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CSP Volume I adopted

‘It’s already proved itself to be a powerful tool’

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"Where’s the champagne?" asked Councillor Gordon McKeever, just before council officially adopted Volume I of the Comprehensive Sustainability Plan on Monday night.

There was no champagne and considerably less fanfare as the CSP was adopted into policy Monday, compared to its hyped up launch nearly three years ago. Still, the kudos for staff, council and the community abounded.

Despite missing three of their members, council adopted Volume I of the CSP, now called Whistler 2020 – Moving to a Sustainable Future .

McKeever called it a signature achievement for this term in council and he didn’t mince words for the naysayers who have levelled criticism throughout the lengthy and over-budget CSP process, which, despite its flaws, has become a groundbreaking plan garnering national and international attention.

"There’s been some criticism all throughout the process," he said. "To put it bluntly, I’d like to recommend to those people to get over it."

Volume I is a 42-page document describing all that Whistler aspires to be in 2020, explained Mike Vance, general manager of community initiatives, in his presentation to council. It is the resort’s long-term, overarching, community-wide plan that is guided by Whistler’s values and sustainability principles.

At its heart lies The Natural Step, the sustainability blueprint through which decisions can be made, based on the most sustainable path.

Among other things, Volume I describes Whistler as a strong, healthy and sustainable community which values its natural environment, its guests, the people who live and work here and a strong tourism economy.

It also talks about Whistler’s priorities in terms of enriching community life, enhancing the resort experience, protecting the environment, ensuring economic viability and partnering for success.

How Whistler will realize its vision will be described in Volume II of the CSP document, which is still ongoing. That document will outline the various strategies and actions to achieve the goals and is scheduled for completion in 2005.

The adoption of Whistler 2020 on Monday was followed with a practical application of how the new policy will be used at municipal hall. The former Grants in Aid program, whereby the municipality gives funding to community groups, has been changed to reflect the new plan. The program has been renamed the Community Enrichment Program and now applicants must show how their request for funding furthers Whistler’s commitment towards a sustainable future in the resort.

Though Monday’s adoption of Volume I marked a milestone in this process, council members are under no illusions; there is still a lot more work to come.

"We’re just starting the implementation," said Councillor Marianne Wade. "Volume II is going to require a lot of work."

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