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Financial tools, land bank, CDP — the candidates speak

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It’s my understanding that the RMOW is seriously considering a resort tax. For more on my views regarding financial tools, look for my full-page letter in next week’s edition of the local papers.

Land Bank for Resident Housing:

Securing a land bank as part of Whistler’s Olympic Legacies is a great opportunity. The challenge: a land bank does not equal resident housing now or maybe ever. And Whistler needs to resolve its affordability/housing now. So what’s the plan? One option is the development of 8,000 restricted bed units in the Callaghan. What will be the tax increase in Whistler proper to subsidize the services such as water and sewage treatment and transportation to that neighbourhood? In a political climate to solve Whistler’s affordability/housing problems, I fear that in-depth financial analysis of the Callaghan may not occur. The Callaghan has the potential to make Whistler less affordable, not more. As a councillor I will draw upon my financial experience to fully examine the opportunities and challenges associated with the land bank and all its various options.

Comprehensive Sustainability Plan ( Whistler. It’s Our Future ):

Creating a new vision for Whistler – directing the community for the next decade is a wonderful opportunity. The $740,000 price tag and the loss of credibility over consultant selection have left the public disillusioned.

The project faces huge challenges and would benefit from my sustainability training and financial scrutiny.

AMAR VARMA:

The financial tools are very important to Whistler as it will give us access to funds that are not available to us, but all the council can do at the present time is to join with other resort communities and lobby Victoria with one voice. The land bank issue is now basically a choice of where we would like to see residential housing, the choice between out of Whistler or within Whistler. I am opposed to any housing which would bus working people to an area outside Whistler. The sustainability plan has to be re-thought as I still do not believe that enough consultation with the people of Whistler has yet been accomplished. We must find a way so that more people will be able to participate in expressing their thoughts, hopes and wants. I would do my very best to represent the citizens of Whistler and insure that their wishes are kept to the forefront of any decisions made by council.