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Letter to the editor

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This letter was addressed to Health Care Minister Colin Hansen

The staff of the Whistler Health Care Centre is angry and frustrated that they are not able to receive wage increases comparable to other health care workers in the province. We have tried negotiating with our employer, the Sea to Sky Community Health Council, but were told they are not allowed to enter into an agreement with us due to regional restructuring. It may take months before we are able to negotiate with a new governance system.

The Whistler Health Care Centre generates revenue; helps fund programs in the Sea to Sky corridor, yet we are earning less than other workers doing the same job. We are a non-union facility. Squamish and Pemberton workers, union facilities, are receiving their increases, from the same Community Health Council that governs us. We as a non-union facility are being discriminated against. Is that legal? Is that fair? We will lose staff to other facilities where they receive better wages.

The Whistler Health Care Centre has a world-wide reputation for its excellent care, receiving an award for excellence in customer service from the Quality Council of B.C. in 1999. Christmas is our busiest time of year, and now just before Christmas, we are told there will be no wage increases at this time. Angry, frustrated staff does not encourage excellence.

The 2010 Olympic Bid Corporation will need the Whistler Health Care Centre to demonstrate accessibility and excellence in care as part of their Olympic bid proposal. If we cannot attract staff due to wage inequities, this will not be possible.

We encourage you to resolve this matter as soon as possible. We are asking for no more, than other health care workers in the province are receiving.

Workplace Consultation Committee

On Behalf of All the Staff at the

Whistler Health Care Centre

I'm writing to congratulate Whistler on hosting a world class film festival its first year out of the gates.

This year I also attended the Vancouver and Toronto Film Festivals, but Whistler was my favourite. The calibre of programming, and the accessibility of the film-makers and actors was incredible. Whistler’s festival was fun, and gave the public a real opportunity to be a part of the film business.

Bruce Sweeney's Last Wedding, which opened Toronto and closed the Vancouver festival, screened on Saturday night in Whistler. Where in Vancouver the audience was treated to endless and necessary "words from our sponsors," in Whistler we were greeted by the entire cast of the film for an open and enjoyable question and answer period.

Saturday night I attended a dinner for those in the film community who came to Whistler for the festival. Everyone I spoke to was dazzled by the level of hospitality and was thrilled to be in Whistler. I don't think anyone was expecting such a first rate event. Kudos to the organizers for their vision and for making Whistler's festival such a success.

See you next year.

Rikia Saddy

Vancouver

This letter was addressed to Bob Calladine.

I am writing in regards to your letter to the editor published on November 22 in the Whistler Question and November 23 in Pique Newsmagazine stating you did not receive a response to a letter sent to Council for their October 15 meeting.

To clarify our policy, all correspondence to Council must be signed and include a return address. This particular letter was dropped off at municipal hall with neither. However, Council and staff felt the letter should be addressed at a public meeting, and staff contacted one of the people named at the bottom of the letter to sign it so it could be added to the agenda.

Staff reply to all correspondence received at Council meetings, and I have enclosed a copy of the response sent to the letter's signatory, Mr. Mark Madiuk, on October 24. It appears this may not have been shared with you. I do know that Mayor O'Reilly spoke to you personally about the letter, and to some of the other residents whose names were on the letter, to explain Council's position.

I hope this clears up any misunderstanding. If you have any questions, you may contact me at 604-935-8104.

Yours truly,

Diana Waltmann

Information Officer

Resort Municipality of Whistler

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