Chris Quinlan 

Fuelled by a passion for Whistler

Name: Chris Quinlan

Age: 42

Occupation: Owner/Operator of Behind the Grind

Last book read: It’s Not About the Bike by Lance Armstrong

What music are you listening to? Led Zeppelin

Favourite recreational pursuits: Mountain biking, skiing

1. Why are you running for council?

Passion. For the community, for the future of our resort.

2. What are the biggest issues facing Whistler?

The biggest issues facing Whistler are our economy, our resident housing, our ability to make decisions and public engagement.

3. What needs to be done to address those issues?

My experience in business has shown that we have to make decisions every day. If I don’t have the information at my disposal, I go out, I get it, and I make a decision. Not everybody likes every decision that I have to make and it may not be the right decision but at least business survives because decisions are made. On a personal level, that’s how we got through this last winter and that’s how we’ll make it through this winter. And that’s the question that most businesses in this town are facing right now. They’re not worried about 2010. They’re worried about 2006 and making it there.

In the last three years council set out to complete five items that they identified (as priorities). Of the three we just spoke about – the economy, resident housing and public engagement – they have accomplished zero. We have the tools at our disposal to make these decisions with proper public engagement and to the satisfaction of the majority of our residents.

We also have to realize that it is the responsibility of the resort municipality to provide some amenities that go towards enhancing the guest experience in conjunction with those offered by the mountains and our tour operators. We are a resort now. We’re not just a ski town anymore.

And as for resident housing, we’ve got to build it. It’s that simple. We have opportunities presented to us and we need to take advantage of them, however this can’t just be at any cost.

4. How will Whistler 2020 help ups?

Whistler 2020 will provide us with the monitoring that we need to have in order to keep our fingers on the pulse of what’s happening within our economy and within our community.

It’s also the perfect example of how we can engage the public in the processes of the decisions we have to make. It will allow us to make the right decisions that will provide solutions to the problems.

The biggest challenge that we have faced in public consultation has been "how do we actually go out there and get effective public consultation, how do we utilize that to help us to make our decisions and when will the public accept that they have had enough consultation?" This is a big stumbling block with council right now. We can use the Whistler 2020 format of bringing together stakeholders to provide that consultation and then we have to listen to it. We have an incredible depth of experience and knowledge in this community that far outweighs anything that any outside consultant could possibly provide.

When we have a question posed to us about, as an example, providing an arena, we can’t just say "well, what’s it going to cost us to build an arena?" We have to say "how can we make something out of this, how do we take advantage of this huge benefit, how can we make it work for our community?"

5. Name three things you expect to accomplish in this council’s term.

First of all we have to kick-start the economy. Secondly we need to deliver affordable resident housing and we will engage in meaningful and effective public consultation that will allow us to make decisions on the challenges that face Whistler.

We need to look outside of the standard industry that we have in this town which is just tourism. We need to invite post secondary education. We need to invite trades. We need to expand the market that we can service during the off season, vis-à-vis providing an arena facility.


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