With only one female councillor, Whistler falls below the national average in terms of its elected female representation.
With women making up just 20 per cent of elected officials across the country, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities is looking to investigate the barriers to female participation in local politics.
The FCM is hoping to increase the benchmark of female participation to 30 per cent.
Councillor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden now sits on an FCM advisory committee that will identify the barriers keeping women from public office and look at ways to knock down those obstacles.
Wilhelm-Morden said she is hoping to hear from the community what some of the perceptions are of the challenges facing woman entering into local politics. She wants to take that information and report back to the committee.
Council approved a $2,000 budget for Wilhelm-Morden to participate.
Council to decide on grants
There are just two weeks left for local charities and non-profits to submit their applications for the municipal Community Enrichment Program.
Last year council doled out more than $250,000 in grants to local groups, ranging from environmental and sports groups to community services organizations.
The CEP program, once called the grant-in-aid program, typically is oversubscribed every year.
Each organization is required to make a presentation to council and explain how their initiatives help move Whistler toward becoming a sustainable resort community.
The deadline for applicants this year is Thursday, Feb. 15 at 4:30 p.m. Groups can find the application forms at www.whistler.ca.
Rogue builders on council’s radar
Council is sending a strong message to rogue renovators/builders in Whistler — the necessary permits are required before any construction begins.
The issue came to a head recently with a property in White Gold.
The owner of a home on Nancy Greene Drive had failed to get the necessary permits for additions to his cabin. Despite notices from the municipality to stop work, the owner continued with construction, according to municipal staff.
At its Jan. 22 meeting council directed staff to file a notice in the land title office in Victoria that the building was not in compliance with the building code.
“This is a bit of a message to the community,” said Mayor Ken Melamed after the meeting. “We haven’t been very good at enforcing against these types of disregard for the bylaws and we’re going to start doing that more.”