At the Resort Municipality of Whistler's (RMOW) community forum on June 15, Mayor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden noticed a recurring theme when talking to community members.
"Far and away, the overwhelming number of comments was on the issue of childcare," Wilhelm-Morden said.
The issue is "double-edged" in Whistler, the mayor said — a lack of childcare means one parent must stay home, contributing in turn to local staff shortages.
"If we had a reasonable number of daycare spots, and if some of them were at least affordable, we would start going somewhere to solving both of those issues," Wilhelm-Morden said.
At its June 21 meeting, council directed staff to submit a resolution to the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) for consideration at the 2016 UBCM convention, scheduled for Sept. 26 to 30 in Victoria.
The resolution would have the UBCM urge the provincial government commit to implementing a universal daycare plan that creates new and affordable licensed day care spaces for infant and toddler care, for the benefit of families with an annual income below $40,000, and to include all communities in B.C.
Coun. Jen Ford commended the work done on childcare by the $10aDay project, which recommends no childcare fees for families making under $40,000 and $10 a day for families making more than $40,000.
"The work that the $10aDay program has done on this over the last number of years has been overwhelming," she said. "And it is such an important issue for this community and for all communities in B.C."
PATIO APPROVED FOR FITZ PUB
Patio seating on sunny days has become prime real estate in Whistler in recent years, but patrons of the Upper Village will soon have one more outdoor watering hole after council approved a patio for Fitzsimmons Pub at its June 21 meeting.
The pub applied to the Liquor Control and Licensing Branch for a structural change to its liquor licence to accommodate the 26-person-capacity patio, which brought the matter before Whistler council.
A review of the pub by the RCMP, fire department and municipal bylaw department found it to be in "good standing," and no comments were received through the community consultation process.
Ford said she liked the patio, but wondered if something could be done about creating a designated smoking area.
Planner Frank Savage said he would make a note of it, but being on Whistler Blackcomb property, the pub should fall under the mountain operator's no-smoking rules.
"There is no smoking on that property, so if there's not proper signage then that should be there," he said.
NESTERS WASTE DEPOT SET FOR DEVELOPMENT
Changes will soon be evident at the Nesters Waste Depot.
At its June 21 meeting, Whistler council approved a development permit for the reworking of the site, located at 7600 Nesters Road.
The site will completely transform the existing layout, with the goal of improving traffic flow, adding parking spaces and making it easier for residents to recycle.
The project got its start a few years back, when the RMOW bought the Fortis Gas site neighbouring the Nesters depot.
The site will also be the new home of the Whistler Community Services Society and the Re-Use-It Centre.
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