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It takes a team to reach the summit

Voters head to the polls, candidates get set to learn the ropes of local government

by and

It Takes A Team To Reach The Summit


Helping Whistler and its corridor partners find success for the next four years will start this Saturday, Nov.15 when residents head to the polls to vote in the 2014 municipal election.

Over the last few months Pique has written about the issues and the candidates in the election race. While there can be no denying that this Whistler election has fewer "hot button" issues than in previous days, it has focused the community on the issues that the resort will face in the coming years including affordability, growth, our cultural plan, and how to deal with aging infrastructure, to name a few.

As we get ready to head to the polls Pique asked the candidates, in 150 words or less, to tell us why they are running, what they are focused on accomplishing, and something about themselves.

General Voting Day in Whistler will be held at Myrtle Philip Community School from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

In Pemberton head to the Community Centre located at 7390 Cottonwood Street from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

General voting in Area B is Saturday, November 15 from 8:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m., at the Lillooet and District Recreation Centre gymnasium (930 Main Street, Lillooet) and Seton Portage Fire Hall, Seton Portage.

General voting in Area C is Saturday, November 15 from 8:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m., at the Pemberton Community Centre (7390 Cottonwood Street, Pemberton) and at Blackwater Creek Elementary School in Birken.

Please, get out and vote!



Wilhelm-Morden looks to avoid perils and pitfalls of a second term

By Alison Taylor

If history is anything to go by in Whistler, successive terms as mayor typically don't pan out as planned.

Popular Hugh O'Reilly was mayor for three terms before throwing in the towel and moving to Hawaii as part of his new career for the last four months of his final term, saying in August 2005: "This has been a very difficult term. My leadership style didn't seem to fit with this group of people."

History repeated itself for the next mayor Ken Melamed. He won two terms in office but was crushed in his bid for a third term, in the midst of a similarly divisive and dysfunctional council.

Nancy Wilhelm-Morden - SUBMITTED
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  • Nancy Wilhelm-Morden

Don't doubt for a second that Wilhelm-Morden isn't thinking about history.

"All of the time," she says.

"I think in both cases they lost their way with the community and they paid terrible prices at the end."

That's a lot to consider as she sits in her office, the rain pattering against the window on a dreary November day. Faced with the end of one of the most cohesive council teams, and looking at just nine people from which to fill the six council seats, Wilhelm-Morden is thinking about history... a lot — about what went wrong, about how a council can jackknife mid-term, how a community grows restless and starts to agitate, and most importantly, about how to stop it all from happening to her.

"My daughter Sarah says to me: don't change your persona from Nancy — mum, wife, lawyer, community person to Nancy — the mayor. Because that's the first step on the slippery slope."

Had she bowed out at the end of this term, she would have ended on a high note, her legacy intact.

So why run again?

In many respects, the job she set out to accomplish in 2011 is still unfinished.

This term, it could be argued, was a planning term, a time of stripping things down to bare bones and building up again. Four hefty plans were started and finished.

Next term is expected to see the major execution of those plans.

And so, with a deep breath and a keen eye to the past, Wilhelm-Morden readies herself for the next four years.

Top of mind is keeping council on top of municipal finances, work that is well underway with quarterly reporting, a new reserves policy and three years of zero tax increases.

"There's been such good work on the financial side that we don't want to ignore that over the course of the four years," she says. "That is ongoing."

She dismissed any notion that the zero tax increases could be the reason why the province is reviewing its $7 million annual contribution in RMI (Resort Municipality Initiative) monies, with potential changes to the funding on the horizon.

"We wondered about that at some point, but no. I think the province was looking at all of its programs following the provincial election, including the RMI program, so it was just yet another review and I don't think what we did here locally with our economy played into that review, at all," she says.

"We still don't know what the change will be, but I am confident that due to the full court press that we put on for the provincial government when we caught wind at the end of February that changes may be coming, that we will hopefully have word of a good result in that program."

A good result, she added, is keeping the current funding model intact.

And then there is overseeing the recommendations in the four big plans, which cover culture, the economy, education and recreation.

Big decisions are on the horizon flowing from those recommendations, decisions that will have financial impacts and will change the way Whistler looks.

There are the very complicated issues too facing the Cheakamus Community Forest, balancing the push to log mature forest with recreation and wildfire management concerns.

Blanketing off of these things is the tenuous relationship with neighbouring First Nations — tenuous in the sense that a recent Supreme Court decision has coloured all future dealings with First Nations in a new light. How Whistler, and Squamish and Lil'wat First Nations, will navigate through this new landscape, remains to be seen. And how that will affect Whistler getting a new Official Community Plan (OCP), a plan that was quashed this past term in court by First Nations, is anyone's guess.

Despite all the groundwork laid this term, the next four years will be no cakewalk.

Wihelm-Morden knows that key to its success will be a council team that works together. What that team looks like is now up to the community.

"What I've been really proud of over the course of the last three years is restoring the trust the community has in the local level of government," she says. "We've done that by providing good government. And even though that sounds very boring and mundane it's actually a lot more difficult to deliver than you think it might be."



Waking up Whistler, one election after another

By Alison Taylor

It's not easy to convince people to change their way of thinking, to reject the traditional establishment, to open their minds and "wake up."

Shane Bennett knows that all too well. Sometimes, he says, it feels like he's in "a parallel reality," one in which he's living in the truth, unlike everyone else.

Shane Bennett - SUBMITTED
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  • Shane Bennett

At the recent WORCA all-candidates meeting, where he handed out pages about Canadian banks titled 'You Don't Know What You Don't Know,' he says he was slaughtered at some of the tables, people labelling him a conspiracy theorist.

"How can I be a conspiracy theorist when I'm actually backing things up that... (are) conspiracy(ies)?"

All Bennett really wants to do, however, is wake people up to the "truth." And that's one of the reasons why he is making a run for the mayor's seat... again. This will be his seventh attempt at a council seat in Whistler.

"Simply put, I can contribute to making the world a better place, even if it's just running, as I do, to raise awareness," says Bennett. "It's a hard thing to do."

Bennett has been living in Whistler for more than 20 years. Like many, he came for a job, in Bennett's case dry walling at the Royal Bank building, and never left. He decided to raise a family here — four boys now aged five to 16.

"Basically my life is really focused around the boys and their sports," says Bennett, proudly sharing that his boys are good sailors and all attend the Whistler Waldorf School.

Bennett, who was orphaned at birth, says he didn't go through the traditional education system in B.C. In that respect, he says his brain is hard-wired to think differently — he doesn't prejudge.

"I have a totally different perspective on how to find solutions to problems," he says.

Bennett's platform tends to focus on the bigger picture, things like United Nations' Agenda 21 — a non-binding action plan with regard to sustainable development.

He is also concerned about representation and, if elected, would push for direct democracy — a course of action in which the electorate could vote in real time on various issues rather than leaving the decisions in the hands of elected officials.

"It's going to go that way," says Bennett.

If people really want to understand what makes him tick, however, they should check out the Wayseer Manifesto — a viral You Tube video.

"It pretty well sums up who I am, why I'm doing stuff," he says. "I'm trying to effect change in a positive way. I'm trying to awaken people. I've become awake. I've always been a non-conformist. I've always sensed something wrong with society."

He said everyone in Whistler should watch the Wayseer Manifesto.

"If they're on the verge of waking up, that will probably wake them up and then they'll probably go, 'now I understand Shane. Now I understand what's going on.'"


Due to a production error Andrée Janyk's candidate profile was left out of the print version of the Pique this week, Nov.13. Pique deeply regrets the error. Please find below the full version of the election feature including the missing profile of Andrée Janyk.



Andrée Janyk

Andrée Janyk - SUBMITTED
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  • Andrée Janyk

Pique: Why did you run?

Andrée Janyk: “I am running for re-election because I want to continue be a part of the council team that leads to the further actions of the Economic Partnership Initiative, the cultural plan and the education task force recommendations. I very much want to lead a team when the Recreation and Leisure Master Plan is brought to council because I have worked very hard to help develop the draft document along with the members of the Recreation Leisure Advisory Committee — current and past members. And finally, I wanted to be on a team led by our current mayor — Nancy Wilhelm-Morden. I have enjoyed working with this council, and knowing John Grills and Jack Crompton were running again encouraged me even more to put my name forward again for council.”

Pique: Please share a brief election bio/experience.

AJ: “I am a proven leader in sports and community activities who is energetic, strategic and focused on success. I lived in Brussels, Belgium for six years doing my PhD in P.E./Kinesiology; I’m a former national alpine ski team member; I first came to Whistler in 1963 with my father, and was in Europe at 16 when he signed the first ski lift deal for the former Garabaldi Lift Company; I started the Fitness Leadership certificate program at Capilano University and sat on many National Fitness Leadership and Appraisal committees; I was Sea to Sky school trustee for 12 years; I was a British Columbia Public School Employers Association board member for nine years; I am a head referee for the Whistler Youth Soccer Club. On council I sat on the SLRD as an alternate; AWARE; the Environmental Legacy Foundation (a funding group of the Whistler Community Foundation); Measuring Up; the Public Art Program; the Recreation and Leisure Advisory Committee; the Safe Walk Committee; human resources and the Education and Learning Task Force.”

Pique: What are the top three things you want to accomplish if elected?

AJ: “I want to bring the Recreation and Leisure Master Plan to council for approval, look for priorities from the Recreation and Leisure Advisory Committee and put items into the five-year financial plan and/or those plans that could be funded by Resort Municipal Initiative monies. Some ideas would be a valley floor series of green-level mountain bike trails that connect with the Valley Trail. Also, I would like to see an improved taxi loop/bus loop that was identified by the Economic Partnership Initiative to improve guest arrival and departure. I want to improve the experience and service in our Planning Department as outlined in the Public Service report brought to council in November 2014.”

Pique: What three things would you like the electorate to know about you?

AJ: “I believe that good innovation comes from good collaboration. That good community planning is focused on the people of the community and their needs. In Whistler, that includes residents and guests being that we are a resort community. I am a former Whistler Citizen of the Year, a mother of two Olympians and am committed to improving my community through my actions and being actively involved in the community.”


Steve Anderson

Steve Anderson - SUBMITTED
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  • Steve Anderson

Pique: Why did you run?

Steve Anderson: "I can contribute to Whistler council as a dedicated, trustworthy team player who comes to the table with past history and experiences that help address our collective challenges."

Pique: Please share a brief election bio/experience.

SA: "(My) previous local work experience over the years has been twofold. In construction as a sub-contractor and homebuilder, (and) in tourism as both an outdoor adventure company business owner and employee with corporate enterprise. Pre-requisite aspects of these pursuits involve careful planning, attention to details and logistics.

"After sitting as a representative on our Official Community Plan update committee I understood where Whistler, as a resort desired to be, with clear direction on the preferred path forwards.

Pique: What are the top three things you want to accomplish if elected?

SA: "Work toward creating a needed transit and guest experience amenity hub in Whistler Village, thus reducing our dependence on automobiles.

"Direct our neighbourhood infrastructure upgrades where required, (and) improve Valley Trail connections with infill sections and safe crossings of Hwy 99 in high-use areas.

"Lobby our provincial government on the value-added benefit of external RMI funding."

Pique: What three things would you like the electorate to know about you?

SA: "Having worked in the ski-guiding business as an employee for over 20 years, operated my own businesses for over 30 years and ready to celebrate 30 years of marriage next spring (to the same gal!), staying focused and committed to the tasks at hand are important for me. This next council mandate will be Whistler's first four-year term. My history of determination to stay on track, (and my) tenacity with getting the job done will hopefully be considered assets as we plan for the future."


Michael d'Artois

Michael d'Artois - SUBMITTED
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  • Michael d'Artois

Pique: Why did you run?

Michael d'Artois: "I am running to continue to groundwork of the past council and to fulfill the recommendations of the four plans — education and learning, Economic Partnership Initiative, Community Cultural Plan, and the recreation and leisure plan."

Pique: Please share a brief election bio/experience.

Md'A: "I can provide experience and perspective as a long-term participant in the community, the resort and the municipality.

For example:

  • 37-year business owner in Whistler in real estate, accommodation and property management;
  • homeowner, family with three children;
  • past president Whistler Chamber of Commerce, 1980-1981, vice president, 1978-1979 and 1979-1980;
  • past director Tourism Whistler 1980-1981 (as Chamber ex-officio);
  • member of Whistler Advisory Planning Committee 2000-2004;
  • past director Whistler Museum and Archives 2010-2013;
  • Whistler Minor hockey coach, seven years.

For more information check out www.michaeldartois.com

Pique: What are the top three things you want to accomplish if elected?

Md'A: In an email d'Artois said he wants to establish a permanent location for the Waldorf School, as well as establish a seniors' housing and a health facility, and he wants to achieve a resolution for the Holborn development at the tennis club, a solution that will work for the community.

Pique: What three things would you like the electorate to know about you?

Md'A: "I put the natural environment first as our most important asset. I care that family values determine our community direction. I support the cap on density, as defined in our Official Community Plan."


Jack Crompton

Jack Crompton - SUBMITTED
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  • Jack Crompton

Pique: Why did you run?

Jack Crompton: "Canada's Confederation was founded on good government. We actually enshrined the concept in our Constitution Act noting that legislative bodies will seek to provide 'peace, order and good government — paix, ordre et bon gouvernement.' The mayor has said it and I agree: One of our major achievements has been providing calm, evidence-based good government. At the most basic level I am running for council because I want to be a part of providing good ole' Canadian 'good government' for Whistler. I see big challenges and opportunities ahead. I bring a strategic, innovative and collaborative approach to the council table. I've enjoyed serving and remain extremely interested and engaged by the work."

Pique: Please share a brief election bio/experience.

JC: "I love Whistler and I'm passionate about the future of this community. In my professional life I have focused mainly on transportation and software. I've been a founder and/or partner in Resort Cabs, Ridebooker and Whistler Shuttle. For the last six months I have been working on the establishment of Empowered Startups, a business incubator that will open its doors in Whistler in April 2015. Empowered Startups' mission is to bring the best and brightest entrepreneurs from around the world to Whistler and incubate their companies from ideation to significant international sales. This term as a councillor I was privileged to sit on the Audit and Finance Committee, the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District, the Transit Management Advisory Committee, the Whistler Centre for Sustainability, the Whistler Community Services Society, the Whistler Bear Working Group and the Whistler Youth Soccer Club. (My wife) Carolyn and I live in Alta Vista and we have four great kids."

Pique: What are the top three things you want to accomplish if elected?

JC: "1.) Promote, facilitate and work toward Whistler becoming the global resort home for software, technology and innovation. It's a big dream but we are taking steps in that direction with conferences like TED Active and Grow. I see tech as an industry that has natural synergies with tourism. 

2.) Drive reinvestment in Whistler. We need to leverage our current advantages (exceptional resort visitation, provincial RMI investment, the Audain Art Museum) to weather proof, improve and strengthen our community.

3.) Increase transit ridership. Sounds easier than it will be. This is one of the key things Whistler can do to address climate change."

Pique: What three things would you like the electorate to know about you?

JC: "1.) I'm a big believer in municipal government and the positive impact it can have. It's close to the ground and has direct impacts on our daily lives. I'm involved because I want to make it better, smarter and more useful, not because I want to tear it down.

2.) I hear regularly talking to Whistlerites about ideas and visions for our town as a vital part of the job of a councillor. My phone number is 604-902-8747. My Facebook is www.facebook.com/crompton. My email is jack@ridebooker.com. If I am elected, please contact me to chat about our town. I love to ski, bike, hear local ideas and talk local government.

3.) Serving on council with the people I have has been one of the highlights of my life. Thank you for your trust."


Pete Crutchfield

Pete Crutchfield - SUBMITTED
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  • Pete Crutchfield

Pique: Why did you run?

Pete Crutchfield: "I (am) fortunate enough to be living the Whistler dream for nearly 24 years now. I want to help ensure that dream is available to all, long into the future.

"There are many in town like me: people who have been here for a while and consider Whistler their home, but who also still pay rent, who collect a pay cheque from an employer, and who love living in Whistler because of the inspiring landscape and people that surround us.

"I chose to run to represent all of the people who create this beautiful tapestry that is Whistler. My career in Whistler has been in guest service and financial positions in Whistler, so I know I can work well with others while keeping an eye on your tax dollars. I feel I can use the strategies in place, as well as my own experience and financial filters to make Whistler the dream that came true for all."

Pique: Please share a brief election bio/experience.

PC: "I have worked for the past five years in the finance department for Pan Pacific Whistler, where I am responsible for the daily audit, credit card issues, payment processing, accounts receivable and some payables, as well as participation in monthly budget reviews, so I know how to keep an eye on how your tax dollars are spent.

"After volunteering for many years as a sit ski instructor for the Whistler Adaptive Program, I was elected to the board of representatives for one year. (I stepped down afterwards to pursue ski racing on the BC Provincial Para Alpine Ski Team.)"

Pique: What are the top three things you want to accomplish if elected?

PC: "1.) I would like to delve into the many facets of affordable living in this town, so that we can feel confident that we aren't missing out on attracting the best and the brightest to work and live here because they feel there are more affordable options in other resort towns.

2.) I would like to finally find a solution to practical waste disposal for locals, which balances bear awareness with the fact that many locals don't live in strata buildings with trash facilities, and also don't have easy ways to transport their trash/recycling to the two disposal facilities at Nesters and in Function Junction.

3.) I would like to work with the staff in RMOW finance to find ways to continue to improve our reserves policy, so that our financial stability is even longer than the 45 years currently projected. (For infrastructure maintenance as well as unforeseen circumstances.)"

Pique: What are the top three things you want to accomplish if elected?

PC: "1.) Long before I thought of running for council, I have always been concerned with politicians treating taxpayer money like it's an unaccountable treasure chest. I intend to consider every dollar spent like it is coming out of my own wallet.

2.) When I was in high school I was the guy who could comfortably 'hang' with every clique, and that skill of getting along with people has been one I've been nurturing my whole life. I am able to work with people to find common ground, while making decisions that use my head, without forgetting what's in my heart.

3.) If elected I believe I will be the only Whistler councillor with three years of stand up comedy under his belt, so I know how to deal with tough crowds."


Jen Ford

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  • Jen Ford

Pique: Why did you run?

Jen Ford: "I am running because I have a keen interest in local governance and a desire to be a part of the process. I feel that the opportunity to be involved is a great way to give back to a community that has given me so much in the way of friendships, career training, social and spiritual growth, and is a beautiful place to call home. My friends and neighbours have told me that I have a perspective that would positively impact the community." 

Pique: Please share a brief election bio/experience.

JF: "In 2002, I began working for Whistler Blackcomb as a supervisor, hiring and training staff for three brand new retail stores in the village. In 2006, I moved to group and conference sales, which involved working closely with hotel partners, Tourism Whistler and other tourism stakeholders in the resort. My abilities to see how the pieces work together, how Whistler fits into the global marketplace, and how to anticipate changes in tourism trends will serve the community from a council perspective as well. I ran for council in 2011 because it has always been a dream of mine to be a part of the decision-making process. 2011 was a difficult run, but prepared me for this time around. I joined the board of directors at Whistler Animals Galore so that I could contribute to the amazing work that they do. In 2012, I ran for and was elected to the board of directors for the Whistler Housing Authority as the resident and waitlist representative. I have attended nearly every council meeting for the past three years, live tweeting as @whipoli. This has given me a solid understanding of what happens at the municipal level."

Pique: What are the top three things you want to accomplish if elected?

JF: "1.) I would like to see a standard wait time, based on provincial averages, implemented for rezoning and development permit applications. 

2.) I would like to see incentives offered to homeowners that offer fair pricing and safe living conditions for seasonal and long-term workers.

3.) I would like to see an awareness campaign that promotes and protects our amazing drinking water, including more fountains around the village and less need for single-use water bottles."

Pique: What three things would you like the electorate to know about you?

JF: "I am prepared, I am passionate, and I am putting my community first. Please see all of the details at www.jenford.ca."


Tristan Galbraith

Pique: Why did you run?

Tristan Galbraith: "I am best suited to govern and lead the Whistler municipality as councillor where I continue to serve and build upon our community and its strong ties. I bring leadership, especially for the youth and Lil'wat, and want to build upon prosperous plans for our future."

Pique: Please share a brief election bio/experience.

TG: "My past includes: graduating university in commerce; a Red Seal in baking and pastry arts; I was a professional mountain biker (cross-country and downhill), as well as being an entrepreneur at Whistler Chimney, Critter Get Ritter and another one I cannot announce yet, but will soon. I understand budgets; financial statements; water; sewage; garbage; roads; construction; development; the role of governance; inter-municipal relations; bylaws; social and economic development and everything else in this community."

Pique: What are the top three things you want to accomplish if elected?

TG: "(I would like to focus on) the Great Lake Cleanup and, particularly in Alta Lake, but more importantly accomplishing other clean lakes, rivers and the watershed in general with a more adequate secure, and stable supply."

Pique: What three things would you like the electorate to know about you?

TG: "I survived a kneecap injury that shattered it into 80 pieces, Hepatitis C, illness, and have volunteered with countless organizations and boards in this small town. It's time to build and grow. We need youth leadership in Whistler. It's an oxymoron. Vote Tristan Galbraith on Nov. 15."


John Grills

John Grills - SUBMITTED
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  • John Grills

Pique: Why did you run?

John Grills: "My reasons for running are to continue the work started by the current council and assist the new councillors in getting acquainted with the role and the issues. I feel Whistler is in a better place than it was three years ago and I would very much like to keep building on what has been accomplished."

Pique: Please share a brief election bio/experience.

JG: "In addition to my regular councillor duties I also sit on a number of boards and committees including The Advisory Design Panel, HR Committee, The Whistler Housing Authority, The Liquor Licensing advisory committee, WAG, The Pub Association, Restaurant Association of Whistler and a number of village enhancement committees including Whistler 3.0.

"Outside of my municipal responsibilities I am the president of Le Chamois Strata Council and a commercial executive member of the Town Plaza Strata Council. I am the proud father of three great, young adults, Chantelle, Brendan and Ryan and married to Lorraine Fawcett-Grills, one of Whistler's finest physiotherapists. Personal time in the summer is spent honing my water sport skills, and the winter activities are mainly skiing and hockey."

Pique: What are the top three things you want to accomplish if elected?

JG: "What are a few of the agenda items for the next council that we know about today? A rapidly declining seasonal rental housing inventory, an aging village streetscape and the need for a much-improved working relationship with our First Nation neighbours north and south of Whistler. There has been steady growth in business levels. Whistler continues to be ranked among the top winter sport resorts in the world and also one of the world's top mountain biking destinations. We must keep the resort new and vibrant in order to exceed our visitors' expectations, (while) at the same time protecting our core values and strengthening our community."

Pique: What three things would you like the electorate to know about you?

JG: "I tend to be the person who tries to find the middle ground, I listen to all sides in a discussion then try to facilitate a solution. If I can add something to the conversation I will speak up, otherwise I will listen to those that can. I didn't take on this role to hear myself talk. I arrived at the meetings prepared and I am quite proud of my attendance record over the term, it was close to 100 per cent."


Sue Maxwell

Sue Maxwell - SUBMITTED
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  • Sue Maxwell

Pique: Why did you run?

Sue Maxwell: "I am running because I would like to bring the environment more to the forefront in the next term. The previous council has done a good job and set a good tone. I would like to continue on that path and offer my skills to the community to continue with the teamwork needed to keep Whistler vibrant and successful in a financially responsible way."

Pique: Please share a brief election bio/experience.

SM: "Volunteer experience on the: Whistler 2020 Materials & Solid Waste task force; the Community Advisory Group for the Official Community Plan; the Board and Policy Committee of the Recycling Council of BC; AWARE; the Squamish Lillooet Regional District Solid Waste Management Plan Monitoring Committee; as well as a long history of volunteering for many other groups.

"Work experience includes: 10 years as a dietitian, which involved providing clinical services as well as managing staff and budgets; a Bachelor of Science degree ('91) and a Master of Arts in Environment and Management ('06); six years as owner of my own consulting business, Ecoinspire, working on waste-reduction planning. This involves teamwork, research, planning, deliverables, budgets, engaging stakeholders and giving presentations.

"For fun, I enjoy skiing, hiking, biking, kayaking, camping and outdoor adventures; experiencing new cultures and landscapes; reading and following current events."

Pique: What are the top three things you want to accomplish if elected?

SM: "Make sure Whistler is prepared for a changing climate, and minimizing its contribution to it (this will include work on how people and goods move, how materials are used and disposed and ensuring a diverse, local economy).

"To revitalize Whistler 2020 to make sure we are capitalizing on this investment. This will require an engaged community that feels its local government is relevant and working for them.

"I want to move forward with the intent of our OCP (Official Community Plan), which was rescinded by a court decision. A key aspect of this will be building strong relations with our local First Nations."

Pique: What three things would you like the electorate to know about you?

SM: "I am passionate about Whistler, its people and the environment. I am willing to put in the time to understand the issues, both current and future. I have the training and skills to contribute to the council team and the community."



Fresh faces make up Pemberton race

Eight candidates vie for four council seats

By Braden Dupuis

While mayoral candidate Jerry Mohs announced he would be backing out of Pemberton's mayoral race due to health concerns, his withdrawal came too far past the Oct. 17 for him to be removed from the ballot.

The Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development did not approve his request to withdraw.

As such, voters in Pemberton will vote for both mayor and council on Nov. 15.

Mohs will face off against incumbent councillor Mike Richman on the mayoral ballot.

Eight candidates are vying for four council seats, with varying backgrounds and levels of experience.


MAYOR – 2013 SALARY: $21,438

Mike Richman

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  • PEMBERTON: Mike Richman
  • Richman is coming off of his first term as a Pemberton councillor, which included time as acting mayor.
  • In the next four years he would like to focus on infrastructure, boundary extension and recreation, among other things.
  • He believes productivity at Village Hall revolves around cooperation and respectful relationships.

(For more information go to Facebook: Mike Richman, Pemberton Council.)


Jerry Mohs

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  • PEMBERTON: Jerry Mohs
  • Pemberton resident since the 60s.
  • Would like to see village spending reined in and an increased involvement from the local business community.
  • Has been involved with many local organizations, including the Museum Society and Pemberton Radio and TV.
  • Wants to see more transparency at Village Hall.



COUNCILLORS – 2013 SALARY: $12,902

Rebecca Barley

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  • PEMBERTON: Rebecca Barley
  • Current Pemberton school trustee.
  • Spent eight years on council with the N'Quatqua Band and a year and a half as an SLRD alternate.
  • Wants to focus on fiscal responsibility and efficiency at Village Hall.
  • Wants to develop a clear vision and plan for the future for Pemberton and surrounding area.

(For more information go to Facebook: Rebecca Barley for Village of Pemberton Council.)


Deb Esseltine

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  • PEMBERTON: Deb Esseltine
  • Has been a Pemberton-area resident for more than 20 years, runs a saw mill business with her husband.
  • Main focus is bringing a Community Forest to Pemberton.
  • Also wants to improve access to recreation and trails, as well as provide more opportunities to small businesses in the village.

(For more information go to Facebook: Deb Esseltine – for Pemberton Council.)


Jennie Helmer

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  • PEMBERTON: Jennie Helmer
  • Former Pemberton councillor (2005-2008).
  • Wants to rein in village spending and have a more open discussion about boundary extension.
  • Food security and enhancing recreation opportunities are also on her agenda.
  • Believes her job as an advanced-care paramedic has made her well suited to dealing with stressful situations.

(for more information go to Facebook: Jennie Helmer-Village of Pemberton Council.)


Kiyoshi Kosky

  • Submitted
  • PEMBERTON: Kiyoshi Kosky
  • Educational assistant and community support worker in Pemberton.
  • Main priorities include protecting Pemberton's water supply, practicing better public engagement for important topics and fostering strong relationships between governments in the valley.
  • Believes that the interest and wellbeing of the community should come first and foremost in decision making.

(For more information go to Facebook: Kiyoshi Kosky for Pemberton Municipal Council)


James Linklater

  • Submitted
  • PEMBERTON: James Linklater
  • Incumbent Pemberton councillor.
  • Has learned a lot in his first three years on council, and has deep knowledge of current files and projects.
  • Would like to keep Pemberton moving forward in terms of population, infrastructure and recreation.

(For more information go to Facebook: James Linklater or email jamesforpemberton@gmail.com.)


Joanne Molinaro

  • Submitted
  • PEMBERTON: Joanne Molinaro
  • Pemberton homeowner since 2003.
  • Owns Sabre Excavations with her husband.
  • The expansion of affordable recreation, reducing government redundancies and improving relationships with other local governments are among her priorities.

(Full platform can be found at www.joannemolinaro.com.)


Karen Ross

  • Submitted
  • PEMBERTON: Karen Ross
  • President of the Pemberton and District Chamber of Commerce.
  • Has also served as the treasurer of the Pemberton and District Health Foundation and the director at Community Futures Howe Sound.
  • Fiscal responsibility, economic development, recreation and communication make up her platform.

(For more information go to Facebook: Karen Ross for Village of Pemberton Council.)


Robert Szachury

  • Submitted
  • PEMBERTON: Robert Szachury
  • Owner of Turbo Plumbing and Heating in Pemberton for 14 years.
  • Wants to enhance tourism opportunities and increase Pemberton's tax base through boundary extension.
  • Says he is not afraid to be vocal and ask tough questions.

(For more information go to Facebook: Robert Szachury for Pemberton Council.)


General Voting Day will be held at the Pemberton Community Centre located at 7390 Cottonwood Street in Pemberton from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 15.



Plenty of turnover at the SLRD

Voters ready to head to the polls

By Braden Dupuis

No matter what voters decide in the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District (SLRD), the board of directors will have a decidedly different look to it in the wake of the Nov. 15 election.

Only two directors are seeking re-election, and the newcomers throwing their names in the ring offer a wide variety of personal experience.




Debbie Demare

SLRD:  Debbie Demare - SUBMITTED
  • Submitted
  • SLRD: Debbie Demare
  • The incumbent director is once again running unopposed.
  • Demare served on the SLRD's Northern Economic Development and Initiatives committee, the Carbon Neutral Committee and the Policy Development and Review Committee.
  • She hopes to bring Area A closer to the Sea to Sky corridor in terms of relationships and economic development.




Mickey Macri

SLRD:  Mickey Macri - SUBMITTED
  • Submitted
  • SLRD: Mickey Macri
  • The incumbent has served for the past 12 years, and has never had to run an election campaign.
  • Macri serves on the First Nations Relations Task Force and the Northern Economic Development and Initiatives Committee.
  • If reelected, he would like to continue working with the Agricultural Advisory Committee and forge better relationships between the SLRD and surrounding communities.


Eckhard Zeidler

SLRD:  Eckhard Zeidler - SUBMITTED
  • Submitted
  • SLRD: Eckhard Zeidler
  • Former Whistler councillor and SLRD alternate director
  • Worked on the SLRD's Area B, Lillooet & St'at'imc Agricultural Plan, which he hopes to assist in implementing if elected.
  • Zeidler brings with him extensive knowledge of municipal government. He hopes to develop cooperation among directors that will benefit everyone in the long run.


Ron Rooke

  • Submitted
  • SLRD: Ron Rooke
  • Area B resident for 20 years.
  • Semi-retired mechanic with years of managerial experience.
  • Would like to see more transparency and accountability in terms of finances on the board.
  • Wants to take a closer look at SLRD programs and how they affect Area B residents.


General voting in Area B is Saturday, November 15 from 8:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m., at the Lillooet and District Recreation Centre gymnasium (930 Main Street, Lillooet) and Seton Portage Fire Hall, Seton Portage.




Russell Mack

SLRD:  Russell Mack - SUBMITTED
  • Submitted
  • SLRD: Russell Mack
  • Recently retired fire chief of Pemberton.
  • Says his time as chief showed him the need for cooperation among all levels of government.
  • Top six concerns he's heard from electors revolve around IPPs, boundary extension, recreation, transportation, the local economy and infrastructure.


Lee Brodowski

SLRD:  Lee Brodowski - SUBMITTED
  • Submitted
  • SLRD: Lee Brodowski
  • Has worked for the RCMP's Sea to Sky Detachment for more than three decades, and would like to bring her administrative knowledge to the SLRD.
  • Hopes to provide a voice for the residents of Area C.
  • Believes transparency and public engagement are the key to successful governance.


Kevin Damaskie

SLRD:  Kevin Damaskie - SUBMITTED
  • Submitted
  • SLRD: Kevin Damaskie
  • Has more than two decades of community involvement under his belt, whether as an activist, reporter, writer or local government employee.
  • Former sustainability coordinator with the RMOW.
  • His campaign platform concerns strengthening the economy, building partnerships and infrastructure and maintaining the character of Area C.

For more information, go to: www.kevindamaskie.com




Tony Rainbow

SLRD:  Tony Rainbow - SUBMITTED
  • Submitted
  • SLRD: Tony Rainbow
  • The sole candidate for Area D, Rainbow is set to be acclaimed.
  • Rainbow has two decades of experience working in school administration, and has lived and worked in many communities since coming to Canada from England in 1967.
  • Rainbow admits he might not have an in depth knowledge of the issues confronting the SLRD, but considers himself a quick learner.


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