Whistler Chamber February Advocacy in Action Member Input Session

March 3, 2022

The Whistler Chamber hosted the first Advocacy in Action roundtable discussion of 2022 on February 17th. The meeting, which was held virtually, was well attended by representatives from a diverse set of Whistler businesses.

After acknowledging that the holiday period presented many challenges for many businesses in town, moderator and Chamber CEO Melissa Pace opened the discussion to participants. Immediately, two familiar topics were brought to the table: the need to address the ongoing housing issues and concerns regarding the labour market.

Attendees emphasized the need for the municipality and other key players to assess housing concerns and come up with a solution. The cost of living in Whistler has increased to a point that it’s a significant deterrent preventing workers from moving here. One participant raised the possibility of combining rezoning efforts with sustainable design principles to create quality staff housing with low operating costs.

Temporary foreign worker programs were also discussed. Employers in town rely on foreign labour because they simply cannot source the labour from within Canada, but recent permit processing backlogs have had a significant impact on available labour. Once foreign workers have arrived in town, many face additional challenges when it comes to having their credentials or education recognized by local employers. Melissa mentioned ongoing advocacy at different levels of government to address the permit processing issues. She also highlighted the Chamber’s partnership with Tourism Whistler on an upcoming international distribution campaign for the recruitment video that was shared nationwide in the fall.

The recent Whistler Transit strike was mentioned, with Melissa providing an update that the Chamber team is actively communicating and encouraging both parties to get back to the negotiating table to come to a solution. 

Before wrapping up, details on some upcoming events were shared:

With recent PHO restrictions easing, the Chamber team is really excited to proceed full steam ahead with these events. Please consider attending!

Our boardroom capacity has increased to its maximum of 24, perfect for your next meeting! Click here for details on renting the Chamber boardroom.


What is an Advocacy in Action Session?

As your Chamber, one of our key roles is to advocate on behalf of the Whistler business community. Our power packed Advocacy in Action Sessions are designed for you, our Members, to let us know where to take action. We want to stay up-to-date with developing concerns of our business community during COVID-19, and be better prepared to advocate for you during these unprecedented times. This is an opportunity to speak frankly and let the Chamber know how we can make your business better.