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tanya ewasiuk

Council candidate: Tanya Ewasiuk Nine years ago, at the age of 25, Tanya Ewasiuk moved from her home town of Coquitlam to Whistler. A weekend visitor for many years previous, she was familiar with the Whistler lifestyle, the housing situation and job market and knew she wanted to make her life here. She worked for a village delicatessen and the North Shore Credit Union before her current position as manager of the Upper Village Market. Pique: Why are you running for council? Tanya: Out of concern for a community that I love. Out of a sense of responsibility to that community. I feel it’s very important to make sure that there’s a way that we can — that I can — say things that need to be said. It’s very easy to sit back and say that you’re not very happy with the way things are going and say that if I was there I would do this. It’s much more difficult to actually stand up and say ‘I am going to do this, I am going to run for council.’ I think it’s extremely important for a different perspective to be available on council for the community. Pique: Different perspective from...? Tanya: Different perspective from current council. I have a sense that the current council isn’t necessarily in touch with the direction the community is going and is dividing the haves and the have nots. Certainly we all realized what we were getting into when we moved here. Every single person that lives here makes a decision, practically annually, about whether or not to stay. I think that everybody who makes the choice to say here realizes there’s a lot of opportunity here, there’s a quality of life that is unavailable in most areas. I see the people around me, I see the people I work with, my neighbours friends, who make a conscious choice all the time to be here and do the things necessary to stay here, working with 2.4 million visitors last year. It’s an enormous amount of effort that it takes. Pique: Are those some of the things that you see as missing from the current council? Tanya: I think they’ve done an admirable job. There were several very key issues that came up this past term that they dealt with in a way that I thought was very responsible. The Whistler Housing Authority and affordable housing — I could go on and on about how it is an initiative that is allowing for people like me to stay here. I look at the housing initiative as a stepping stone into other areas of the community as well. I look at my purchase of my home as a first step to building my life here. It certainly isn’t an end all. I think that going strongly with their beliefs at 19 Mile Creek, against a strong opposition from the area residents, shows a lot of fortitude. It was certainly a difficult decision for them but they knew what their beliefs were and they knew that it had to be done. I think there was a couple of areas that showed how they were somewhat out of touch. They have not pushed through the campground. I think the lack of a RV park and campground in Whistler is unbelievable. I think it shows a lack of being in touch with the actual needs of visitors. Pique: What are the major issues facing the next council? Tanya: The Olympic bid. I think we need a referendum on that. We need people to stand up and say what they feel, and whether the answer is yes or the answer is no, we’ll know why the answers are such. It’s extremely important for people to sit down and decide "do I want this?’ With the tourist accommodation issue, it’s extremely important that we re-open this and re-address it and find a way that we can allow this sort of accommodation. It’s always been a part of the town and part of the community and we just need to find a way that we can set up a licensing system or some sort of grandfather clause to allow for this sort of accommodation. The Emerald Estates sewer situation. I think what we need to do is look at other communities that have faced similar situations in the last five or 10 years and find out what sort of costs they incurred, because there’s no way they had to pay $24,000 per home. I think the key words are affordability, liveability, sustainability and accessibility. The affordability for people to continue to make their lives here, to continue to enjoy the lifestyle and quality of life that we’ve become accustomed to. Sustainability; we’ve got environmental sustainability and sustainability of quality of life, which go hand in hand. Accessibility. Time and again I’ve heard how people are feeling left out, feeling like they don’t have a say. Certain decisions are being made behind closed doors without public input. Pique: Why should people vote for you? Tanya: I have a great concern and love for this town. I’m passionately committed to making sure the quality of life here remains. I have a perspective of youth; I also have the perspective of someone who has spent nine years really trying to make something of myself in this town. It’s challenging, it’s invigorating and exciting. I was approached by senior members of the community asking me to stand up and do this. Their feeling was it was important for somebody who had the initiative and the drive to stand up and say the things that need to be said — and to listen to the directions that the community is giving. It’s in my nature to take action and achieve results. I have the ability to make sure things stay on track and that we respect the Vision 2002 document and work within those guidelines to maintain the quality of life and liveability of this town, so we don’t look too much to Intrawest and to the guiding corporate powers. It’s important to make sure that we’re maintaining the integrity of the town.