On this unseasonally sunny day in Vancouver — Queen Victoria’s Day, no less — I learned that Disney Village, I mean Whistler Village, will become entirely smoke free by June 1, 2015. Canada finally has a perfect place for perfect people. Whistler was almost perfect before, even when there used to be snow there for the skiers, but imperfect people were allowed to visit. People who for whatever reason had acquired an addiction to tobacco — perhaps teenage peer pressure, job stress, family trauma, or social anxiety, et cetera — were still welcome to visit Disney mountain, to drive up the highway in polished SUVs and nifty toques, to drink beer and hot chocolate, to dine out at expensive restaurants, and, well, to satisfy their deep cravings for nicotine now and then. But according to today’s article in The Whistler News, Whistler Blackcomb Announces Smoke Free Policy, this small liberty of Canada’s #1 social pariah — the smoker — has been too much of an impediment to the goals of a safe and family friendly resort. Here are the words of the article: “The ban on smoking is expected to be a perfect match for the outdoor activity style of product that Whistler Blackcomb resort sells on mass to people from around the world. Whistler Blackcomb resort has upwards of 20,000 customers per day at times and the ban on smoking is expected to accommodate the majority.”
Exactly. The majority can now eat steak, drink microbrews, buy toques and be merry all the way down the perfectly snowless slope that is Whistler. The minority — those with a difficult addiction to kick — will have to find their own place to enjoy fresh mountain air and beautiful scenery. (They could go to Alberta. Apparently the air there doesn’t smell so much these days.) But perhaps the best way to enjoy an expansive, panoramic view from the summit is to smile in the thought that no one is perfect – to recognize that there’s a little blight, a little addiction, a little smoker, in all of us. Tolerance need not become a dead virtue.
Finally, because this website is never one to leave out an apt movie reference, for those who want to see an amazing European movie about a perfect family on a perfect ski trip, check out Force Majeure.