News » Whistler

Couple out on the street after eviction



With no where else to go George and Medwyn Cook spent a chilly night camped out on the side of the road this week with all of their worldly possessions tucked under a tarp behind them.

Early Tuesday morning bailiffs and the RCMP knocked on their door at the Whiski Jack condos in Creekside and evicted them.

They said they were totally unprepared even though they were notified almost four months ago that George Cook’s position as caretaker for Whiski Jack was being eliminated.

Since that decision on Aug. 15, the couple has been trying to get the strata council to repeal their decision.

But at the annual general meeting of Whiski Jack owners on Nov. 20 the decision was upheld and supported by 75 per cent of the owners who attended the meeting.

Calls made by Pique Newsmagazine to the strata council were not returned.

The couple was in shock on Tuesday afternoon as they watched movers lay down plastic on the road and haul the contents of their house on to the street.

"We’ve got nowhere to go," said George Cook.

"There’s not a single place to rent."

In a last-ditch attempt to stay, the couple said they offered to pay rent at the Whiski Jack condo, a place they have been calling home for the past 18 months.

They never imagined that they would be sitting on the side of the road without a roof over their heads.

"I didn’t think that was going to happen," said Medwyn Cook as she choked back tears.

George Cook said he had to watch his wife crawl out of the house on her knees because her legs are in casts.

The couple has been living in Whistler for the past 14 years. Two of their children, 21 and 14 years old, lived with them at Whiski Jack.

"We can’t even have Christmas for our kids now," said Medwyn.

But after more than 24 hours sitting on the road they seemed a little more hopeful on Wednesday afternoon.

Friends and tenants from the condos stopped by offering help. Some brought food, others brought firewood to stoke the barrel fire that was their only source of heat.

Their son stayed with them during the night, keeping the fire burning.

"Last night was the longest I’ve seen my son in six months. That was the nicest thing of all of this," said George, adding that they had to chase away a bear and a coyote in the middle of the night.

Medwyn said they don’t stay depressed long. She said her husband was only given a few months to live when he was diagnosed with cancer five years ago.

"What could be worse than that?" she asked.

They say they can’t leave their stuff sitting in the middle of the road and so they’re appealing to the community for some to help to find a garage or a storage unit so that they can put their stuff away and then find some shelter for themselves.

Medwyn said a lot of kids might be leaving town in the next month because it hasn’t snowed and she is hoping a place for rent will turn up soon.

"This is our town," she said.

"We’ve been here long. We’re not going to leave. We just have to find people to help us a little."

George said he is looking for work and if anyone needs a job done they can reach him on his cell phone at 604-935-6072.

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