Make room for pets 

LETTER: For the week of March 21

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Landords, it's time to reconsider the no pets policy that continues to hobble this town in broader ways than you might realize.

I have watched so many mature, skilled, community-minded locals forced to leave here, less because of the rent prices, more because they could not live their lives as they wanted, as pet owners. These are people who would have contributed to the businesses and community for decades. Gone, replaced largely by partiers here for a few months.

It's a systemic flaw in the town's dynamics that transient workers are rewarded because they have the hostel/slave-quarters mentality—they don't mind sharing bedrooms with many strangers on their gadabout.

With a lot of the people who were trying to settle here gone, Whistler is forced to attract and hire more temporary foreign workers and seasonal people, some of whom don't give a crap, while a lot of caring, long-term people are being driven away.

So if you can't get good help or good tenants these days, then look at whole picture. Do you want to be renting to "rabbits" (two move in in the fall and six emerge in the spring)? Or to use your place for Airbnb?

I have the best landlords because they allow the pets and see the value in having one responsible, hassle-free, long-term tenant that takes care of the place, over the lure of easy money.

It is sad that many people have had to give up their pets due to housing. The majority of pet owners would not consider that. It would be like giving up your kids because the only convenient housing was adults only.

There are many more families now and families need pets. They help teach the next generation nurturing, responsibility, and selflessness. All things I'd like to see more of from my fellow future Whistlerites.

So all you landlords with the no-pet policy don't complain if your house is over-ridden with mice, if your wiring and walls are getting chewed up, if ants or spiders are taking over. A cat would never allow that to happen.

And what's with the no smoking policy? If medical marijuana is legal, like insulin, like anti-psychotic meds, like birth control, what right do you have to dictate what medicine is or is not allowed on your property? If the government sees pot as medicine what right do you have to ban it? Seems to me a little over-reaching and imperious.

Michelene Skakoon

Whistler

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