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Meeting on village violence viewed as a positive step

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A youth was later picked up and charged with possession of a firearm for a dangerous purpose.

"For me what happened in the past with the whole gun issue means that I am looking for some immediate solutions," said Tischuk.

"I am looking for a solid joint effort to stamp out violence in the village. I think it is really damaging Whistler’s overall appeal in the village."

Part of the solution said Tischuk is a joint understanding amongst all the bars of having a zero tolerance for trouble-makers or gang-like groups getting into the clubs.

He believes that if this type of patron understands they are not going to get into clubs here at all they will stop coming up from the Lower Mainland.

Eric Larsen, one of the co-owners of Whistler Taxi, said he has been to at least three of these meetings in the past, and while there is no shortage of good ideas, there is usually very little action.

"People have a lot of ideas, so long as they don’t have to do them," he said.

One suggest Larsen made was to follow Vancouver’s example and allow bars to open until 4 a.m. on a trial basis. That would allow bars to empty out more gradually, and ease the nightly crush at the taxi loop.

"Not all of the fights are over cabs, it just seems that whenever you get a big group of people together in one place with a little alcohol, there are going to be a few fights. A lot of things do happen when there is a conflict over who gets what cab, and people accuse each other of butting in," said Larsen.

Another suggestion of his was to put an officer at the taxi loop. Whenever there is a police presence, he has noticed that the number of incidents drops off dramatically.

The idea to increase the number of taxi stands in the village to spread out resort visitors could also work, but unless people know to go to those areas, drivers won’t go there – especially in the shoulder season. Until the summer tourist season gets underway, Larsen says his drivers make virtually all of their money on the weekends.

During the week, the company gets by with about three cars on the road, down from more than 42 insured cars during the winter months.

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