The municipality is asking the province if the planned daytime
closures of Highway 99 between Function Junction and the village can be moved
to night, Mayor Ken Melamed said this week.
The full closures — which would take place in this spring
— are currently planned between 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. as part of the
Whistler highway upgrades. Other closure times are 11 p.m. to 2 a.m. and 3 a.m.
to 5 a.m.
Melamed said the Ministry of Transportation scheduled the
daytime closures for blasting work, which they did not want to be done at night
because of noise. The municipality, however, is wondering if a different
arrangement can be worked out.
“We continue to dialogue with them to see if they can work with
the contractor and move to nighttime,” said Melamed.
He added that the province has said there will be no full
highway closures in the winter.
Construction on the highway started this week, and the $9.8
million project is expected to wrap up in 2009.
The project will add a temporary third lane between Function
Junction and Creekside during the 2010 Games, which will later be converted
back into two lanes with wider highway shoulders. The grade on Nordic Hill will
also be improved.
Spring Creek day care closures moves to provincial level
MLA Joan McIntyre will continue lobbying the provincial
government about Whistler’s day care challenges, after meeting with council
this week to discuss the problem.
The West Vancouver-Garibaldi MLA is familiar with Spring Creek
day care’s announced closures, as well as other issues Whistler has faced over
the past few years, said Mayor Ken Melamed.
“Ms. McIntyre is well versed on the file and has been speaking
with her minister responsible, trying to find out what we can do,” said
Melamed, stressing that childcare is a federal and provincial government
responsibility, not a municipal one.
“We told Ms. McIntyre that the municipality is looking at its
bylaws around home care provision, but that is really as far as we can go. The
province is the one that regulates and sets training levels and provides the
McIntyre has also told the municipality that she will be
looking at speeding up the accreditation process for childcare workers who are
not from B.C., although Melamed acknowledged this legislation will probably not
come on board in time to save the Spring Creek program.