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I was not surprised that Nick Davies will run for mayor, following the departure of Mayor O'Reilly. Nor was I shocked that economic issues will dominate his platform. My concern is what can he provide to the everyday working class citizen? As councillor and board member of the Whistler Housing Authority, he has offered no useful legal advise or compassion to the struggling owners of Eva Lake Village. Instead he chose to represent the developer, thus complicating the already complex legal issue. I sincerely hope that another candidate more concerned with the well being of our residents and environment challenges him for the position.
Just a note to all councillors; as long as the settlement issue at Eva Lake remains unresolved, we will continue to address the media, making it an unavoidable election topic and possibly creating negative pre Olympic exposure.
A community of order-takers
I have heard comments and complaints of business being soft in Whistler for the last three years. These comments have become a major point of discussion among business people in recent months. It seems when our business is not doing well we look for a scapegoat — ?let?s find somebody to blame?. At recent meetings I heard Tourism Whistler and RMOW being blamed for doing a poor job of promoting Whistler. I feel these comments are mean-spirited and ill-founded.
Considering what Canada and Whistler have had to live with I think we are fortunate. We have survived softwood lumber, mad cows, pine beetles, SARS, terrorism, mandatory passports to cross the border, very little snow last winter, unprecedented rain from April to the first week of July 2005, $1/litre gasoline, a very valuable highway improvement which for the last year has likely discouraged a number of day visitors, and an 82 cent dollar instead of 63 cents.
From 1986 until 1999 or so, our local residents helped the businesses reach a breakeven point during our slow seasons by buying their goods and services in Whistler, but thanks to municipal ?no growth? policies restricting the construction of housing, real estate prices went through the roof and a large percentage of our local workers are now forced to live in Pemberton and Squamish, where they now buy their goods and services. I believe this has had some impact on our local food and retail trade. This ?no growth? attitude has been so successful that housing in Pemberton and Squamish are now out of reach for many of our local workers. Who knows, if we keep it up, pretty soon our working folks will be forced to live in D?Arcy or Lillooet. Most Canadians support a reasonable immigration policy yet many communities have a no growth attitude — very interesting!