winter road maintenance around, after a few hours of skiing in Smithers. Maybe they've had a special coffee or two, maybe not. I have commuted highway 37 full-time for 17 years, and have seen firsthand, and continue to see every year, the carnage of between 4 to 6 serious crashes (meaning not just a ditching or rollover; usually someone died a horrible death, or survived only by miracle.) To you it might just be a paragraph in the newspaper, to me it is a car cut in half, a tractor-trailer on its roof in a ditch or the river with the trailer inside the cab where the driver should be. It might not be your child or friend driving the vehicle that loses control, they might just have been passing one that has, but the end effect can be the same.

One less alternative for them to let off a little steam, maybe just a few more dozen will be spending their money in town on liquor and 'looking for a good time', or show new friends how tough or badass they are. Remember when we were right up their in the top ten Canadian cities for violent crime? Been reading the paper lately?

Moving a landfill out to the lakelse lake watershed without any recycling in place to reduce the impact (and transportation costs) is on the horizon again (stop by Onion Lake in the spring and take a good look at the million-plus tadpole population now, because it won't be there once the plastic liner at the landfill is ruptured.)

Wow. Ever hear of the five pillars of sustainability? Google it; It's not just economics or environment people. Let's have a new vision and new leadership. If you've read this far, you have opinions & are willing to listen to others. Please take the next step - voice your opinions, whatever they are, consider and learn from others, and most of all - VOTE in your Federal, Provincial, AND Municipal elections. Elect the ones who have shown consistantly they care and do the right thing (represent you), not those who say whatever it takes to get elected.
Referendum?
Comment by dawna on 22nd August 2011
What a difficult position our council is in...Seems they are damned if they do and damned if they don't...a no-win situation not only for council but for our city as well. Perhaps it's time to watch democracy in action and bring this issue to referendum....
Who is going to manage the ski hill?
Comment by nancy on 22nd August 2011
Once it is all done and said, if they succeed, who will run the hill? and what about the maintenance? I think whatever councillors vote it through should work full time for free at the hill till the $91,000 is paid back. Have we not learnt anything from the co-op faisco? All in all maybe the people that bought there membership should also work for free.
Rally before council.....
Comment by nancy on 22nd August 2011
People should show up and voice their concerns at the rally before council, after all it is your money they are after.
Take advantage of the controversy.
Comment by Karen on 22nd August 2011
The fact that this initiative to save Shames has attracted so much controversy and publicity means that it should bode well for the effort.

MMC is right in extolling the virtues of having a great ski hill but that does not change the fact that this is still a risky business endeavour. One that city council has no right considering investing taxpayer dollars in.

What the hill needs is a whole lot more support from individuals to guarantee a healthy future for Shames Mountain. Until the initiative has that support the ski hill will not be self-sustaining and would need yearly injections of public funds to justify the initial investment.

MMC needs to look elsewhere for their funding such as grants, corporate sponsors, and non-monetary commitments to help with repairs and renos. If the community values this venue they will provide, but not when low-brow efforts are directed at bullying our city council out of taxpayer dollars that should be going to infrastructure within city boundaries.

It is time to end this rift and join efforts to keep Shames because I am sure none of us want to lose this treasure. The target of this rally tonight should change from bullying city council members for money to getting the word out to the public. Get the media out there, involve city council members and take advantage of the attention already generated.

Until attitudes change, saving the ski hill will be a bone of contention in the community and more than likely a failed effort. Remember Hockeyville and how even non-fans participated to bring about success. This too can succeed but not with so much controversy.
so many valid points!
Comment by Jenipher on 22nd August 2011
i'm with you stacey! whole heartedly, though i think it would have been great if the co op had earned the money themselves, i think that they need to look into other investors (be it local, or open it to the province, or more so to mountain sporst lovers canada wide) they didn't raise the money and tax payers money could truly be used more wisely! this coming from someone who gets plowed into her driveway too many times a year, and has an injury that renders me stuck unless i hire someone to dig me out, but why should i have to do that? I'm sorry to say and i know there will be a lot of negativity towards it but in Kemano, we NEVER got plowed into our driveway, and in Kitimat, the sidewalks are always beautifully clear in the winter, why is it that in this city, we are expected to pick up giant chunks of ice and mounds of wet snow starting an hour before work starts just to be able to get out in the morning??? and on some streets, we don't even get plowed until noon, for those of us with smaller cars, we can't just "drive over the snow"

And to the lady who said skiing is affordable, yes, it's affordable for those who qualify.... if i went to the ski hill and said "i just can't afford to snowboard but i really want to learn, here's a twonie for my lift ticket and rentals" i could just go up? or would i have to jumble through a mountain of paperwork first, stating my income and writing "why i think i should qualify" because, if it's really so easy, then why don't more people know about it?

Thank you Stacey for saying what everyone is thinking!!!
Maggie
Comment by Stacey Tyers on 22nd August 2011
I never said or insinuated people should not support the campaign. I said tax payer dollars should not be used to benefit the elite.

Individuals should support MMC if it is something they believe in. If I had the extra $300 I'd support them. If they needed volunteer help with some stuff I would support them. I support a lot of random campaigns and projects and community driven ideas.

Some that have nothing to do with poverty. Some for the simple purpose of bringing community together.

So I apologize if you got the message it shouldn't be supported. I did say however my personal support is waning because of the sense of entitlement and the division that is being created with the "If you aren't with us you're against us" attitude I feel is being put forward. It's possible others don't feel that and that's okay too.

As for my sitting around on my computer being negative instead of being out making the best of the crappy weather. I think I'm entitled to a day off every so often. I don't think my opinion was excessively negative. Having been the executive Director of a not-for-profit. Having worked in Social Services maybe I simply have a different take on things. I offered up that opinion, with some facts to back it up on why I don't support tax payer money going to this. I could have offered many other valuable reasons why not to however I really felt the point was strong enough made in this aspect.

But throwing stones or implying I'm some negative nelly who does nothing but sit at my computer doesn't change my opinion at all. Implying that all the pro-tax dollars to shames are out is also a guess at best, because they've been commenting all over.
Conflict
Comment by Stacey Tyers on 22nd August 2011
Anybody can put a motion forward or make a request. In the end the conflict comes with a vote.
Vote with a share
Comment by R1chard Jenn1ss on 21st August 2011


The most simplest way to determine if the tax-payers are in favor is to let them buy a share directly.

This case should be closed and dismissed.

I hope Stacey you run for council as you have my vote.
excellent points
Comment by tom on 21st August 2011
the most persusive articulate argument put forth yet: I agree 100%.
A past non for profit director of the local ski club
Comment by Jennifer Lewis on 21st August 2011
I am sorry Stacey but the ski hill has provided many opportunities for Families who were or have been down on their luck and single Mom's and Dad's, 2 parent families, single people , kids , seniors, have volunteered countless hours to coach, organize, mentor all sorts of kids and parents on how to ski and how to appreciate our awesome resource. I don't know how much money you make and you don't know how much I make but I can assure you that there are affordable ways to enjoy this healthy event. I know because I help run an not for profit ski swap for many years and we are thanked by many working Parents for access to inexpensive gear. And I have helped families with their kids to learn to ski for less than the cost of Tim Horton coffee.

I know that I have a certain amount of funds and I chose to volunteer at the mountain to go towards my fees for my kids, not spend my excess money on things that I could't afford and I carpooled when I couldn't afford the gas. But I managed to support two girls skiing on our mountain on a single salary.

Our club worked closely with our local jump start who paid for fees and gear for kids who could not afford the fees. We worked with local first nations band councils who supported our kids too. For years we received a grant from Alcan to our club to help families afford thE fees. And we received a grant from BCLC Bingo to help parents with the costs associated with skiing.

So please don't say that skiing is not affordable. It is a choice. I made sacrifices to ski and others can too.

This is really what makes our mountain so special.
The "Yay"s aren't here because...
Comment by Non-Skier but Supporter on 21st August 2011
...everyone is outdoors making the most of this crappy summer, not sitting on their computers waiting to join in on negativity. I'm a non-skier, non-boarder because I haven't had the chance to learn yet...but I truly support this initiative. It's keeping professionals here, and it's attracting new professionals...professionals who love the northwest lifestyle, who love our communities and who love they people here.

Your tax dollars are going to many things you're not even aware of, but it's certainly not proper winter road maintenance is it? Have you thought farther than your tax slip? Of all the children you'll deprive even further from their day at the hill? There's no quick fix or saviour here, our communities and corporations need to come together or everyone will be on the road in treacherous conditions for there few hours on Hudson Bay Mountain.
In a conflict of interest?
Comment by c. sandecki on 21st August 2011
If, in fact, Councillor Bruce Martindale is in a conflict of interest on the subject of Shames Mountain, would he still legally be able to put forth the motion to have Terrace council support MMC with $91,000 of taxpayers' money?
I disagree (eeks...here comes the backlash)
Comment by MaggieJo on 21st August 2011
Sorry...but I disagree with Stacey only on CERTAIN points.

I disagree with her insinuations that we should have no part in this MMC campaign cuz we can't manage to feed our own families; let alone support a ski hill.

I do agree with her on how we neglect the poor in our midst. I agree wtih Stacey that most of us in Terrace literally struggle to feed our own families in the interim (ME TOO!). So, to feel compelled to assist a cooperative movement for an activiity we will never engage in is ludicrous, right?

Or is it?

It's all about the Big Picture, people.

Trust me. I can't afford to frequent that ski hill with my family. It's bad enough going out with our entire family for a night at the local theatre at $110 later! OUCH!

All I'm saying is that, it's all about the BIGGER picture.

The "bigger picture" of a Community that gathers around oneself to preserve the quality of their own habitational treasure(s) in their midst. We ARE the Hub of the North...so let's act like we are!

We have so much to offer here in our Terrace area (too bad the Hotsprings wasn't on board in this regard). I've only been to the ski hill ONCE in my lifespan here in Terrace, but I know that is a true treasure to our Community and it saddens me that it may leave us. My family simply can't afford that extra-curricular luxery. But, others can! Which makes the hill viable to those who can afford it and also to incoming tourists. Isn't that what Terrace has had to resort to since the sawmills shut down? A TOURIST TOWN?! Then let's put it out there as though we really ARE a tourist town! Cuz after all these industries leave the area...and if we can't even pull off tourist enticements??? Oh man, we're screwed!

I begrudingly budgetted my family's "fun time money" to attend the recent MMC event at the local Elephant's Ear. I lugged along old Grandma with me and my daughter....so that was $15 entrance fee between the 3 of us + cafe food/drinks as well. 'Felt good to at least TRY to support a cause that would benefit the Community in the long run. All I had to do was stay away from Timmy's for 2 weeks & make my own yuckie coffee at home for a couple o' weeks and that cover charge was covered! Good example for the kids (wink wink).

Remember Hockeville, and how we all came together " as Community"?!

That being said...Stacey IS right in that we forget the poor in our midst. Let's remember them also and come together as Community for them as well.

In the interim...here's the MMC - a great bunch of people who are working for the future benefit of Terrace. I sure want MY kids to live here for years to come! Even if I can't afford to frequent the mtn....darn rights I'll support it so that Terrace will continue to be a viable tourist area so my family can ALL stay here longer together in my matronly hug when I refuse to leave my home.

And trust me....people who put their $ where their mouth is in these Co-op'ed shares won't dissapoint. You know...just like those parents who put their kids in private schools who pay that costly tuition outside of the public sector. They fork out that private tuition $ and make DARN SURE their kids are fully engaged in their educational purposes...cuz they PAID extra for it..so it's personal now!

Well kinda like the MMC. Those who spent soooo much time and effort in this cause will make sure they support the mtn to reach it's full potential while the rest of us judge them all the while.

Let's stop judging...and try helping out a bit more. You'd be surprised at how good you might feel in the interim while helping Terrace flourish.
Nay for me too
Comment by Ada on 21st August 2011
Thank you Stacey for speaking up and saying what so many of us are thinking.
nay for me
Comment by bill braam on 21st August 2011
It's public money proposed for this year, next year the hill will need more money to start another season. It has to be able to stand on its own.
I"m with you on this one Stacey...
Comment by dawna on 21st August 2011
I too volunteer and work on many worthwhile projects...and I remember my late husband telling me to get a "real job," one that would bring home a few dollars.
I consider myself very fortunate and all the dollars I perhaps could have earned would not add up to the sense of worth I have gained knowing that I try to give a little to those who have the least.
It made me sick at heart when Anti-poverty had to close it's doors and turn away those most in need. I have the upmost respect for those who sit on council and there are times that I agree with decisions made and other times, not. The rent issue was one I strongly disagreed with.
While I may not like the position a member of council takes on any given subject, I applaud anyone who has the courage of their convictions and is not afraid to stand up and be counted.
I consider voting to be a priviledge and when I go to the polls be they federal, provincial or municipal to cast my ballot, I take into account the overall record of of those aspiring to office and vote accordingly. I vote my conscience.
I have a problem with those whose attitude appears to be "it's my way or the highway." Surely there is room for compromise here.
Like Stacey, I don't have a lot of money, and I take offense at those who would refer to me as a bleeding heart because I care. And I also care about the community and surrounding amenities and would love to see the ski hill and hotsprings developed to their full capacity.
Perhaps it's time to recognize and utilize the expertise of the volunteer who's always there.
nay
Comment by Linda on 21st August 2011
Well written Stacey, Some of the articles and comments I have seen here and other places including Facebook (Mayor page) to me seem almost like a bullying type of behavior and I have seen enough of it. In the beginning I was all for the fundraising aspect and raising of money towards the mountain, it seems now it has gone too far or maybe it is the "desperate" sound of losing what you are passionate about but it seems to be getting ugly.
I could never afford to hand over a donation, if I can feed my kids 3 times a day we are "lucky" (and yes, I do work, ironically for non-profit, but single incomes raising children are tough) but that in no means meant I did not support their efforts, it seems "support" only means handing over cash, that to me is sad.
I do not support the passing over of the $91,000 to this cause, I too believe that with so much of the non-profit struggling, there are much more important things it could go to, plus skiing is expensive (whoever says it isn't has never stood in a food bank line up), I had 3 kids watch the other kids who could afford it go off on their little school ski trips wishing they could go.
So this winter take a nice 2 hr drive to Smithers (if you can afford to ski you can afford a few extra bucks for gas) and enjoy.