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JM: Im not sure about that, a new gas tax, Im not sure I would be willing to make any kind of commitment to that at all in my position, thats more of an issue for the Ministry of Transportation but Ive certainly been supportive of the program, the trial was very successful, and I have at least met with the minister to speak about it, to get it on Minister Falcons radar screen. I told him it was very important for the corridor, especially for those who have to commute. All I can say is that were working towards that, and Im certainly going to be an advocate for it, but Im not in a position to make any commitments regarding a new tax. Im just happy weve finally got that (gas tax) cheque in the bank.
Pique: Are there other examples of issues that cross over different municipalities?
JM: I think Crown land is a big issue, on Bowen Island, for one, theyre looking for protection for their watershed, so certainly Crown land and water use and land use are issues that are important up and down the corridor although Independent Power Projects didnt come up at the UBCM, which is strange.
With Whistler, the issue of financial tools was raised at several of the meetings, including a meeting between the Whistler representatives and the Finance Minister and Revenue Ministers, Carole Taylor and Rick Thorpe, and that was definitely high on the agenda.
Pique: Is the whole concept (of financial tools) moving along in any shape or form?
JM: I think it is. What Id like to say on that subject, and I heard this from the Finance Minister, is that it is on the agenda, they recognize the importance of the issue to Whistler and other resort municipalities as theyre growing, but the best thing to say right now is that its complicated, its more complicated than it might appear. The solutions are not immediately evident, theres some obstacles, but theyre definitely looking at some alternatives. And I think what (the ministries) are probably asking right now is for municipalities to be fairly open as to how this unfolds, and to know theyre offering a dialogue on this subject they want some back and forth on it, and I believe Whistler definitely has an opportunity to be a leader here. I know Whistler, under (former administrator) Jim Godfrey has been a member of a resort collaborative, looking at all this and working to develop a strategy for the province.