Marianne Wade, candidate for council. 

Policy, long-term planning changes still needed

Name: Marianne  Wade

Age: Equivalent of a really expensive bottle of red wine.

Website: wade2005.com

Occupation: Community/land use planner with development management experience.

Last book read: Northwest Passage.

What music are you listening to these days: K-OS

Favourite recreational pursuits: Skiing, hiking, sailing, golfing,  art galleries, plays and music.

 

1. Why are you running  for council?

After my first term on council, I still feel that there needs to be changes made to policy and long-term planning, and that includes the proper economic planning, social infrastructure planning – which includes affordable housing as well as community services, things like health issues, homelessness, shelters for victims of abuse, transitional houses if  required.

I feel I can bring my experience in dealing with federal, provincial and regional governments to the table. I can bring information and relationships that I’ve developed back to Whistler.

I felt I was elected to challenge the status quo, to find new ways and to address affordable housing, affordability issues and bring more clarity to how council interacts with the community, and I look forward to doing that.

 

2/3. What are the biggest issues facing Whistler? What needs to be done to address those issues?

Building affordable housing and getting access for all of our residents to affordable housing, and in doing that we need to form our partnerships with the provincial government, to understand partnerships with other agencies and developers, and to develop the proper financial model to build affordable housing – and true affordable housing based on 30 per cent of income, to follow the national  housing act and policy.

I think the other big issue is dealing with the  economy, and the economy needs to be reviewed. We need economic planning and to understand how to sustain this resource that we’ve built. We’ve got physical infrastructure that needs to be supported and sustained. We need to understand what’s going to drive tourism to Whistler, to diversify the  economy, to support our locals, because the economy between tourism and locals is inter-related and we need to understand what that economy is. We will not be able to fill the demand for tourism without employees here to support the tourism. So it’s an integrated plan.

We also have to look at the process of how we engage the community. We need to have processes that are engaging the public right from the beginning, so that when we deal with a major capital project or major infrastructure program that we have community involvement from the beginning.

Through community engagement, we can develop financial models for consideration by the taxpayer, so that they fully understand when they select an option on a capital project, what the implications are.

My biggest accomplishment, this term, has been the changes to the council procedure bylaw to get the executive and briefing sessions out of behind closed doors, out in the open and in line with the charter. This has allowed better community engagement.

 

4. How will Whistler 2020 help us?

Whistler 2020 will help us achieve long-term planning goals, and what it does is balance social, economic and environment, and will allow us to build partnerships and define a more engaging process. It will help us form indicators and monitoring systems, which hasn’t really been done since 1996. With monitoring systems in place, an action plan for the priorities will be integrated into the work plan and the financial plan. This will avoid one-offs and we have a clear understanding of what we’re trying to achieve for the long term.

I think the other thing it helps us do is, currently the federal government is looking for national indicators in order to give out the gas tax. And we are taking what we have done here and are now sitting at the PMO roundtable on national indicators, through the connection of my work at FCM with people like Jack Hayden, and we have people like Mike Vance now sitting at the table with Whistler 2020 information working with the federal government.

 

5. Name three things you hope to accomplish this term.

Number one priority is to build affordable housing and have people occupying it. To review the waiting list and revise the criteria so that we can retain our population and meet the 75 per cent goal and allow for people who want to age in place.

Secondly, to develop an economic plan that identifies how we sustain our physical infrastructure; support it, and how we move into the future past 2010. We need somebody to drive this, someone with an economic development background – and economic development doesn’t just mean growth, it’s about sustaining what you have and keeping it healthy, alive, and diversifying it when you need to change with the times, understanding trends.

Third, is reviewing the land-use plan, through the filter of 2020, and identifying and allocating land for affordable housing and other land uses that will meet the goals of Whistler 2020.

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