The new artificial turf field in Cheakamus Crossing has an official name: The Andrée Vajda Janyk Sports Field.
The field is named in honour of the late Andrée Janyk, who passed away as a sitting councillor in June 2017 after a battle with cancer.
Mayor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden made the announcement at the Oct. 2 council meeting in an emotional address.
"This naming is meant to recognize and honour Andrée's community involvement, but it also acknowledges her passion for sport, kids in sport and soccer in particular," Wilhelm-Morden said through tears.
"She believed wholeheartedly in the merits of the artificial turf field, and someone said to me perhaps Andrée would not want her name attached to this field because of the controversy of it. I think just the opposite. Andrée would have been so proud that her town moved forward with her vision."
Councillor John Grills agreed.
"Andrée devoted so much time to this community through sport, education and recreation for all ages, but she had a special place in her heart for the youth," Grills said.
"I am honoured to vote in favour of this naming and I can't wait to see her grandchildren playing on this field."
Construction on the field began in July and is expected to wrap up by the end of this month.
A ribbon cutting and plaque installation ceremony will take place in the coming weeks.
COUNCIL PUSHES FOR STRONGER SMOKING BYLAW
A proposed update to Whistler's smoking bylaw considered by Vancouver Coastal Health to be one of the most stringent in Canada didn't go far enough for Whistler council.
The update proposed increasing the non-smoking perimeter around buildings from six metres to 10, designating the Valley Trail as non-smoking and improving language around definitions.
But before the bylaw was read, Coun. Jack Crompton proposed an amendment banning smoking from the Village Stroll entirely.
There has been some discussion behind the scenes as to how to get to that point, said general manager of corporate and community services Ted Battiston.
"There are subtleties in some of the issues that you're raising already—the mapping of it, whether it's Village Stroll, whether it's beyond the Village Stroll. It wouldn't replace the six metres to 10 metres," Battiston said, noting that buildings outside of the Village still need to be considered in the bylaw.
Battiston suggested council direct staff to update the smoking bylaw and associated ticketing bylaws to prohibit smoking for all Village Stroll areas, and that it be done as soon as practical.
Staff will try to have the bylaw ready for the Oct. 16 meeting, Battiston said.
BYLAW INTRODUCED TO RESTRICT ONCE-THROUGH WATER SYSTEMS
Also at the Oct. 2 meeting, council gave first three readings to a bylaw addressing once-through cooling (OTC) and similar water systems in the resort.
As it stands now, OTC devices use the cold temperature of the local water supply to cool certain devices before discarding the water into the sanitary sewer system.
A well-maintained, small-to-medium sized OTC unit uses about six litres of water per minute.
With units typically running 12 hours a day, the consumption rate can add up to 1,600 cubic metres of water per year for each unit (enough to fill half an Olympic-sized swimming pool).
After engaging stakeholders, the Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) is proposing a bylaw addressing three types of "once-through" water usage: reservoir style urinals (which flush and refill repeatedly, and are not allowed under the current plumbing code), OTC equipment and "freeze protection" (building owners leaving their water running over the winter to prevent pipes from freezing).
The toughest nut to crack is the OTC units, which took up most of the conversation in stakeholder sessions hosted by the RMOW.
The RMOW is proposing a 10-year timeline to phase the equipment out, as through engagement staff has found the issue to be complicated.
For one, businesses are not volumetrically billed for water usage, which means the RMOW can't provide them with an accurate return on investment estimate.
As such, the RMOW is proposing a new volumetric water-metering program for the industrial-commercial-institutional sector to bill businesses based on how much water they use.
The project will include stakeholder engagement and will require council approval with the 2019 budget.
Leasing arrangements also add to the complexity.
A restaurant may lease a space inside a building, for example, but they don't own the building envelope, and replacing many of the OTC systems will require exterior access (which in turn will likely require a Development Permit).
The bylaw is a longtime coming, Wilhelm-Morden said.
"It was considered by council I think back in the mid 2000s and stalled out, so it's long overdue," she said. "I'm really happy to see this coming forward."
But Grills expressed concern about the bylaw, having worked with water-cooled refrigeration in the restaurant industry for more than 30 years.
"I'm glad that it's the 10-year (phase out)," he said.
"It's a large cost involved here and it's going to be problematic for some operations."