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London Drugs petition delivered to municipal hall

Organizer reminds council of locals' affordability issue

By Clare Ogilvie

Jim Watts delivered his on-line petition on London Drugs to municipal hall this week in the hopes it will impact council’s decision on whether the chain store can open in Whistler Village.

The petition collected over 1,000 signatures in 18 days on his website

“I think my big message to council is affordability,” said Watts Tuesday outside of municipal hall.

“It is one of the staples of the (Whistler) 2020 plan and yet there is no action listed in the 2020 plan for affordability except to ask the grocery stores for lower prices, and they have abandoned that one.

“I don’t see any other action that council has taken. I think we are really losing a big opportunity by rejecting the London Drugs application.

“One thousand signatures represents over one-third of the voters that voted last time and we are almost half way through the council term. I am hoping they will pay attention to what people are asking for.”   It’s been more than 18 months since the idea of a London Drugs coming to town was first raised and it has generated heated debate.

It is the proposed tenant of a 5,683 square metre ground and lower floor building in the village. In order to go into the space part of it must be re-zoned to allow for retail.

The application is with the municipality, and until recently it was thought that it would not be considered until a retail strategy process was complete.

However, at the last council meeting Mayor Ken Melamed said it was felt that the London Drugs issue needed to be dealt with first. It is a supplement to council’s agenda for the next meeting, Monday, Feb. 19.

The petition has been sent to each councillor said Shannon Story, manger of legislative services for the RMOW. It will also be a part of council’s package Monday.