News » Whistler

Partial funding confirmed for sustainability centre

Council yet to decide on full contract



The Whistler2020 sustainability plan will be kept alive on this council's watch.

Council has committed $40,000 to the Whistler Centre for Sustainability for the management of the plan's monitoring program, as well as the Community Life Survey.

However, council has yet to decide if it will ramp up funding to $192,000 — that's what it has paid the Centre in the past annually to deliver the full Whistler2020 program.

Reached on the bus late Tuesday night, the Centre's executive director Cheeying Ho said she was pleased with the confirmed contract. She is not optimistic the Centre will see the contract renewed in whole.

"We've been pretty clearly told it won't be that much ($192,000)," she said.

The $40,000 will fund the collection of data for the dozens of community indicators that track Whistler's path to sustainability from water usage to unemployment rates. Included in that are the 25 core indicators that make up the annual scoreboard, which provides a snapshot of Whistler's progress.

What has yet to be approved by council is the contract for community engagement and implementation.

"We want to encourage them (council) to understand that in order to have an effective community plan moving forward, it's really about engaging the community and implementation," said Ho, who has proposed the Centre work with different sectors in the community moving forward, rather than task forces.

"It's not funding for us," said Ho of the contract.

"It's paying us to do work for the community and to make sure the plan still lives. There was so much time, energy and money spent to pull this process together seven years ago, and we need a continued investment to make sure the community is engaged and things are being implemented."

When asked how much the Centre needs for the engagement and implementation process, Ho said: "Obviously the bigger the budget, the more engagement we can do."