feature 346 

Campaign trail gets muddy The first measure of how important Whistlerites feel this fall’s municipal election is could have been the number of candidates running: six for mayor and 14 for council. Another measure, in the last two weeks of the campaign, was the vandalism, accusations, questions about backgrounds and the break-in to Max Kirkpatrick’s campaign office. Kirkpatrick’s office was broken into some time over the night of Nov. 13-14. His briefcase and a computer hard drive were taken but cellular phones and the computer monitor were left behind. Police have not made any arrests. Two weeks earlier approximately 75 per cent of Kirkpatrick’s 300 campaign signs went missing, all in one night. A few of Hugh O’Reilly’s signs were also damaged that week, the same night council re-confirmed its commitment to opening the Blueberry gate to transit. Meanwhile, several people called media outlets to question some of Greg Lee’s qualifications as listed in early campaign advertisements. Some ads credited him with being a co-founder of the Masters Program and former director of skiing at Blackcomb. The Masters Program was co-founded by Dave Murray and Don McQuaid, while Blackcomb has never had a director of skiing. Lee did oversee Blackcomb’s race department at one time. Lee’s statement of financial holdings and obligations filed with municipal hall indicate that he is a director of the Canadian Alpine Ski Team. He is not, in fact, a director but a fund raiser. Kirkpatrick’s financial background was also questioned by Michael Jansen of Vancouver, who called local media. Kirkpatrick’s statement of financial holdings show no liabilities.

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