Got back last night from a wonderful weekend in the Calgary suburb of Radium Hot Springs, BC. The Columbia Valley is a very interesting enclave of the BC interior. They are on Mountain Time with Alberta, play host to about a quarter million Calgarian weekend warriors who own recreational property there, yet still endure gas prices of $1.09 when Calgary is at 94.9, suffer BC land transfer tax and, as of July 1, the dreaded HST!!! Ask a native of the Radium/Invermere area what they think of Albertans and you’ll likely get a sneer and a huffy comment about property prices rising out of his price range and the environment being raped by thoughtless Albertan capitalists as he accepts your hard earned dollars at his recently-opened business that couldn’t possibly exist without the tourists. I admit they do have a point, and I am one of those weekend warriors who owns property there. I gas up before I go, and after I leave. And when I remember, I get groceries PST-free and truck them over the border. I hate sales tax, and will pay as little of it as possible. It’s the Alberta way. And I am an unabashed SUV-driving capitalist.
As a conscientious environmentalist, I would like development to stop. I don’t want any more condos or hotels in the valley. I want to maintain what is left of the pristine scenery. I like to watch the bighorn sheep graze silently outside my window on the golf course. And the new people can go somewhere else… I was here first. Or at least I was one of the first 200 thousand. They can come back when I want to sell, cuz I can make a killing on my investment if there’s enough interest.
It’s so hard not to be a hypocrite these days, but at least I can recognize it when I look in the mirror.