Blundell seeks second term 

One term enough for other councilors, mayor’s intentions unknown

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While he acknowledges the important role Whistler plays in the Pemberton economy, providing jobs for many residents, he says Pemberton can’t entirely depend on Whistler.

"In order to keep our own uniqueness we’re going to have to come up with some of our own ideas for economic development. We should be tapping into the Fraser Basin Council’s resources. Smart Growth B.C. is another good resource.

"Another resource is China. We should be marketing ourselves to those people – Canada’s becoming an approved destination for China – they love the kind of environment we provide. Tourism could be huge," he said.

While vibrant tourism may increase jobs, there is still the issue of affordable houses.

"There’s no opportunity for secondary movement. You buy either a condo or a huge house. There’s no place in the middle," he said.

He suggests that developers could be mandated to create one affordable home for every 10 lots they develop, an approach that has proved successful in other communities.

"This is just an idea, it’s something we’ve never tried. But it’s the kind of idea that needs to happen."

Blundell, co-owner of the Pemberton Valley Supermarket, will be seeking to retain his position on council. There had been speculation that he would be seeking the position of mayor. The local businessman and current chair of Community Futures, says the time necessary to be an effective mayor is incompatible with his current commitments.

Mayor Elinor Warner has not formally announced her intentions. However, in the past month she has made comments about the need for continuity on council. Last week, the mayor said she would be issuing a statement outlining her plans, but as of press time, it had not been received.

Councillor Michele Beauregard has announced that she will not run for re-election in order to spend more time with her family.

Councillor Richard Doucet has decided that one term is enough. Recently engaged, Doucet also wants to focus his energies on family life.

"When you’re getting home at 10 p.m. every night from meetings, it doesn’t leave a lot of time for a family," said Doucet.

Councillor Linda Chandler has also decided not to seek re-election.

"I took a hard look at my energy level, and right now I don’t have one," said Chandler, who is battling a serious health issue.

She says she made the decision not to run earlier this month after much soul searching.

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