Candidate profile: Lance Bright 

Advance voting Oct. 10 and 13; general voting on Oct. 20

click to enlarge PHOTO SUBMITTED - in the running Council candidate Lance Bright.
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  • in the running Council candidate Lance Bright.

The son of Jack Bright, Whistler Mountain's first general manager, Lance Bright first arrived in Whistler in 1967—when he was two weeks old.

"I love to say this: When I got here, it was so small we didn't even have a town drunk. So everybody got together and took turns," Bright jokes.

"This town is my blood."

Joking aside, Bright's reasons for seeking a council seat on Oct. 20 are no laughing matter.

"Crisis by definition requires immediate rectification in order to avoid highly undesirable consequences ... we are seeing businesses close down (due to a lack of staff), and how can most candidates not even talk about fire?" Bright said, pointing to a house fire in Brio in February that displaced more than a dozen.

"If it happened in August and not February? Everything at these candidates meetings, every conversation would be different, so how can you not say it is a huge issue?" he said.

"I guess I'd say that I would go to the grave very unhappy if the concerns that are true to my heart were not addressed in this election."

In addressing wildfire, Bright said he would like the municipality to pay the extra $1.4 million for a 20-year protection plan, and support the Whistler FIRST concept—a not-for-profit, first-response firefighting trust proposed by local pilot Stu Wild.

"It would be really tempting in February, when it's cold, to kind of push this aside, and this is where you need people that have the passion to carry forward," he said.

A retired pilot with 7,000 hours under his belt, Bright, 51, took over the family business, Snowsun Ventures Ltd., when his father passed away five years ago.

"Wildfire (is a big issue)—it's hard to talk about community when you're actually not safe," he said. "The other thing is we need to make some critical moves to relieve the housing crunch."

On the housing file, Bright said he supports the Whistler Housing Authority (WHA) model.

"As a resort municipality, we have to recognize we're always going to have this issue, because people are going to come and go," he said.

"Ownership may be impossible, but people will, if they can't achieve happiness through ownership, they can achieve happiness through stable, long-term, consistent, supportive rental housing, and that becomes a vehicle for the resort's success.

"The WHA model is one that's accessible by all, and ultimately gives the security."

Other planks in his platform include improving transit efficiency and the Valley Trail, protecting the environment and working towards reconciliation with local First Nations.

"I feel bad that unemployment is an issue for our stakeholders," he said.

"What a sad state of affairs that we have not enough workers here and we have unemployment 45 minutes away."

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Editor's Note: In an earlier version of this story Pique reported that Bright's family business was Roland's Creekside Pub. Bright's business is Snowsun Ventures Ltd, which owns the building that Roland's is located in. Pique regrets the error.

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