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Re: “Season passes, Edge card prices to increase as Whistler Blackcomb reports record second quarter

Great! May I now assume that we will see more lift serviced terrain and improved facilities for the 2016/17 season? How about a lift up Flute Bowl and a connecting lift back to Harmony from the base of Symphony?

1 like, 4 dislikes
Posted by mnatbony on 05/20/2016 at 4:00 PM

Re: “Squamish Valley Golf & Country Club

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Posted by Regina on 05/20/2016 at 3:38 PM

Re: “Whistler's concerns heard on TFWP

There are tonnes of people who want to live and work here. The issue is the housing situation, there is nothing to rent, or if there is it eats up way too much of your income. Hey Val, why don't you shadow a new service worker moving to town and see what it is like for them finding housing.

The Chamber is addressing the wrong issue here. We don't need to import people under this program and pay them less than living wages, we need an employee housing strategy!

12 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by The Spangler on 05/20/2016 at 9:54 AM

Re: “Bird count tallies record number of species

lol

Posted by l2p on 05/20/2016 at 9:01 AM

Re: “Bird count tallies record number of species

l2p

Posted by l2p on 05/20/2016 at 9:01 AM

Re: “Bird count tallies record number of species

amk

Posted by l2p on 05/20/2016 at 9:01 AM

Re: “Whistler's concerns heard on TFWP

Lets see--a resort town, the pinnacle of capitalism, is lobbying for an exemption from the laws of capitalism--supply and demand, and survival of the fittest--to underpay their workers and ensure guaranteed profits.

And of course, how can such a delegation be complete without a representative from the local Chamber of Commerce, whose collective efforts throughout BC and the country has been to retard and suppress the minimum wage. I would say that's ironic, but that kind of observation is usually lost on business types.

Just raise their wages or go under--that's how the system is supposed to work.

14 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by relic57 on 05/20/2016 at 8:10 AM

Re: “Whistler's concerns heard on TFWP

Apologies for the essay....

3 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Ed Davies on 05/19/2016 at 7:03 PM

Re: “Whistler's concerns heard on TFWP

I am staggered that a town such as Whistler still has a labour shortage, given that it is such an attractive place to live and work. Wages (comparative to their equivalent jobs elsewhere in BC) are good (generally in excess of minimum wage), and there is no shortage of entertainment and sporting activities. However there is one single issue (which the chamber/muni and everyone else seems to ignore), which above all others contributes to people either staying away, or leaving after a short time. What is this elephant in the room - its HOUSING.

I dont have access to the relevant statistics (for a fully referenced article), but when you consider that at $12ph (a typical whistler wage) and a 40 hour per week job, in a 4 week period, a typical worker will bring in ~$1500 per month after taxes etc. Affordable housing is defined by the federal govt as not more than 30% of income being spent on housing (including bills), which using the example above would denote that to avoid the risk of poverty due to shelter would suggest an individual should be paying no more than $450 per month.

Having played the game of trying to find somewhere affordable and habitable far too many times over the years, rental property at this price point simply does not exist.

Realistically, for a room in a (shared) house in the municipality an individual would be expected to pay a minimum of $750 per month - 50% of income using the above example, and that is if you are lucky enough to find somewhere at all.

To rectify these numbers, there are 2 obvious solutions - increase wages or improve rental conditions.

Increasing wages has been done to a point, however we are all aware of the number of empty retail units in town, and businesses have a limit as to how much they can increase wages and remain profitable, and as such it is not a viable solution.

The cost to rent a room since i've been in town (7 years or so) has increased year on year, but I believe that this isnt due to an increase in demand for the available housing stock, rather a reduction in the size of the housing stock, caused by the following factors:

1) Air BNB - many second home owners now prefer to rent their holiday homes out on a nightly basis to increase revenues but still have access to there holiday home the one week a year they use it.

2) More vacant houses - with the effect of the economic recovery following the last recession, many second home owners now no longer need to rent there holiday homes out, thus reducing available stock.

3) Gouging - there are always unscrupulous landlords that think its acceptable to rent a shoebox for thousands - and these rentals are usually filled with foreign workers who are only able to afford them due to savings, and are unable to find other accommodation.

In addition to these factors there are also the very commonplace (also illegal) rental practices of demanding excessive deposits (first/last months rent), insisting on no contracts, deposit witholding amongst many other practices.

So, this said, what is the solution to these issues:

1) Implement a vacant property tax. A big one. if people have to pay 25% annual tax on the value of their property if its vacant more than 90 days per annum would encourage many holiday home owners to either rent them out, or sell them to someone who wants to live here. If you are someone who can afford a $500k holiday home and not use it, you can afford a hotel room.

2) Extend the remit of the WHA - while this is an excellent start, a several year waiting list makes it impractical for people first moving here.

3) Ban AirBNB and others - existing zoning should prevent nightly rental anyway. Enforce it.

4) Any new developments must be at least 50% resident restricted housing stock.

These steps would increase the available housing stock, which in turn would bring the rental market to affordable levels.

Stop wasting time with the TFWP, as it has been written without towns like ours in mind. it would be better to lobby for a new scheme which has specific exceptions for resort municipalities.

21 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Ed Davies on 05/19/2016 at 7:03 PM

Re: “Upper Lillooet Hydro Project benefitting Pemberton

50% from BC? come on Jennifer please report facts not the BS Bas Brusche for Innergex tells you.

Posted by Disenchanted on 05/19/2016 at 4:08 PM

Re: “Whistler's concerns heard on TFWP

This is good news. I would also like to see some improvements in the Foreign Worker Program around consistency in decision making on applications as well as some relief from the $1,000.00 application fee money grab. The LMIA decisions made by officers appear to be capricious and highly subjective. The decisions should be objective and based on hard facts presented by employers. The $1,000.00 application fee is unconscionable and only serves to discourage LMIA applications. This is supposed to be a service to Canadian employers. Service Canada should be helpful rather than putting up unreasonable barriers.

4 likes, 16 dislikes
Posted by T. Steele on 05/19/2016 at 2:00 PM

Re: “Season passes, Edge card prices to increase as Whistler Blackcomb reports record second quarter

WOOOO! For most this means pay more money to stand in lines on the weekend, AWESOME!

8 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by The Spangler on 05/19/2016 at 11:36 AM

Re: “Police deal with several violent incidents on May long weekend

Hey you fuckin white fucks, guess what day it is tmrw, you guessed right, it's the start of May long and there is about 200 of us brown kids coming so hide your kids, wife's and husbands, we are taking control of whistler

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by ryan5154 on 05/19/2016 at 10:09 AM

Re: “RCMP opens file into missing Squamish Nation cash

Get Up-Stand Up
Stand Up For Your
RIGHTS
Love Love Love
Ad Infinitum...

0 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Coyote Buddha Too on 05/19/2016 at 4:46 AM

Re: “editorial

The comment: built in the 1960s by an entrepreneur with strong ties to the Social Credit government of W.A.C. Bennett. He, too, was going to develop a ski area in the Callaghan. Instead, he built a road which ran through all the best timber in the valley, which he removed, and then forgot all about the ski area. the 'Enterpreneur was Teddy Osborne who used to be partners with my father Harald Frostrup; of O&F Logging Ltd in Bella Coola BC. Left Bella Coola with my father holding the bag.(1956) He arrived on site at Powder Mountain in his white shirt, pants, shoes, Jeep, 1967-8? (As I was one trucker witness hauling the Prime Yellow Cedar on site, at the time.) The best timber in the valley. As usual Teddy left people holding the bag until evidentialy his tactics/ploy didn't work so well anymore south of the US border.

Posted by Gunde Frostrup on 05/19/2016 at 1:48 AM

Re: “Ski tourers rescued unharmed near Spearhead

Hi Corey,
Thanks for reaching out. I only reported the brief information that was provided to me by police. If you have an issue with the accuracy of that reporting, I'd suggest contacting the Whistler RCMP detachment.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Brandon Barrett on 05/18/2016 at 2:03 PM

Re: “Prepaid credit cards targeted by skimmers

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Re: “Prepaid credit cards targeted by skimmers

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Posted by Miller Gray on 05/18/2016 at 1:27 AM

Re: “RCMP opens file into missing Squamish Nation cash

We at SAMAHQUAM too are in need of accountability from a 30 million BCTC treaty loans audits never available. Now elders gained a unanimous vote of non confidence on full SAMAHQUAM Chief and Council. And Squamish Nation and Inshuckch Nation in 2006 signed a forestry agreement for logging SAMAHQUAM area . We don't know where the profits went for all the logging since 2004 to present . Lizzy Bay Logging was part of the agreements and continue to this day connected with Inshuckch entities.

1 like, 1 dislike
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Re: “Prepaid credit cards targeted by skimmers

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Posted by Kelly Martelle on 05/14/2016 at 6:26 AM

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