RMOW named in civil injury claim 

Briefs: Residents, businesses asked to conserve natural gas; winter programming ready to roll

click to enlarge PHOTO BY BRADEN DUPUIS - CIVIL CLAIM A Vancouver resident has filed a notice of civil claim against the Resort Municipality of Whistler and a local company after slipping on a pedestrian bridge in Whistler Village in December 2016.
  • Photo by Braden Dupuis
  • CIVIL CLAIM A Vancouver resident has filed a notice of civil claim against the Resort Municipality of Whistler and a local company after slipping on a pedestrian bridge in Whistler Village in December 2016.

A Vancouver resident has filed a notice of civil claim against the Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) and a local snow-clearing company stemming from a fall on an allegedly icy pedestrian bridge in Whistler Village in December 2016.

Ioana Voermann was crossing the bridge over Village Gate Boulevard on Dec. 29, 2016, when she slipped and fell on snow and/or ice, according to the claim filed in the Supreme Court of British Columbia on Nov. 28.

The claim stated that, as a result of her fall, Voermann suffered a concussion, headaches, soft-tissue injuries, stress and anxiety, generalized pain and suffering; and "such further and other injuries that shall be proven at trial."

Along with the RMOW, Whistler All Time Moving Ltd. is listed as a defendant, as "at all material times, the municipality purported to delegate responsibility" to the company for snow and ice clearing on the bridge.

Voermann is seeking relief for general damages, special damages, cost of future care, loss of housekeeping capacity, an in-trust claim for friends and family who provided her services, legal costs, interests pursuant to the Court Order Interest Act, and "such further and other relief as this honourable court may deem just."

Asked for comment, the RMOW said it is aware of the claim and that its insurer, the Municipal Insurance Association of BC, is handling it.

Voermann's lawyer did not respond to a request for comment before Pique's deadline.

The defendants have 21 days to respond to the claim.

WHISTLER RESIDENTS, BUSINESSES ASKED TO CONSERVE NATURAL GAS

Whistler residents and businesses are being asked to be mindful of their natural-gas usage this winter following a pipeline rupture near Prince George last month.

The RMOW is already implementing its own conservation measures in local facilities like Municipal Hall, the Maury Young Arts Centre and Meadow Park Sports Centre.

"We appreciate the public's patience and understanding while we take measures to reduce our natural gas use and do our part to prevent natural gas outages in B.C.," said Mayor Jack Crompton in a release. "I encourage everyone in Whistler, including businesses and residents, to do the same. Keep in mind, year-round, conserving our use of natural gas is a significant step we can take in Whistler towards reducing our community's carbon footprint."

On a municipal level, the RMOW has set the temperatures for its natural-gas heating systems at 18 degrees Celsius (electric systems are operating as normal).

Air temperatures at the Meadow Park Sports Centre have been reduced by one degree, though pool and hot-tub temperatures are unchanged as they use a geothermal system.

The temperature has also been reduced at the Whistler Transit Facility, and block heaters will be used to reduce the time it takes to warm the compressed natural gas buses in the morning.

Public gas fireplaces at Whistler Olympic Plaza and Whistler Olympic Pavilion have been turned off.

The RMOW is working with its partners to assess the impact of a complete natural-gas outage.

For tips on reducing your own natural-gas usage, the RMOW recommends checking out distributor FortisBC's website at www.fortisbc.com.

WINTER PROGRAMMING READY TO ROLL

There might not be much in the way of natural snow in the valley, but holiday programming in Whistler is set to get underway regardless.

Snow guns are working overtime to build the Snow Zone at Whistler Olympic Plaza, while outdoor skating returns Saturday, Dec. 8.

"Come to Whistler Village and enjoy the winter season. Whether you want to ice skate outdoors, toboggan with your family, cross-country ski, or entertain guests over the holidays, Whistler has an incredible range of activities for all ages," said Mayor Jack Crompton in a release.

"Thank you to the Province of British Columbia for investing in the Resort Municipality Initiative. Many of the activities and events on offer are funded by RMI. This funding builds Whistler's visitor experience throughout the year."

Outdoor skating is free (though rentals cost $6), and the rink is open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. (but closed for daily maintenance between 1:30 and 2:30 p.m. and 5 and 6 p.m.).

Find more at whistler.ca/skating or by calling 604-935-PLAY (and pressing 3).

Family Après is also set to return at Whistler Olympic Plaza from 3 to 6 p.m. every Monday and Wednesday, starting Monday, Dec. 17.

Families can enjoy hot beverages while taking part in live entertainment, music, dancing, face painting and more.

Find more info at whistler.ca/whistlerpresents.

Programming ramps up closer to Christmas, with the launch of the Whistler Holiday Experience at the Whistler Conference Centre on Saturday, Dec. 22.

Kids can take part in mini putt, table games, bouncy castles, crafts and video games while parents kick back with a coffee in the lounge area.

And on New Year's Eve there's something for everyone, with expanded family après activities and programming throughout the day.

An early fireworks show and countdown will take place at Skiers Plaza (for those who want to ring in the New Year early), with the official New Year's Eve Fire and Ice Show kicking off at 11:30 p.m.

Transit will be free in Whistler from 6 p.m. to late.

Find more info at whistler.ca/NYE.

PARKS OPEN HOUSE SET FOR THURSDAY, DEC. 6

Whistler's new council met for its first Committee of the Whole meeting on Dec. 4, with a lot on the agenda.

Parks planner Annie Oja and manager of resort parks planning Martin Pardoe were on hand to give an update on Whistler's Parks Master Plan ahead of an open house on Dec. 6 at the Whistler Conference Centre.

The open house is part of Outside Voice, a yearlong community conversation to develop a master plan for the future of local parks.

Residents are invited to attend the open house and share their thoughts.

A survey will also be distributed from Dec. 7 to 20.

"Our parks master plan is seeking to create an inventory of our current amenities at each of Whistler's parks, and prioritize what improvements are desired for the future, and develop a series of designs for those improvements," Oja said.

"Our resident and visitor population is growing, visitation in our parks in the summer months has grown significantly over the last number of years, particularly our waterfront parks, and this has been placing pressure on our park infrastructure and maintenance, as well as contributing to some capacity issues."

The planning process will last into late 2019, and involves three phases: Assessing the current inventory; imagining ideas for the future, and designing concepts to move from planning to action.

The assessment phase is already underway, with RMOW staff having completed engineering park surveys and base mapping, staff interviews, a neighbourhood parks and natural areas inventory analysis and a major parks asset inventory and conditions assessment.

Follow along at www.whistler.ca/outsidevoice.

Also at the meeting, Claire Ruddy from the Association of Whistler Area Residents for the Environment presented an update on the environmental charity's recent efforts, as well as challenges and opportunities coming down the pipe.

Check back with Pique for full stories on both in the coming weeks.

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