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Jewett adds name to list of byelection candidates

Ski patroller boasts years of volunteer experience

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The race for Whistler's vacant council seat is heating up, as another longtime local has announced intentions to run.

Whistler's 2016 Citizen of the Year Cathy Jewett will add her name to the growing list of candidates for the Oct. 28 byelection.

"This may be one of the biggest changes I think I've seen Whistler go through since Blackcomb opened and the Village was built," Jewett said.

"I think we're really at a crossroads and that it's a really important time to be involved, and also it's a great opportunity to learn the ropes, to see how it would work for me being on council if I decide to run for the next term."

Whistler's challenges around things like housing, transportation and the effects of rapid growth have been well publicized in recent years, and if elected, Jewett said she plans to take a collaborative approach to addressing the issues.

"I think the biggest thing is consensus. We're not going to be able to change things by coming in and saying that we have the only solution," she said.

"I'm certainly not the only person that's been looking at these issues and thinking of ways that we can solve them. I think I come at it certainly with a genuine interest in the community, and a connection to the people that are affected by the changes."

Jewett has lived in Whistler since 1976 and boasts decades of volunteer experience, including as a founding member of AWARE, as current chair of Communities That Care Whistler, as a WORCA ride guide, a docent at the Audain Art Museum and various roles on local and provincial Parent Advisory Councils (among other things).

She's also had a long career working as a professional ski patroller, and more recently in a supervisory role with Whistler Blackcomb's safety department.

"I think that (my volunteer work) creates a really great connection to the people that are struggling, but also I think my work (as a ski patroller) does too, because most of the people I have worked with on the ski patrol and on the mountain, we're kind of the backbone of the business and also of the community," she said.

"We're working-class people."

Though she's never sat on municipal council, Jewett's volunteer endeavours have placed her on various boards and committees throughout the years — experience that will likely come in handy if she wins the seat this October.

"I have no doubt it's going to be a huge learning curve," she said.

"I don't have the advantage of the council all coming in and learning together, but I look forward to gaining the confidence of the sitting council, and I hope that I can depend on them to help get me up to speed quickly."

The elected councillor will fill the seat of the late Andrée Janyk, who passed away in June.

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