Whistler’s 2020 All Candidates Meeting
The Whistler Chamber, in partnership with Pique Newsmagazine and Arts Whistler, hosted a virtual All Candidates Meeting last week.
With over 200 virtual attendees, and some great questions submitted by the community, Whistler had the opportunity to get the know the candidates better before Provincial Elections on October 24.
The 2020 Candidates are as follows:
NDP Party Candidate for West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky Country
Liberal Party Candidate for West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky Country
Green Party Candidate for West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky Country
Candidates gave brief opening statements, followed by questions from our community partners:
Whistler Chamber’s questions:
Question 1 (for all candidates): Whistler is built on a tourism based economy. Prior to the pandemic, the resort drove 22.5% of the tourism export revenue for the province of British Columbia which translates to $1.4 million in daily tax revenue for all levels of government. Small business has been the hardest hit during Covid-19, what will your party do to support small business in their effort to build back a strong, viable economy?
Question 2 (for all candidates): In a recent Whistler Chamber labour survey, 68% of whistler businesses with 50 or more employees did not have enough staff this past summer and do not think they will have adequate staffing for this winter. If elected, what will your party do to help our community build back a strong workforce?
Pique Newsmagazine’s questions:
Question 1 (for NDP candidate, Keith Murdoch): The NDP party’s 2017 election platform said it aimed to boost the BC Parks budget by $20 million over the last two years. People have been flooding into parks around Whistler at a time when BC Parks is severely underfunded. Having broken your 2017 election funding promise on parks how do you plan to support BC Parks in the next four years if you are re-elected?
Question 2 (for all candidates): In Pique’s very unscientific poll last week twice as many people said the environment and climate change was their top election issue compared to any other issue. The NDP came to power in 2017 promising to protect the environment. But it failed to follow its plan to put the carbon tax up, it failed to introduce endangered species legislation, and green house gas emissions continue to rise. Why should people who care about addressing climate change vote for you?
AWARE Whistler’s question:
Question 1 (for all candidates): In our work at AWARE we are seeing increasing climate action on the ground. If elected, how will YOU use this point in time—where we have our greatest chance to build back better—to match the efforts of citizens stepping up? What policy, infrastructure or investment changes would YOU seek to make to ensure B.C. and our region are leaders in a transition economy, that ensures a more equitable, healthy, climate resilient future?
Arts Whistler’s question:
Question 1 (for all candidates): The entire arts and culture sector was hit exceptionally hard by COVID-19. Arts organizations, actors, musicians, painters, artisans and others have seen their revenues dangerously reduced, making the survival of artists and arts groups very tenuous and yet the world turned to the arts for comfort, entertainment and to reduce their feelings of isolation. The arts matter to our collective wellbeing. If elected, what SPECIFIC ideas or plans you intend to put in place to help the sector?
Find the candidates’ answers to these questions in video below.
For the remainder of the evening, attendees could ask questions via the Zoom in the Q&A feature or by asking their question on live. Audience questions covered topics including:
- New Green Economy
- Conservation of forests
- Oil and gas subsidies
- Regional transit
- Fossil fuel industries
- Affordability of care for seniors
- Health and safety during COVID-19
- Future of tourism
- Invasive species
- Mental health and opiate crises
Closing statements from each candidate wrapped up a civil and informative All Candidates Meeting. Take a look at the Pique’s writeup for a more detailed run-down of the candidates’ responses.
Missed the event altogether? Watch the whole event in the unedited video below.
The Whistler Chamber is proud to partner with Tourism Whistler to produce a new video to help the local business community attract employees. Throughout the summer, labour shortages have presented challenges across all industries in our municipality.
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