The Labour Relations Board heard closing arguments from the Canadian Union of Public Employees and the Resort Municipality of Whistler Thursday regarding the union’s bid to organize Bylaws and wastewater treatment plant employees. The RMOW contends that the unit CUPE has applied for is not appropriate. The municipality presented its witnesses and evidence to the LRB Dec. 15. The union presented its evidence Dec. 8. Under provincial law if 55 per cent or more of employees sign a card a union is automatically certified. However, if between 45 and 55 per cent of employees sign a card the LRB will conduct hearings into the certification application. There are 17 Bylaw employees and nine in the wastewater plant. Transferring responsibility Changes in the Bylaws department continue. Bylaw officers are no longer carry pepper spray. Officially, the spray was never approved by municipal council. As well, responsibility for several issues has been transferred from the Bylaws department to other departments. Business licences are now handled by the Finance department; signage is the responsibility of the Planning department; liquor licences are handled by the Fire department. Steve Bayly and Georgeann Cope Watson have been appointed to the Whistler Valley Housing Society. Bayly, a contractor, is the municipality’s appointment. He is a past member of the Advisory Planning Commission. Cope Watson leads the Healthy Communities Initiative. The new appointments were made when the WVHS expressed a desire to expand its ranks with a broader representation from the community. Whistler Resort Association President David Thomson was recently elected to the board of directors of the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TYAC). The association is a 14-member board adn the only national private sector body representing the Canadian tourism industry. Thomson also serves as chair of the Canadian Tourism Commission’s U.S. and Americas Marketing Committee. The CTC is a private industry-government venture with a mandate to promote Canada as a tourism destination. Whistler Transit is offering free rides again this New Year’s Eve. Regular bus service continues until 7 p.m. Dec. 31. From 7 p.m. Dec. 31 to 3:30 a.m. Jan. 1 all bus rides are free. Regular service and fares resume Jan. 1 at 6 a.m. That long-distance feeling BC TEL expects more than 2.5 million long-distance calls to be placed by British Columbians on Christmas day — that’s 30 phone calls made every second all day long, not including local calls. BC TEL says it will increase its circuits by roughly 10 per cent to meet the demand, and 670 operators will work part of the day to help customers with their calls. That’s one-third more operators than for a normal holiday Monday. Despite these measures, BC TEL says some customers may experience delays as their calls compete for long-distance lines with the rest of Canada. The telephone company suggests people avoid calling between 6:30 and 10:30 p.m., dial calls directly and confirm numbers in advance.