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The big squeeze

Rising taxes, rising costs, and the impact on the Whistler standard of living

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“The direction that we’ve taken to be a sustainable community means that the housing choices for entry level and lower income groups are not available. And it is a battle that we’ve been fighting for 25 year. How do you provide housing for someone who is making $40,000 a year? Right now, the cost of building that housing would be definitely exceed the affordable for someone making $40,000.”

Kelly added that in a city like Vancouver, most people who earn a $30,000-per-year salary commute from places like Richmond or Langley were land is cheaper. Alternatively, Whistler has a mandate to house 75 per cent of its employees in municipal borders.

The silver lining to the whole housing issue is that groups like the WHA, the Whistler 2020 community tasks forces, and the Whistler Chamber of Commerce are working hard to find innovative ways to provide cheaper housing to the workers of Whistler. Hopefully their creativity can come up with more affordable shelter solutions quick. The Reynolds, and many other locals, may very well be counting on it to continue living in Whistler.

Getting around — the price of mobility

Gas prices have an impact on commuters and transit

By Jesse Ferreras

B.C. is heading for a perfect storm when it comes to the cost of commuting, and the Sea to Sky Corridor is no exception.

There are two factors at play. One is the rising cost of gas, which according to gasbuddy.com is a significant rise over the trends seen in 2006 and 2007 when people were already complaining about fuel rates.

The other is a controversial carbon tax that took effect in British Columbia starting July 1. Introduced in February’s provincial budget, the tax is meant to encourage people to make more “environmentally responsible” choices by reducing their dependence on fossil fuels and the resulting emissions.

Pique took a look at different-sized cars to see what kind of an impact the rising gas prices will have on people’s finances.

Behind door number one, take a 2004 Ford Focus SE Wagon. A popular four-door family station wagon, it has plenty of room to store the bikes, or skis or snowboards, depending on the time of year, and it was among the top-rated cars for fuel efficiency when it was released. It’s a perfect vehicle for the active Whistler family that needs to get around.

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