Evicted couple still looking for room to rent 

George and Medwyn Cook may have a roof over their heads for the time being at least, but their future in Whistler is still up in the air.

Despite all recent efforts to find a room to rent, there is nothing available in town and they are extending their search to Squamish and Pemberton.

In the meantime they’re biding their time at the home of Ed Zinkevich, president of the Whistler Lions Club.

"You can’t let people sit on the street," said Zinkevich.

After spending three freezing cold nights sleeping outside beside his furniture and belongings, George Cook was relieved to accept an offer of kindness from the Whistler Lions Club.

With funds from the club, Zinkevich rustled up some storage space in Function Junction and then offered the couple space on his couch.

Zinkevich, who is often wont to put on a red suit about this time said: "I can’t get into the Christmas spirit and I can’t get my Ho Ho Ho’s going until I see George and Medwyn settled."

The couple was evicted from their home at the Whiski Jack condos in Creekside last week after the strata council decided to eliminate George’s role as caretaker of the condos.

The Whiski Jack strata council should not be confused with Whiski Jack Resorts Ltd., which does not have any pull in the decision to retain a caretaker.

"There’s nothing I can do about it or could do about it," said Mike McGeough, president of Whiski Jack Resorts Ltd.

McGeough received angry phone calls and e-mails this past week about the eviction but he says his company, which has been around since 1979, just shares the same name as the condos.

"We own condos and have sold condos in that timeshare," he said.

"(But) Whiski Jack Resorts Ltd. has nothing to do with Whiski Jack, the strata."

The Cooks knew about the potential eviction months before it happened but they never believed they would be forced onto the streets.

Despite all their best efforts it’s proving to be next to impossible to find alternative shelter.

"As soon as the snow hits the ground I’ve got lots of work but nowhere to stay," said Cook.

Since the couple ran into trouble, Cook said many people have come out of the woodwork to help them out.

It goes without saying that Zinkevich has been a lifesaver but the five men in the municipality’s bylaw department also ensured that they were taken care of.

Cook calls them "five big men with five bigger hearts."

Paul Demers brought wood every night to stoke the fire and stop Cook freezing to death and Frank Huber helped moved everything into storage.

Those are just a few of the many people who extended a helping hand.

For the time being they will keep their spirits and continue to look for work and a place to live.

To get in touch with George Cook call 604-935-6072.

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