Whistler has been a stronghold for the provincial Liberals in the last decade but if a recent visit from the Green Partys Vancouver Point Grey candidate is any gauge the political landscape here could become much greener.
Damian Kettlewell was one of the first B.C. Green Party candidates nominated to run in the provincial election on May 17 and he came to Whistler last week to speak with Mayor Hugh OReilly and learn more about Whistlers Natural Step approach to sustainability.
The visit came from a representative of a different riding who pledged to spread the word about what Whistler has done to transform the Natural Step process into a practical approach to sustainability. Vancouver Point Grey is the riding Liberal Premier Gordon Campbell represents.
The Green Party will select a candidate in West Vancouver-Garibaldi, around the end of March.
"Were here to learn more about Whistlers move to the Natural Step and trying to figure out ways upon which we can promote this through B.C.," Kettlewell said.
"The mayor is a leader in Canada and around the world in helping implement the Natural Step and we see that as a critical move towards a sustainable future."
Kettlewell and his media liaison, Jean Michel Toriel, have both lived and skied in Whistler and say many of their ideas were formed here.
"I can tell you that the Green Party is the only major party that acknowledges that theres a limit to economic growth," said Kettlewell. "And were here to learn about Whistlers success and to see if we can share that success with people in our riding of Vancouver Point Grey and with the Green Party and the people in B.C."
OReilly said he was prepared to spread the news about Whistlers adoption of the Natural Step regardless of what political stripe people wanted to wear.
"Any time I can promote our sustainability plan I do," said OReilly. "I have the good fortune of being able to go across North America and talk about it so today again we were sharing how our framework was working and the successes were having right now.
"After three years of putting the plan in place its really got some legs and its got some incredible momentum and I think were going to see some tremendous output in the near future.
"What people are really interested in is not the fact that weve adopted it, its the fact that weve taken the theoretical and put it in to practical application, and I think thats what people needed to see.
"I dont care what your political stripe is, as far as Im concerned if you consume something or produce something then youre in the sustainability game and thats virtually everybody."