Council Briefs 

WEF not coming anytime soon

The World Economic Forum apparently has decided against coming to Whistler in the next couple of years.

At an April 7 meeting of Whistler council G.D. Maxwell asked the council members if rumours that the WEF had booked the Fairmont Chateau Whistler for its annual conference in 2004 or 2005 were true.

At this past week’s council meeting a one-page report from administrator Jim Godfrey was received. The report states that the provincial government recently advised Whistler it is not pursuing the World Economic Forum for 2005.

Councillor Kristi Wells added that a tentative booking of the Chateau Whistler has also been cancelled.

Last year the Whistler community had an extensive debate over the merits of hosting the World Economic Forum annual meeting. The council of the day finally passed a resolution that the WEF be invited only under certain conditions, one of the primary ones being that the organization hold its annual forum in the spring or fall shoulder seasons. The resolution and conditions were forwarded to the provincial government.

The WEF annual meeting is traditionally held at the end of January in Davos, Switzerland.

Godfrey’s report also states that in the event the province decides to enter into discussions with the WEF in the future the province is cognizant of Whistler’s position.

Sea to Sky Trail Ride faces uncertain future

The future of the Sea to Sky Trail Ride, an annual event for the last eight years, is in jeopardy if a camping spot for more than 100 bike riders can’t be found in Whistler.

Since the two-day ride from D’Arcy to Squamish was started in 1995, many of the riders have camped overnight on the fields at Myrtle Philip school. Organizer Robbin McKinney has rented the school gymnasium, community kitchen and fields for the one night stay.

However, municipal staff have advised that camping on the school field will no longer be allowed. McKinney appealed to council Monday to see if some compromise could be reached. He said the Riverside Campground doesn’t have enough sites and the Cal-Cheak Campground isn’t suitable for such a large group.

While council members said they support the ride, they also supported staff’s position that camping not be allowed on school fields. Councillor Ken Melamed suggested the Edgewater Lodge site might work, or a municipal park might be available for rent.

McKinney said the ride, scheduled for July 5-6, will go ahead this year but without a suitable campsite in Whistler its future is in doubt.

The non-competitive ride has attracted as many as 370 riders in some years. It drew approximately 200 riders last year.

Some of the proceeds from the ride entry fee go toward building the Sea to Sky Trail.

Re-use-it Centre will be expanded

The Re-use-it Centre will be expanding by at least 1,000 square feet.

The depot at the Function Junction compactor site has been overflowing with furniture, sports equipment, clothing and other previously-owned necessities of life since it opened three years ago.

Operated by Whistler Community Services Society, the centre has diverted tons of material from the landfill and generated a profit for the society.

The society will be partnering with the municipality to pay for part of the expansion, which will see the building go from 1,500 square feet to at least 2,500 square feet. The building expansion is expected to cost $85,000, plus another $20,000 for site preparation. An additional $5,000 is available for landscaping.

The Whistler Community Services Society will contribute 30 per cent of the cost, while the other 70 per cent will be financed by the municipality’s solid waste fund.

Council members, in approving the expansion Monday, asked why another 500 square feet couldn’t be added to the expansion, to double the size of the building. Staff will evaluate that possibility.

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