B.C. municipal election 2018: Whistler

By , September 13, 2018

reposted from: piquenewsmagazine.com

Jeff Murl, Cathy Jewett, Arthur De Jong declare; nominations close Sept. 14

UPDATE: As of the end of the day on Thursday, Sept. 13, five more candidates had officially filed nomination papers.

Nathan Hawkins, David Buzzard, John Grills, Lance Bright and Tova Jamernik have all added their names to the growing list of those who will run for council.

Candidates have until 4 p.m. on Friday to file their nomination papers.

In Pemberton, only incumbent Mike Richman has filed papers to run for mayor, while incumbent Ted Craddock is the only listed council candidate.

Nicole Sugden will run for school trustee.

If three more people don’t come forward to run for council before 4 p.m. Friday, the nomination period will be extended to Monday, Sept. 17 at 4 p.m. Following that, the Village of Pemberton would make a Declaration of No Election, said manager of corporate and legislative services and chief election officer Sheena Fraser, in an email.

“The notice will also advise that pursuant to section 100 (1) of the Local Government Act the Village will appoint a qualified person(s) to the office of Councillor for the term,” Fraser said. “In the case of a general local election, the appointment must be made within 30 days after the local government’s first meeting at which the candidates elected in the election are holding office. In the event that the local government is unable to make an appointment the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing must make an appointment.”

In the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District (SLRD), three candidates are currently running unopposed: incumbents Russell Mack (Area C) and Tony Rainbow (Area D) and newcomer Vivian Birch-Jones (Area B). In Area A, three candidates have stepped forward: Karen Playfair, Allan Moritz and John Courchesne.

Two SLRD candidates for school trustee are also running unopposed: Rebecca Barley (Area C) and Celeste Bickford (Area D).

——

As the nomination period for the October 20 election draws to a close, a flurry of candidates have submitted nomination papers for council or otherwise announced their intentions to run.

This week saw three more residents announce for Whistler council—read about the latest (presented in the order that they were interviewed by Pique) and check back with www.piquenewsmagazine.com on Friday for a complete run-down of confirmed candidates in Whistler, Pemberton and the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District.

JEFF MURL

At 38 years old with his first child on the way, Jeff Murl is hoping to add another voice for a segment that has been underrepresented at council in recent years.

“We’re a young town … our median age is like 32 and a half. I think it’s important to have representation that’s of your age group,” Murl said.

“Often in these groups it’s retired folks, and that’s not to say they’re not capable, but there should be representation for the people that are here, and that’s young people like myself (who are) trying to make families and trying to make things happen, who aren’t as established as some of the others.”

An accountant and former restaurant owner, Murl has taught ski school in Whistler for 14 years and has lived full time in the community for five years.

He’s sat on Vancouver boards such as the Vancouver Urban Farming Society, the Beaumont Studios Artist Society and was chair of a citizens committee responsible for studying amalgamation on the North Shore.

Unsurprisingly, he was typically tapped to be treasurer.

In Whistler, the “big buzz word” is housing, Murl said.

“That’s what everyone wants to talk about. I don’t have any magic bullet, but it’s something that I feel like I’d rather be involved in as an accountant … I want to make sure that any decisions are fiscally responsible and don’t negatively impact the finances of our community,” he said.

Murl would also like to have an “honest conversation about growth” in Whistler.

“I feel like as a community we don’t want to keep growing because of traffic and housing constraints, but then for jobs and opportunities, everyone who has a business wants to keep growing, and we’re obviously dominated by Vail (Resorts, which) will want to grow regardless, because that’s (its) job,” Murl said.

“I know we have limited levers as a community to control what they do, but I’d love to be in a position to dictate a little more as to how their plan goes, because they’re a publicly traded company and they’re going to just push, push, push.

“We really need to be honest in the community—are we willing to let this happen? Because we know where they’re going.”

Hindsight tends to be 20/20, and the past is often painted in a positive light when compared to the present, Murl said.

“We’ve had slow times, and I would rather be planning for those ahead, because we’ve had some boom years. I would really like to make sure our plan is to allow us to slow down again, and be conservative in what we do,” he said.

“So that’s where I want to come in and just make sure that we’re thinking about the negative impacts as well, and not just remembering the positive stuff.”

CATHY JEWETT

With one year of experience under her belt, incumbent Councillor Cathy Jewett—first elected in an October 2017 byelection—feels ready for four more.

“I had a really great first year. I learned a lot, and I think I’d like to take that experience and be able to make a difference in the next four years,” Jewett said.

“I would say (the first year) opened my eyes to the way our local government works. It made me understand more about the staff workloads that we have, and it made me understand more about how to advocate better.”

In her first year Jewett was appointed to represent council with the Association of Whistler Area Residents for the Environment (AWARE), the Whistler Community Services Society and the board of the Whistler Public Library, as well as serving on the Transportation Advisory Group and the Human Resources, May Long Weekend and Forest and Wildland Advisory committees.

Jewett has lived in Whistler since 1976 and boasts decades of volunteer experience, including as a founding member of AWARE, as chair of Communities That Care Whistler, as a WORCA ride guide, a docent at the Audain Art Museum and various roles on local and provincial Parent Advisory Councils (among other things).

She’s also had a long career working as a professional ski patroller, and more recently in a supervisory role with Whistler Blackcomb’s safety department.

In discussing her priorities if reelected, Jewett said it’s not always the “what,” but the “how.”

“I hope that we can work on our governance processes,” she said. “I’d like to see us be more—and this word comes up all the time—transparent. But I think that we (should) really go at it as a council and ensure that we look at best practices in other municipalities to ensure that we’re as current as possible with our practices, and also with our public engagement.”

Affordability is also a key issue for Jewett.

“Obviously housing is a big thing that we have to tackle, but having lived here for over 40 years, it’s been an issue for a long time—I wrote a letter to the paper well over 20 years ago about this very issue,” she said.

“What is going to become more of an issue is how we ensure that we have the people that support our community services supported with resident housing.”

In terms of solutions, Jewett said there are some ideas, but they can’t be rushed forward without proper consideration.

“We have to make sure that what we’re doing is palatable to the community, because they have their own needs, and so it’s very difficult to come up with a solution that’s going to house everybody that needs housing in a way that is fair and equitable,” she said.

“That’s the thing I’ve really learned, is that when you look at a decision, it isn’t just about the immediate beneficiaries, but making sure that the community is happy with the decision as a whole.”

ARTHUR DE JONG

Like Jewett, Arthur De Jong has lived in Whistler for nearly four decades, starting out as a teenager with Blackcomb Ski Patrol and working his way up the ranks.

Over the years De Jong has held roles as patrol director and mountain operations manager, and currently serves as senior manager of mountain planning and environmental resource management with Whistler Blackcomb.

His current passion for sustainability stems from a significant fuel spill on Blackcomb Mountain in 1993.

“It changed my life, because I recognized that there was so many shortfalls in our stewardship,” De Jong said.

Since then, De Jong has committed fully to making the mountain’s operations sustainable, spearheading initiatives and programs that have collected more than 30 awards at the national and international levels for environmental and social performance.

Unsurprisingly, De Jong lists the environment as one of three main pillars in his campaign. It’s a broad issue he views through the “five Ws:” water, weather, wildfire, wilderness and waste.

“We have to make sure that we have a reliable long-term supply of water. We saw some pressures this summer … (and) the weather is changing here in terms of climate change, and we need to do more to drop our carbon footprint,” he said.

But De Jong’s greatest concern is wildfire.

“The greatest threat of catastrophe in this valley is wildfire,” he said. “The community and the RMOW are doing a lot. We do need to do a lot more.”

Another pillar of De Jong’s campaign is the economy, and being an advocate for Whistler’s businesses.

“I’m not an advocate of ‘grow more.’ I’m very much an advocate of how do we manage our present infrastructure in a way that the experience for everyone is better,” he said, adding that the next council also has to be cognizant of the cyclical nature of Whistler’s economy.

“Are we ready for that as well? And that’s not to stop these growth issues. We need to get on them and improve our current situation, but with a very flexible platform where we recognize what we see today may not necessarily be the same tomorrow.”

But the most important pillar of De Jong’s campaign is a focus on community.

“Whistler would not be Whistler without the community, and now we’re at a crossroads in terms of growth and affordability, and I feel that I can help resolve some of the challenges that we now see,” he said.

Though all solutions are on the table, De Jong said he supports building more housing in Cheakamus, working to support infill in certain areas, rezoning opportunities where applicable, and more.

“But also, I do not want to tag the community with debt, and it’s hard to make the numbers work financially, so how do we do that?” he said.

De Jong had initially thrown his name in the ring for the 2014 election, before dropping out after Whistler Blackcomb’s internal counsel indicated potential conflicts of interests with respect to his knowledge of internal information.

But new employer Vail Resorts has given De Jong the go ahead to run.

“I am not here in this role to represent Vail (Resorts). I’m here to represent the community,” he said.

“I’m really eyeing certain candidates and hoping that I have the privilege to serve with them, because we need a team, we need a high level of cohesion and common vision or we don’t get the job done.”

Find more at www.artdejong.com.

The new candidates join longtime staple of the volunteer community Gord Annand, WRM strata operations manager Brian Reid, retired BC Ferries captain Janice Lloyd, former councillor Ralph Forsyth, retired schoolteacher Dawn Titus and incumbent Jen Ford in the race for a council seat.

Incumbent councillor Jack Crompton will run for mayor. As of Pique‘s deadline, no one else had submitted nomination papers to run for mayor.

The nomination period ends Friday, Sept. 14. Those interested in running can find more info at www.elections.bc.ca.

Click here for original article: https://www.piquenewsmagazine.com/whistler/list-of-council-candidates-continues-to-grow/Content?oid=10617637

By , September 13, 2018

reposted from: piquenewsmagazine.com

Nomination period ends Sept. 14

ynthia Higgins has a good reason to run for school trustee in the Sea to Sky School District (SD48).

“I love education,” she said with a laugh.

“I think public education is the foundation of a good Canada. If you can have well-educated children they become well-educated adults who can become wonderful contributors to our society, and I think public education is the best way to achieve that goal.”

Higgins holds a masters degree in early childhood education and has taught preschool at Myrtle Philip Elementary for the past seven years.

“You really have a feel for the dynamics within the school, amongst the parents,” she said of her current role.

“That physical proximity to the everyday goings on of the school and the education, I think it just adds perspective, if nothing else.”

If elected, her main priority would be to “keep the wheels turning,” Higgins said.

“Right now the Sea to Sky School District is doing phenomenal work in education and seeing really, really fantastic levels of student achievement, so my first priority would be to see that that continues with the new board,” she said.

She would also like to work with parents who may be apprehensive about the district’s new curriculum.

“I think there’s a lot of parents who are quite concerned about what learning looks like and the style of education right now because it’s very important that your children receive a good education, and they only have one chance,” she said.

“And so when parents are nervous and they see all these changes and multi-grade classrooms, subject areas starting to merge together, it causes a lot of concern. I would like to be the person that can reassure them with solid evidence that what’s happening is for the benefit of their student.”

Other priorities for Higgins, if elected, include a focus on fiscal responsibility within the district and a focus on policy decisions that promote both student achievement and personal wellbeing.

Higgins joins two-term incumbent trustee Rachael Lythe in the race for Whistler’s two trustee chairs.

The nomination period closes Sept. 14.

Whistlerites will head to the polls on Saturday, Oct. 20.

Click here for original article: https://www.piquenewsmagazine.com/whistler/cynthia-higgins-to-run-for-school-trustee/Content?oid=10617639

By , September 09, 2018

reposted from: piquenewsmagazine.com

FIRST LOOK: Councillor says housing and governance are top issues

histler Councillor Cathy Jewett announced today that she is running for re-election.

Jewett was first elected to council last year in a by-election following the passing of Coun. Andree Janyk.

Since joining local government she has taken up positions on AWARE (she is a founding member of this organization), Whislter Community Services Society, the Library Board, The Transportation Advisory Group, Human Resources advisory group and the May Long Weekend and Forest Wildland Advisory Committees.

Jewett has lived and worked in Whistler since 1976 raising both her children here. She has acted as an advocate for families throughout her years on parent and family focused community groups.

A professional ski patroller, who also works in Whistler Blackcomb’s safety department, Jewett was awarded “Whistler Citizen of the Year” in 2016, and last year Pique readers voted her “Volunteer of the Year.”

Along with working on providing more community housing, a press release announcing her run for council states: “Another area of focus, if elected, is Governance which creates the platform for how Council operates and how it engages not only with municipal staff, but more importantly how Council ensures that the public is informed, connected and that the processes of government are as transparent as possible.”

The election will be held Oct. 20. Advance polls Oct. 10 and 13. Mail-in ballots are available at municipal hall.

For more on this story go to www.piquenewsmagzine.com this week.

Click here for original article: https://www.piquenewsmagazine.com/whistler/jewett-announces-she-will-run-for-re-election-to-council-in-october/Content?oid=10572157

 

By , September 07, 2018

reposted from: piquenewsmagazine.com

Vernon-Jarvis, Westerholm to step aside

Sea to Sky School District (SD48) trustee Rachael Lythe will seek a third term.

When she first took on the role in 2011, it was at the beginning of a major shift for education in the province, with the Ministry of Education rolling out a new education plan, Lythe said in an email.

“I was fortunate to be involved in this process from the beginning in SD48, from the formation of our district’s Strategic Plan and then the forming of our new education plan, Pathways to Learning,” she said.

“With exceptional leadership from our superintendent and senior school district staff, we, as a board, were able to make well-informed decisions through this lengthy process and successfully implement our new education plan.”

There is much to be proud of in the district over the past eight years, Lythe said.

“Our Aboriginal graduation rates have skyrocketed and are the highest in the province, and we are also one of few districts to have signed and incorporated our Aboriginal Enhancement agreement into our Education Plan,” she said.

“The biggest achievement, though, is seeing the difference and enthusiasm in how our students learn. Visiting the schools and seeing firsthand some of the work and incredible changes in culture, teaching and learning is the most satisfying thing for myself as a trustee.”

All that being said, Lythe said there is more work to do (like rolling out the new graduation transition plan mandated by the province), and feels her knowledge of the district and experience as a trustee will prove valuable moving forward, particularly with fellow Whistler trustee Chris Vernon-Jarvis stepping aside after four terms.

“It is not a position to take lightly and is a massive learning curve especially in your first term. There is also a considerable time commitment. But it is one I am happy to make and I hope to continue in this role for another term,” Lythe said.

Along with Vernon-Jarvis, Patricia Westerholm, Pemberton’s trustee, will also not seek re-election.

Lythe, Vernon-Jarvis and Westerholm all ran unopposed in 2014.

The nomination period for the Oct. 20 election began on Sept. 4 and closes Sept. 14.

Those thinking of running for trustee can find nomination packages and more information at www.sd48seatosky.org/board/2018-school-trustee-elections.

Questions regarding trustee elections for SD48 can be directed to Sarah Saunders at the Secretary Treasurer’s Office: ssaunders@sd48.bc.ca.

Click here for original article: https://www.piquenewsmagazine.com/whistler/lythe-to-seek-third-term-as-school-trustee/Content?oid=10490491

 

By , September 06, 2018

reposted from: piquenewsmagazine.com

Nomination period ends Sept. 14

To hear it from him, there wasn’t much behind Gord Annand’s decision to run for council on Oct. 20.

“It’s rather simple,” he said. “I’ve been active in the not-for-profit volunteer community for a long time, and just want to have an extension of my involvement in the community. Nothing more, nothing less.”

Annand’s first experience with Whistler was in 1965 when he and his wife Susan rented in the community, and their first permanent investment came in 1988.

The Annands have been full-time residents since 2004.

Over the years, Annand has been heavily involved in the community, including sitting on boards such as the Whistler Public Library and coordinating support for events like Cornucopia and Ironman.

He received a Civic Service Award from mayor and council for his volunteer efforts in 2014, and Canada’s Governor General David Johnston presented him with the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers in 2017.

“I’m recognized for kind of a can-do attitude, and we’ve moved forward in the not-for-profit community and the other areas in the community, and now look to resolve some of the issues (at the municipal level),” he said.

The most prominent of which is housing.

“All the focus has been on the rental housing side of things, and that’s important, but affordability is a huge factor and we’re losing people in the community because of the affordability factor,” he said. “It stymies economic development.”

Annand also takes issue with the resignation of the Whistler 2020 Development Corp. (WDC) board earlier this year.

“I don’t know the circumstances, I wasn’t at the table, but for the brain trust that was the WDC to just evaporate, it’s a major, major concern, because they did a lot of good in the community and they were doing it at no cost,” Annand said.

“So if the resolve is to move forward with more levels of bureaucracy, that is both A: inefficient and B: extremely costly.”

Annand sees more questions than answers when looking to Whistler’s future, and in addressing them, he sees a need for collaboration.

“This current council seems to struggle working collaboratively, so hopefully we can get a group at the table who will maybe—not have the same opinions—but respect each other’s opinions, and move forward as one,” he said.

“What is the plan? … There doesn’t appear to be any sense of plan to get to where everybody knows we have to go, from the rental side of things and from the affordability side of things. And in most cases, without a plan, the results are bad decisions.”

A campaign site will be launched in the coming days at www.gordannand.ca.

Annand joins WRM strata operations manager Brian Reid, retired BC Ferries captain Janice Lloyd, former councillor Ralph Forsyth, retired schoolteacher Dawn Titus and incumbent Jen Ford in the race for a council seat. Incumbent councillor Jack Crompton will run for mayor.

The nomination period ends Friday, Sept. 14. Those interested in running can find more info at www.elections.bc.ca.

Click here for the original article: https://www.piquenewsmagazine.com/whistler/annand-enters-the-race-for-a-council-seat/Content?oid=10490486

 

By , August 30, 2018

reposted from: piquenewsmagazine.com

Nomination period opens Sept. 4

fter falling short in 2011, longtime local Brian Reid is taking another shot at a council seat this fall.

“I learned that the passion is great, but you need to have a little bit more of the insight into what goes on around the municipality,” Reid said, of his first foray into municipal politics seven years ago.

Reid, 53, has lived in Whistler since ’92, and has worked for WRM Strata Management and Real Estate Services for 17 years, currently serving as agent operations manager.

His professional experience has helped him understand the value of collaboration, he said.

“I understand the patience required to sit and let everybody express their opinion on the different scenarios, whatever they may be, and that we’ve got to collaborate together,” he said.

“We are all of different mindsets and we’re all going in there with a different—I don’t want to say agenda—but a different thought process as to what we want to accomplish within the community.”

As for Reid, the to-do list starts with a familiar item: housing.

“It’s my understanding that there’s a whole lot of things that have been on the table that may have not come to light so far to the general public in regards to housing … we need to look at all of these and not let anything be put aside. Every idea is a good idea here,” Reid said.

One idea he’d like to pursue is a short-term tenancy building that would allow newcomers to the resort to stay up to 18 months.

“We need that short-term turnover, in my mind, and let’s look outside the box, too. Dorm style? What about pod style?” he said. “I’d like to see, within the first year, some ground being broken somewhere to facilitate this kind of short-term housing.”

Other items on the list include a focus on infrastructure, working with Vail Resorts on things like the parent pass and increased enforcement on illegal nightly rentals.

“Let’s be proactive in this. Everybody’s talking about it, and they’re all saying it has to be complaint driven. Why?” he said. “And I certainly don’t want added staff to do it. I want the current staff to do it. We don’t need to spend any more money on additional employees at the municipal hall.”

While Whistler’s decision makers have worked hard the past eight years to make the resort as successful as it is, Reid said he’d like to swing the focus back to the community.

“It’s a very unique balance here in this community, of the resort living versus general community living, and I think that the resort living has taken a few bigger steps recently,” he said. “Now it’s time to really do a little bit more focusing on the community level.”

Single with no kids, Reid said he’s ready to give back.

“I have the time that I can dedicate to this on behalf of everybody else,” he said. “It’s time to again stand up and see if I can come and help our community out.”

Reid joins retired BC Ferries captain Janice Lloyd, former councillor Ralph Forsyth, retired schoolteacher Dawn Titus and incumbent Jen Ford in the race for a council seat. Incumbent councillor Jack Crompton will run for mayor.

The nomination period runs from Sept. 4 to 14. Those interested in running can find more info at www.elections.bc.ca.

C;ick here for original article: https://www.piquenewsmagazine.com/whistler/brian-reid-to-run-for-council/Content?oid=10387908

By , August 21, 2018

reposted from: piquenewsmagazine.com

Retired BC Ferries captain hopes to ‘preserve the soul of Whistler’

fter coming up short in last year’s municipal byelection, Janice Lloyd has spent much of the past year attending council meetings and volunteering, and learning a lot in the process.

As such, the retired BC Ferries captain feels well prepared to take another run at a council seat this Oct. 20.

“I’ve been dedicating myself to becoming very familiar with all these things all along the way, but most particularly in the last year,” Lloyd said. “I’m planning on focusing (my campaign) on my stewardship and my experience, and with that, preserving the soul of Whistler.”

As a captain with BC Ferries, Lloyd was tasked with massive responsibilities, gaining experience she now hopes to lend to the Whistler council table.

“I think I have a lot to offer in terms of that, and I also feel we need to step forward, and I need to step forward, and help preserve the soul of our community in the face of this rapid development, and climate change,” Lloyd said. “I certainly have a background in stewardship, loyalty, leadership … I’m hoping to offer that. I’m hoping that I’m successful in giving that to the community and to our valley.”

Lloyd first arrived in Whistler in 1965, and has lived in the community since 1970.

She was one of the original members of the arts council in the ‘80s, is on the board of directors of the Mature Action Community and is heading into her 26th year as a mountain host.

While she was encouraged to see some of her written comments reflected in a recent draft of the Resort Municipality of Whistler’s Official Community Plan, she’s less keen on the plan’s reference to borrowing money to pay for housing developments.

“I think it’s very dangerous for us to get involved with that … We’ve managed very well to this point, using our own funds and using grant money,” she said.

And while housing is important, Lloyd wants to see an added emphasis on environmental issues such as water conservation.

“I have great environmental concerns, and I had dealt with them in my life with BC Ferries … We had a water situation (in Whistler) last week where we went on to level 4 for conservation, and that was the result of one broken water line,” she said. “If we keep building and building, what is to happen to our water?”

If elected, Lloyd hopes to help carry out the rest of the work on projects already underway related to housing and transportation, while also advocating for Whistler’s senior community.

“We need to focus a lot on the basics,” Lloyd said. “And housing is one basic, but we need to be careful as we proceed on into the future, with the way we manage our waste, the way we manage our environment, the way we manage safety on the highways.”

Lloyd joins former councillor Ralph Forsyth, retired schoolteacher Dawn Titus and incumbent Jen Ford in the race for a council seat. Incumbent councillor Jack Crompton will run for mayor.

The nomination period runs from Sept. 4 to 14. Those interested in running can find more info at www.elections.bc.ca.

Click here for original article: https://www.piquenewsmagazine.com/whistler/lloyd-to-run-in-october-election/Content?oid=10281386

 

reposted from: awarewhistler.org

On October 20th Whistler will head to the polls and vote in a new Mayor and Council. As Whistlerites seek to find out where candidates stand on local issues non-profits are again stepping up to create spaces for dialogue.

On Wednesday September 26th, the Association of Whistler Area Residents for the Environment (AWARE), Arts Whistler and Whistler Community Services will host an All Candidates Meeting focused on ‘Building Sustainable Community’.

At the meeting, candidates will be given time to present to community members on the issues they care about and to answer questions from the audience which can be expected to be on topics relating to the environment, climate change, arts and culture, growth, community and issues the audience is concerned about as we collectively seek to build a shared sustainable future.

The All Candidates Meeting is free to attend so come early to be sure to secure a seat.

Doors 5:30pm  | 6pm Meeting starts

Coffee/tea available – please bring your reusable mug (to go cups will be charged for).

Childcare available – please pre-book your spot via:  https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/childcare-spaces-at-all-candidates-meeting-tickets-49750024663 (please note: this link will close 48hrs before the meeting).

A pre-survey will be issued to candidates and made publicly available prior to the meeting and for those who can not attend the meeting will be filmed.

——-

Other All Candidates Meetings are also being hosted by: Whistler Chamber & Pique Newsmagazine (Oct. 2nd and focused on business); and WORCA & Pique Newsmagazine (date to be confirmed and roundtable ‘speed dating’ format).

We hope to see you at some or all of these meetings as we get to know the candidates and determine who will best represent our community.

Click here for original media release: http://www.awarewhistler.org/?event=all-candidates-meeting

By , July 28, 2018

reposted from: piquenewsmagazine.com

Whistler heads to the polls on Oct. 20

After throwing her hat into the ring ahead of last fall’s Whistler byelection, Dawn Titus is ready to hit the campaign trail once more.

On Thursday, July 26, the longtime resort resident became the latest candidate to announce her intentions to run in this year’s municipal election, slated for Oct. 20.

Titus fell short in last year’s byelection, convened to fill the council seat left vacant by the passing of Andrée Janyk. The retired schoolteacher placed third with 201 votes, behind Kate Roddick’s 269 and ultimate winner Cathy Jewett, who garnered 799 of 1,434 votes cast.

Titus, who committed to running again after last fall’s byelection, said her first foray into local politics proved a valuable lesson.

“I learned to do my homework, to be well informed, to be diplomatic, to learn to listen, and most importantly, to be persistent,” she said. “You need to develop a really strong sense of persistence when you have a belief and a desire to accomplish something.”

Now a regular attendee of municipal council meetings, Titus was inspired to delve deeper into local politics after she learned of a proposal to build an artificial turf field in Bayly Park. Titus led a push against the contentious project, questioning its price tag and environmental impact. (In a tight vote last month, council awarded two contracts to build the field totalling $2,015,900.)

In Titus’ mind, the turf field reiterated the need for more prudent spending at municipal hall.

“The first thing that drew me to that project was the (originally proposed) cost,” she recalled. “My first issue was (around) fiscal responsibility, and we saw that last year with the Gateway Loop.

“I had some serious concerns about the way the Gateway Loop (project) went through. Really, my primary focus has always been fiscal responsibility and how we are spending our money.”

Titus said the key tenet of her platform is to “look after locals first,” and addressing affordability, housing and transportation will be crucial to that effort.

Although supportive of the RMOW’s decision last year to add 1,000 bed units to Whistler’s affordable housing stock, Titus would like to see the timeline accelerated.

“A thousand beds in five years is too long because we’re going to lose half those (workers) and we need all of them from what I can see,” she said. “Every single business or organization is short-staffed, so it needs to be a shorter timeframe, for sure, and maybe we need to do some Band-Aid solution now to be able to keep some of those people here that have no place to live or they’re living in ridiculously unaffordable places. I’m not the fixer, I’m not even an elected person, but, boy, get me in there and that will be my focus.”

Titus would also like to see greater limits to growth as Whistler nears its approved development capacity of 61,561 bed units, a key topic of discussion throughout the public consultation period on the resort’s forthcoming update to its Official Community Plan (OCP).

“We need to figure out a way to deal with the capacity,” she said. “With this whole new OCP thing, for the last 20 years we thought we were going to see an end to bed units and the bed cap. It seems to me that that door continues to be wide open.

“There’s so much to enjoy here, but I think we all need to do whatever we can to protect the beauty of what we have and find a way to make the visitor experience as amazing as it should be.”

Titus joins incumbent councillors Jen Ford and Jack Crompton in this fall’s election race. The nomination period for the Oct. 20 election runs from Sept. 4 to 14.

Those interested in running can find more information at www.elections.bc.ca.

Click here for origianl article: https://www.piquenewsmagazine.com/whistler/dawn-titus-announces-intentions-to-run-in-fall-election/Content?oid=9832810

 

By , Online Journalist  Global News, June 30, 2018

reposted from: globalnews.ca

Candidates

To be announced.

Boundary

The Resort Municipality of Whistler is located along Highway 99 about 100 kilometres north of Vancouver, between Squamish and Pemberton.

Population (2016)

11,854

History

Prior to European settlement, the area that is now Whistler was the territory of Coastal Salish First Nations people, and served as a key waypoint for Indigenous traders between the Squamish and Lil’wat nations.

Several ski lodges were built in the area, and a small community at Alta Lake was established in the early decades of the 20th century, with logging and mining anchoring the local economy.

A small village at the current Creekside site was built, along with the first ski runs, in the 1960s, and Whistler first opened for skiing in 1966. However, prior to the 1970s, the area remained little more than a collection of ski cabins.

In 1975, the province of B.C. passed the Resort Municipality of Whistler Act, which opened the area to development. In 1977, the new municipality was given 53 acres of Crown Land to create a town centre, which rapidly began expanding.

Blackcomb Mountain opened in 1980 and the area grew to be one of North America’s premiere ski destinations; in 1998 Whistler and Blackcomb mountain merged under Intrawest corporation.

Vancouver and Whistler were officially awarded the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, which came with a major upgrade to the Sea to Sky Highway linking the community to Vancouver.

In 2016, U.S.-based Vail resorts bought the ski hills and associated business for $1.4 billion.

Median total income of couple economic families with children (2015)/B.C. median

$113,579/$111,736

Political representation

Federal

Pamela Goldsmith-Jones (Liberal)

Provincial

Jordan Sturdy (BC Liberal)

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment In

Click here for original article: https://globalnews.ca/news/4168566/b-c-municipal-election-2018-whistler/

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