Tom Thomson 

Candidate profile

Hockey Card

Occupations? Councillor for RMOW, visual artist.

Furthest Place travelled : Halifax.

Describe yourself using five words or less: A listener and consensus builder."

What is one thing people would be surprised to learn about you? I was a UBC Thunderbird Hockey Player, so I'll see you on the ice at Whistler Olympic Plaza!

Profile Questions

What do you see as the top election issues? A) The financial health of the community. As a councillor I took part in, and strongly supported the service review that will result in up to $1.2 million to be cut from next year's budget. I expect further substantial reductions as a result of the pending operations review. My recommendation that Council and Mayor's wages be frozen was accepted. B) Business is the lifeblood of Whistler! Business needs a direct line of communication to council. I will direct RMOW staff to facilitate and enable business opportunities. C) Parking. The parking committee has created a range of options that council has approved, starting at a dollar a day. D) Asphalt plant. I have been working diligently to resolve a favorable solution for "all parties involved." E) Bussing. Bussing is a very expensive core service. Recently I was in Victoria speaking with the minister of transportation to further advance Whistler's position in negotiations with BC Transit to identify cost savings to Whistler's service.

How would you address the budget shortfall? The growing budget is in part a reality of the creation of two new large neighborhoods and the delivery of core services to them. There is not the amount of fees and service revenue available as in the past. As a result, postponement of some future projects and efficiencies in staffing must be considered.

What do you think is the RMOW's role in boosting tourism? Putting more heads in beds is paramount for Whistler! The process requires the complete buy-in on behalf of all of the stakeholders: WB, TW, the Hotel Association, the Chamber Of Commerce, WAC, community members and the RMOW. We know what an abundance of winter snow and summer sun can do for Whistler's numbers. However, struggling national and international economies play heavily on the much-prized destination visitor. For the visitors that we do attract, be they from local or destination markets, their expectations must be exceeded! We want them to return or to tell their friends "Whistler is a must!"

We compete for international tourist dollars and cannot afford to dumb down our appeal. I will continue to push, and support, marketing campaigns that promote the philosophy that Whistler can and does exceed expectations.

What would you do to enhance the environment for business? To enhance the business environment in Whistler I will listen to what the business concerns are. We need to create a synergy between business owners, managers, landlords and appropriate RMOW staff. I would direct staff to facilitate and enable the implementation of a protocol that would encourage and enhance business, entertainment and educational opportunities. My goal is to encourage business to keep relevant, and adaptive to the customer proposition with minimal government involvement, while still remaining true to the unique character of Whistler.

Whistler Village must remain differentiated from your typical ski resort village to maintain the competitive tourist advantage. Successful businesses are vital in creating Whistler's Competitive Brand Advantage. I will work tirelessly to streamline this process.

Give an example of a difficult situation you have overcome? I have overcome the fear of turning on this computer. As a matter of fact I have even answered a few emails. Who would have believed it?

Where can people go to get your election platform? I am always willing to listen to your points of view. Full-timers and part-timers are equally important to me so let's talk anywhere any time. I am the councilor who will meet you eye to eye and listen to your concerns.

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