Letters to the Editor 

Remember Houssian's contribution to community

Page 5 of 7

The Centre for Sustainability assists communities with long-range, comprehensive sustainability visioning, planning and implementation, building upon the expertise and lessons learned in managing and facilitating Whistler2020. To our knowledge, we have not competed directly with any local businesses in this area. Instead, we have collaborated numerous times with local businesses and consultants to build stronger proposals, a few of which we have won together. We have also hired a number of local businesses to deliver projects or services. We were glad to hear that Mr. Calladine feels that the Whistler2020 planning, monitoring and engagement process was successfully run by RMOW staff; that's why half of those staff moved over to become Centre employees to keep up these Whistler2020 activities.

Of course what makes Whistler2020 so successful isn't just the Centre's work, but rather the commitment and programming of 54 partner organizations and 180 Task Force members that have dedicated countless hours to the planning and actions on the ground. We did not play any role in the RMOW's in-house reviews, nor are we responsible for the management of the OCP, although we have assisted with the OCP public engagement strategy. Through iShift, we are assisting 30 Whistler businesses and organizations, through a grant we secured from the Government of Canada, Department of the Environment, to develop customized sustainability plans and implementation strategies.

Outside of Whistler, we are currently working with five municipalities on their community sustainability plans, and with three local governments on their energy plans. The majority of the Centre's revenue is generated through fee-for-service projects as well as external grant funding. The Resort Municipality Initiative grant from the RMOW was part of a five-year tourism development strategy agreement made with the Province, is less than one-fifth of our annual budget, and ends at the end of this year.

This grant would not be able to be used for transit or any other traditional essential service as suggested by Mr. Calladine.

We at the Centre - staff and board - applaud the innovation and entrepreneurial government culture exhibited by the RMOW and the commitment by Task Forces to continually push for this organization and put the steps in place to create the Whistler Centre for Sustainability. Results of that investment are already evident - within Whistler and outside - and many communities around Canada are seeing the creation of the Centre as yet another innovative initiative led by Whistler.

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