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Candidate profile: Miro Kolvek

Whistlerites head to the polls Oct. 20

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To hear it from him, Miro Kolvek and his family stumbled on Whistler by accident.

The Kolveks had been living in Mission when someone Miro knew urged him to take a drive and explore the province.

"I come here, it was sunny day—beautiful sunny day, and in the square where is gondola, big party, music, people happy, you can smell marijuana, beer everywhere, you know, and guy he is saying on the stage: 'This is Whistler! Every day is Friday! Every weekend is long weekend!'" Kolvek, 56, says through his Eastern European accent.

"Wow, so maybe we move here, no?"

Five weeks later, Kolvek and his wife had purchased Esquires Coffee House and moved their four children to Whistler.

Originally from communist Czechoslovakia, Kolvek immigrated to the United States in 1989 and then to Canada in 1997.

He holds a masters in engineering and political science and speaks eight different languages.

"Unfortunately, everybody promise affordable housing, but nobody develop that. They developing a lot, but it's not enough," Kolvek says.

"So housing is one foundation key; another key is mismanaging public money."

Kolvek points to largely inflated budgets on projects like the Whistler Public Library and Gateway Loop as examples of mismanaged funds.

"I want to say, yeah, this is a problem, and when we fix this problem, we have also solution, because we're going to have so much money that every day going to be Christmas or Hanukkah or whatever people celebrate," he said.

"You're going to have the money, and you're not going to see unhappy people living in their minivans."

In addressing Whistler's housing issues, Kolvek said he'd like to see the Whistler Housing Authority build more.

"We have to use land and people can develop their own houses. We can build apartment complexes for young families and blend this with senior citizens, so everybody can be in the building, and living together, and help each other," he said.

"And after that, we have to build few more houses for accommodation, local workers, local families, and workforce when they come. We have to be (in) cooperation with Whistler Blackcomb, because they are going to accommodate, every winter, huge quantity extra people."

He would also like to see the elimination of pay parking for locals, less red tape at municipal hall (referencing a friend of his who spent three years and $10,000 on a lawyer trying to get a building permit), and no taxes for people legally renting short-term rentals.

"Take care of our people, and control government better," Kolvek said.

"Just simple. You use your common sense, and just like uncle Bob Marley, singing 'don't let them fool you' again."

Kolvek has ran for mayor twice before in Whistler, in 2008 and 2011, which he described as great experiences.

Another reason he's running is "to show my kids that, 'you can do it, guys,'" he said. "This is your country. I'm just like little immigrant from nowhere, and thanks to Indigenous people, we are here. Thanks to Canadian people, we immigrated. Thanks to Canadian government, I come to this country."

Find more on Facebook at Miro for Council.

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