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Bob Williams speaking Sunday


One of the architects of Whistler's development as a destination resort is returning as part of the Whistler Forum's series of speakers.

Bob Williams, a cabinet minister in the NDP government from 1972 to 1975, was responsible for stopping logging on Blackcomb Mountain, thus preserving the area for ski development. He was also instrumental in freezing commercial development in the Whistler valley while a comprehensive plan could be put in place.

In a discussion titled "Pioneers, Leaders and Mentors for Whistler's Future," he'll be talking about co-operative economic opportunities, as well as tidbits about Whistler's history.

"I'd certainly like to cover some of the history of the evolution of Whistler," Williams said in an interview. "The early stages when Al Raine phoned me when I was a minister and urged me to stop the logging on Blackcomb, which would have destroyed the potential (for a ski resort).

"I think the region needs to think about the broader opportunities in the region, and you know, I don't' think I have anything tight or specific to offer Whistler at the moment. It's very challenging given land prices and providing housing for employees."

Williams will be speaking at the Squamish Lil'wat Cultural Centre Sunday, Oct. 4 at 2:30 p.m.