Whistlerites got their first look at 17 of 20 council candidates at an all-candidates meeting hosted by the Association of Whistler Area Residents for the Environment (AWARE), the Whistler Community Services Society and Arts Whistler on Wednesday, Sept. 26.
Hundreds packed the theatre at the Maury Young Arts Centre to a standing-room-only capacity, with overflow attendees watching on a monitor in the lobby, to see the candidates field questions from the organizers and then from the audience.
The evening (moderated by Mike Mills) started with two-minute candidate introductions followed by rapid-fire questions from the organizers and questions from the audience.
The stated theme of the night—"Building Sustainable Community"—was evident in the audience questions, which asked for candidate positions on a wide variety of topics: building a homeless shelter in Whistler, letting essential service workers jump the Whistler Housing Authority queue, high-density infill housing in residential neighbourhoods, transparency at municipal hall and many, many more (full video of the event will be posted online (link to be confirmed).
The mood remained lighthearted throughout, with more than a few big laughs interspersed amongst some big and challenging questions for the candidates.
Aside from Steve Andrews (who sent representative Marcus Culver in his place, as he's building bike trails in Uganda), Nathan Hawkins and Miroslav Kolvek, the full field of candidates was on hand for the meeting: Gord Annand, Lance Bright, David Buzzard, Arthur De Jong, Larry Falcon, Jen Ford, Ralph Forsyth, John Grills, Duane Jackson, Tova Jamernik, Cathy Jewett, Janice Lloyd, Jeff Murl, Ira Pettle, Brian Reid, Melanie Tardif and Dawn Titus.
Before the meeting, the host organizations sent a comprehensive and wide-ranging survey to all candidates. Find the full results here: www.awarewhistler.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/Candidate-Survey-Results-2018_Final_lowres.pdf.
Whistlerites will elect six of the 20 candidates to council on Oct. 20.
Check back with Pique tomorrow for more from the all-candidates meeting.