For the second time in 24 hours, Whistler’s election candidates addressed some of the most pressing issues facing the resort at a community forum held at Millennium Place Wednesday, Oct. 29.
Over 150 community members packed the theatre to hear the two mayoral and nine council candidates delve deeper into their campaign platforms. Co-hosted by Pique, the Question, the Whistler Chamber of Commerce and Whistler Arts Council, there was a vast range of issues discussed that had relevance to each of the resort’s major sectors.
In what have become perhaps the most recurrent themes of this campaign, addressing housing shortages in the community was at the forefront of many candidates minds, along with providing a livable wage to Whistler’s seasonal workforce.
With the future of the Resort Municipality Initiative program in question — which the resort benefits from to the tune of roughly $7 million a year — candidates were asked to outline their strategies for keeping Whistler’s economy robust in the event that provincial dollars dry up.
Thanks to the arts council’s input, arts, culture and heritage was another topic on the agenda Wednesday evening, with the messaging consistent among nominees that cultural tourism should play a crucial role in diversifying Whistler’s economy.
The short turnaround time between debates benefitted most candidates who seemed better prepared to answer the tough questions following Tuesday’s environmentally-focused forum at the Whistler Public Library.
Incumbent Mayor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden will face off against regular mayoral candidate Shane Bennett in next month's election.
Incumbents Andrée Janyk, John Grills and Jack Crompton are seeking reelection, while newcomers Jen Ford, Sue Maxwell, Steve Anderson, Michael D’Artois, Peter Crutchfield and Tristan Galbraith bid for their first term on council.
Check with Pique this Thursday for the full story.
The Whistler Off Road Cycle Association (WORCA) will host the third and final all-candidates meeting on Monday, Nov. 3 at the Whistler Secondary School. The roundtable meeting is open to non-WORCA members, and is scheduled to run from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.
Visit www.worca.com/candidates-meeting-mon-3rd-nov-630-930pm for more information.
General voting day is Nov. 15.