Council Briefs: Municipality questions daytime highway closures 

The municipality is asking the province if the planned daytime closures of Highway 99 between Function Junction and the village can be moved to night, Mayor Ken Melamed said this week.

The full closures — which would take place in this spring — are currently planned between 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. as part of the Whistler highway upgrades. Other closure times are 11 p.m. to 2 a.m. and 3 a.m. to 5 a.m.

Melamed said the Ministry of Transportation scheduled the daytime closures for blasting work, which they did not want to be done at night because of noise. The municipality, however, is wondering if a different arrangement can be worked out.

“We continue to dialogue with them to see if they can work with the contractor and move to nighttime,” said Melamed.

He added that the province has said there will be no full highway closures in the winter.

Construction on the highway started this week, and the $9.8 million project is expected to wrap up in 2009.

The project will add a temporary third lane between Function Junction and Creekside during the 2010 Games, which will later be converted back into two lanes with wider highway shoulders. The grade on Nordic Hill will also be improved.

 

Spring Creek day care closures moves to provincial level

MLA Joan McIntyre will continue lobbying the provincial government about Whistler’s day care challenges, after meeting with council this week to discuss the problem.

The West Vancouver-Garibaldi MLA is familiar with Spring Creek day care’s announced closures, as well as other issues Whistler has faced over the past few years, said Mayor Ken Melamed.

“Ms. McIntyre is well versed on the file and has been speaking with her minister responsible, trying to find out what we can do,” said Melamed, stressing that childcare is a federal and provincial government responsibility, not a municipal one.

“We told Ms. McIntyre that the municipality is looking at its bylaws around home care provision, but that is really as far as we can go. The province is the one that regulates and sets training levels and provides the training courses.”

McIntyre has also told the municipality that she will be looking at speeding up the accreditation process for childcare workers who are not from B.C., although Melamed acknowledged this legislation will probably not come on board in time to save the Spring Creek program.

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