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OCP public forum set for March 5

Council briefs: Junk mail; byelection finances

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Whistlerites will be able to weigh in on the update to the Official Community Plan (OCP) at an event on March 5.

The OCP public forum is set for 4 to 9 p.m. at the Whistler Conference Centre, and will feature a format similar to the one used at the last community forum in November, with a gallery walk and presentations followed by table discussions.

An online questionnaire will also be posted for those who can't attend.

"We're not starting from Step 1. We're going to use the 2,500 hours of work that's already gone into it, but the current reality is much different than it was in 2011 when that OCP was given readings," said Mayor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden, pointing to things like a changing economy and work undertaken by the Transportation Advisory Group and Mayor's Task Force on Resident Housing.

"We also want to reflect a closer integration and engagement with the Squamish and the Lil'wat Nations," Wilhelm-Morden said. "So this is the first opportunity for the public to learn and provide input into the OCP."

With a goal of having the whole process done by June, a second public input session will likely be held in April, the mayor added.

Whistler was forced to revert back to its 1993 OCP after the Supreme Court of B.C. reversed provincial approval of its updated community plan in 2014 when the court found Victoria had not adequately consulted with the local Squamish and Lil'wat First Nations.

More info on the OCP can be found at www.whistler.ca/myfuturewhistler.

An open house is also planned for the upcoming municipal budget (Thursday, Feb. 22 at the Maury Young Arts Centre beginning at 4 p.m.).

Budget info will be posted online on Thursday, Feb. 15 at www.whistler.ca/budget.

TIRED OF JUNK MAIL?

A resolution from the Whistler council table aims to make it easier for locals to opt out of junk mail while still receiving important notices from the RMOW.

Residents can opt out of receiving junk mail by contacting Canada Post, but those who do will no longer receive unaddressed ad mail from the municipality.

"This provides a barrier for some local governments encouraging more of their residents to not get ad mail, because if there were to be a boil water advisory or something like that, they want to be able to reach out to all the people, and not just the people who are named on the addresses, but sometimes it's about tenants getting the mail as well," said Councillor Sue Maxwell, in introducing the resolution at the Feb. 6 council meeting.

The resolution, which will be taken to the Union of BC Municipalities Convention in September, seeks to have local governments included in the list of exemptions regarding unaddressed ad mail, and for Canada Post to develop a system that allows residents to "opt-in" for ad mail rather than opt out.

BYELECTION FINANCES PUBLISHED

Campaign financing disclosure statements from Whistler's October 2017 byelection have been published by Elections BC.

Four of seven candidates spent money on the campaign, though none listed any significant contributors.

Kate Roddick, who came second in the vote, spent $3,354.90 on brochures, advertising and signs, while Janice Lloyd spent $275 on advertising and Dawn Titus spent $218.40 on brochures.

Eventual winner Cathy Jewett spent $1,750.35 on advertising.

Steve Andrews, Kalee Eder and Alon Rimon all listed no campaign expenses.

A full municipal election is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 20.

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