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Whistler’s first All Candidates Meeting set to go tonight

AWARE, WCSS and Arts Whistler to host event at Maury Young Arts Centre

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Voters will get their first look at the 20 candidates vying for six seats on Whistler's council tonight at an all-candidates meeting hosted by three prominent community organizations.

Focused on the theme of building a sustainable community, the Association of Whistler Area Residents for the Environment (AWARE), the Whistler Community Services Society and Arts Whistler will open the doors to voters at 5:30 p.m. with the debate starting at 6 p.m.

Councillor Jack Crompton was acclaimed as mayor this week.

In alphabetical order the candidates are: Steve Andrews, Gord Annand, Lance Bright, David Buzzard, Arthur De Jong, Larry Falcon, Jen Ford, Ralph Forsyth, John Grills, Nathan Hawkins, Duane Jackson, Tova Jamernik, Cathy Jewett, Miroslav Kolvek, Janice Lloyd, Jeff Murl, Ira Pettle, Brian Reid, Melanie Tardif and Dawn Titus.

Couns. Sue Maxwell and Steve Anderson are not seeking re-election and mayor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden will also step down.

Social Services are a key issue in the community. In a story in this week's Pique

WCSS executive director Jackie Dickinson said, "I would say that we are looking for a council that is really interested in continuing a very human conversation around affordability."

As for specific policy directions that can improve the wellbeing of all Whistlerites, Dickinson said she would encourage "housing-first" initiatives.

"When we can house people in safe and meaningful ways, it greatly impacts people's wellbeing," she said.

"Housing is a fundamental human right. If we cannot house our population in a safe way, we pay the price."

AWARE, WCSS and Arts Whistler published the results from a comprehensive and wide-ranging survey featuring a majority of the candidates.

The results can be found at *www.awarewhistler.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/Candidate-Survey-Results-2018_Final_lowres.pdf

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