|Candidate||Question 1||Question 2||Question 3A||Question 3B||Additional comments by candidate|
|There are approximately 2400 (Canada census 2016) seniors permanently residing in Whistler. The contribution of these seniors is central to the overall wellbeing of the Community. What do you perceive are their needs and which of these can be addressed by the municipality?||Based on your reply to Question 1, what do you think should be the Municipalities short and long term strategies to address these issues?||What would you do to ensure that seniors and all community members are treated with equal respect, and their voices are heard in our community?||Would you be prepared to support having a member of the Mature Action Community, representing Whistler seniors, as a voting member on all relevant RMOW community task forces and committees?|
|Arthur De Jong||I sat down last week with Sue and Les Lawther to get a deeper perspective on this. The key takeways are specifics with healthcare services, transportation, in some respects housing, and not sometimes feeling appreciated enough within elements of our community. (that gets me worked up) you folks are a huge part of the soul of our community.||Our decisions on transportation and housing must be very inclusive of our seniors needs. Healthcare is one area I need to research further as it is for the most part a provincial service From a planning perspective anything that can affect our seniors - we must engage our seniors first. 100% Inclusive on all decisions that can affect our seniors with respect to short and long term strategies.||Formal position on all relevant task forces and committees - If elected I would want to have a monthly coffee session with MAC members to keep connected on issues and give municipal updates as well as updating what is happening on the mountains as the Senior planner for Whistler Blackcomb||Yes all relevant task forces and committees. Back to an earlier point. We have much to gain from the experience and commitment that our elders bring to this community.||Seniors I have your back! A little history: At a very young age in my twenties I was the mountain operations manager at Blackcomb responsible for about 800 staff. This was very challenging. Our mountain hosts ( mountain elders) did so much to support me and generated a deep sense of team work and guest service. The patience, professionalism, wisdom and fun that these people brouur community offer so much. Countless volunteer hours, passion of place, carry our narrative- telling whistlers story so well.
People like Don MacLaurin mentoring me in my early stages of my career and yes Isobel as well!
I am now 58 years old so also within your elites ranks. From the heart I support you!
|Cathy Jewett||As someone that has lived over 40 years in Whistler I hope I can stay. Some of the big issues for older residents aren’t ones that can be addressed by the municipality. However, they can advocate for better access to local healthcare and other supports that are not as accessible as they are in Pemberton or Squamish. We are behind on targeted seniors housing, though thankfully there is a project well under way in Rainbow. It is rental housing, which is ok for people that don’t have a home, but draining to the savings if one considers that long term care can be expensive later in life.||Advocacy for services that support seniors aging in place. Housing will always be a challenge||Seniors have the biggest representation in the volunteer community, this garners them a lot of respect in the community. This also gives them an audience in many cases if they join a board or municipal committee. It is also important as any advocate should to be sensitive to the needs of all, especially the most vulnerable. We will have a growing population of seniors that have lived and worked in Whistler for many years and do not have pensions or real estate to cushion their retirements. We should ensure that their needs are met.||I already do! I am a member of MAC and try to put myself in the shoes of others when making decisions|
|David Buzzard||My mother has lived in Whistler since the 1970’s and is over 80. She regularly drives, by herself, to places like Yellowknife, St.John's NFLD, and Cabo St. Lucas Mexico. Whistler seniors, in my experience, are fitter and far more independent than people of similar age in other parts of Canada. That said, Whistler does need to increase it’s supply of senior's housing with expanded access facilities. Municipal support for seniors social groups is also important.||I believe the plans for the Cheakamus Crossing phase II already include plans for a percentage of specific senior reserved units. If there isn’t, then there should be.||My father is a retired chemical engineer and he’s done extensive volunteer work, such as acting as a consulting engineer in wetland restoration. He’s a really smart guy with a desire to give back to his community and I see the same thing among a lot of seniors here in Whistler. Many retired seniors in Whistler have a wealth of professional experience and a desire to contribute to the community, so I’d definitely support having a MAC representative on any relevant municipal committees.||My father is a retired chemical engineer and he’s done extensive volunteer work, such as acting as a consulting engineer in wetland restoration. He’s a really smart guy with a desire to give back to his community and I see the same thing among a lot of seniors here in Whistler. Many retired seniors in Whistler have a wealth of professional experience and a desire to contribute to the community, so I’d definitely support having a MAC representative on any relevant municipal committees.|
|Dawn Titus||Every resident is an important 'thread' in the social fabric of our Community. Seniors here are often the backbone of Volunteer positions in many community events - and our schools - and as presented, 'central to the overall wellbeing of the Community'. Currently, the needs are:
a) Opportunities for affordable housing as seniors down-size; and more importantly ~ housing that could provide assisted living as well. (working with BC government to Make.That.Happen) I have a neighbour with early stage dementia, and there is no access to CARE ... here. That needs to be addressed.
b) Creation of a centralized 'Seniors Centre' (there is going to be a new addition to the cardio room at Meadow Park ~ a focus on dedicated space for Seniors recreation/social setting should be next priority ).
c) dedicated funding for Community Services for Support and Outreach Program for Seniors
i) Addressing the requirement for AFFORDABLE rental units for seniors to made available in the new housing developments coming forward in The Mayor's Task Force on Housing ( are the 20 WHA units currently being built going to be adequate for now? Are they 'affordable'?
ii) Reviewing RMOW budget plan to ensure that funding is in place for WCCS seniors' programs.
iii) supporting MAC in applying for provincial grants that could be available (I'm sure your group has looked into this already)
(I'm sure there is more to do here - I should have had a good conversation with Janice Lloyd on this!) .
Long-term *** planning for a Seniors Centre! Implementing a 'task force' to put the plan into 'action'.
|* With regards to the voices of seniors being heard - see below ~ Having a MAC member, or representative community member 60+ on RMOW task forces would be a great start.
** Working with WCCS/MAC to 'outreach' to this population to encourage/support them in attending Community open houses/Council meetings (more encouragement is needed for ALL residents to participate in and attend council meetings)
*** I feel strongly that we do have an incredible Community that is friendly, welcoming, supportive, proactive and Amazing. I believe that all community members are treated with respect and feel very fortunate that is the case.
|YES !||Might I add that I have recently turned 60! I'm not sure how that happened! I have been wanting to connect with the MAC group ( I've known Janice for almost 35 years, and Karen Krivel is a good friend. Many in your group would know me ). I retired from full-time teacher in 2015, and immediately began teaching yoga. Between Yoga, cycling all over and commuting to Calgary where my twin sons live, I have not had 'time' to make it to MAC meetings .... yet. That will change this winter!|
|Duane Jackson||First of all, I agree completely that seniors are central to the overall wellbeing of the community. Non profits, Advisory Boards, RMOW, and Vail all benefit greatly from the countless hours of volunteer work that our seniors contribute.
In a few months I’ll be eligible to join MAC. I struggle to consider the 55-65 age group as “seniors”, and personally find I identify more with the 45-55 age group who are still raising families in Whistler. Our youngest is still a teenager. Like many of our friends, we fully expect to stay in Whistler though retirement. Therefore, as a family, we think about our social, medical, recreation and housing needs going forward.
Of the 2,015 residents over 55 in the 2016 census, 1,180 are between 55 and 65. Leaving 935 over 65 years old. The needs of the progressive demographic groups are very different. I wonder if MAC’s priorities are more realistically defined by post-transitional retirees, 65+? In the next ten years those over 65 will increase by over 100%, and those between 55 and 65 will potentially increase by 150%. Therefore, whichever way one looks at it, it’s a significant, and growing, proportion of our community.
With respect to lifestyle, I see seniors, of all ages, active in many social, educational, cultural and recreational activities in Whistler. Understanding the anticipated growth in demand will inform us as to what’s required in terms of programs and amenities that will accommodate the inevitable demand. It’s quite probable that we will need to invest in new or expanded amenities to accommodate those needs, and I’m OK with that. We’ve invested heavily on the “Resort”. It’s time to invest in our “Community”.
With respect to housing, seniors have similar needs to other demographics. Quality, affordable, and appropriate housing for their specific (aging) needs. And a sense of “belonging”. As part of our continued community planning we need to first understand what the range of housing types are currently occupied by the 55+ families. Including those already living in WHA restricted, inventory? If elected I look forward to learning more about the expectations of seniors, and how best they can transition from their current property to something that better meets their needs in the future.
I have the education, experience and interest in identifying the opportunities that may be within our immediate or short-term initiatives. Including negotiating for amenities that may be accommodated in private sector applications for re-zoning and development.
|Firstly, review the growing demand for seniors social and medical needs, and determine how expanded programs and services can be offered at an affordable price. Similarly, working with regional health and WCSS to ensure that not only are external medical services available, but recognise the growing demand for additional capacity, as our community matures.
Secondly, after analyzing, and identifying, the current shortfall of facilities and programs, allocate the necessary and appropriate operational capital in our 5 and 10 year financial plans to address those needs. Simultaneously, consider how best to address the need for seniors housing that helps balance our existing inventory and neighbourhoods, including innovative solutions to manage transition from existing homes, where possible.
Early in my Architectural career I gained experience designing and building infill seniors housing and planned retirement villages with progressive stages of care. I have the experience and skills to explore realistic solutions to our housing challenge.
|I think seniors are well represented on nearly every task-force, committee, non-profit, or every open house organized by the RMOW. In many cases, the majority of participants are 55+.
I’ve lived in this community for 27+ years. Raised 3 children and met a wide range of our maturing demographic, many of whom I would consider friends. I understand the passion and commitment to making this an attractive community to retire and age in. As the aging demographic become a larger proportion of our historically younger community, there will undoubtedly be more opportunities for discussion regarding policies and priority to seniors needs.
|I believe this is, already, the case. And, probably, a majority of voting positions on most boards. I’m not in favour of legislating for any one particular demographic on our community task-forces and committees. There’s plenty of opportunity for all members of the community to apply to Council to fill the rotating positions, and it’s incumbent on Council to pick the best candidates available for the specific demands of the various boards – and a range of perspectives, to provide balanced and productive representation. Saying that, there are a couple of boards that may need representational review. And quite possibly re-introduction of an “Advisory Planning Commission” to consider our long term planning demands and priorities, in view of our post-Olympic boom.|
|Gordon Annand||It is imperative that we continue and expand on all plans and strategies associated with allowing seniors to age in place. Including:
* Accessibility to community.
* Additional senior activities.
|Housing – Provide a short term plan (10 years) and a longer term plan.
· Identifying how much future housing will be required.
· Rezoning for all aspects of both the short term and long term plan.
· Begin to lobby the senior levels go government on potential funding including assisted and full care living opportunities.
· Community Accessibility – Senior bus passes and / or taxi voucher alternative.
· Lobby for additional Meadow Park and Whistler Public Library activities and programming.
|* ELECT A SENIOR TO COUNCIL – I CAN FILL THAT ROLE!
“VOTE – GORD ANNAND”
· Request a council representative be appointed to the MAC Board.
· Invite Mayor & Council to attend the AGM and continue and expand on your current advocacy program
|Absolutely yes, however I feel the options outlined in my answer to the previous question (3.A) should be the priority.|
|Ira Pettle||Health and wellness (Physical, Mental, and spiritual) - This is connected to ALL the systems (and subsequent programs) that operate within our community already (or those that have yet to be created and actualized). It would be an honour to work closely with MAC to further develop the senior community here in Whistler. For me it comes down to this: Everyone who chooses to be here has the right to happiness (whatever that looks like). I advocate for full support from the community at large (inclusive of our government) in all relevant areas. We are all in this together and we need to take a stand for everyone, seniors included! We are here to take care of each other. Everyone.||In the short term, we need to create diverse opportunities for seniors to engage, not only with each other but with the community at large. Programming and events are short and long term opportunities for us to engage our senior sector. I'd like to see consistent year round programming (including gatherings, socials, and outings) for our seniors, ultimately engaged in having fun, learning new skills, and thriving as a celebrated piece of our community pie. Really, we need to do whatever it takes to ensure that our elders receive what the need to live happily here. The possibilities are endless in that regard and I'm excited by the prospects that come with making this happen! Go seniors!||I would do everything I possibly could to make sure our senior population is treated with equal respect...and heard. Ask my bubby, she'll vouch for me.
For the last 5 years I've hosted and programmed the bi-annual senior celebration that entertains and engages hundreds of seniors from across Canada and the USA at the Whistler Chateau Fairmont. I am no stranger to working with the elderly and it is an honour to say the least, to have the opportunity to converse, and connect with our elders. It truly lights me up. Seniors have overflowing knowledge and wisdom to help us grow and I intend on elevating this group to the best of my ability. I will be a strong voice for our seniors. That I promise you.
|I'm open and interested in discussing what that might look like in more detail. I think it's a possibility we should explore for sure.|
|Janice Lloyd||Not all seniors in the community have the same needs. MAC must continue to advocate for all seniors and all individual needs. A directory of all seniors on and off the grid would be helpful. This directory could be held by WCSS.
We are in need of a Community Centre for all ages, open from 1000 to 4:00pm. This could be an area that abuts present RMOW buildings presently in use.
G. Spruce Grove, Meadow Park or Whistler Racket Club, funded by the Community and staffed.
Seniors commented on this at the Vital Signs Workshop over and over on October 1st, Fit Seniors Day.
|Build it and all 2,400 and increasing seniors and community members will come. Especially grannies and aunties minding the grands and great grands in Whistler,||MAC should have 1 dedicated person attend RMOW Council Meetings.|
|Jeff Murl||The seniors need to have the municipality offer as many services to help them age in place as is financially and logistically possible. The availability of primary care in the community has been a concern as seniors will naturally access more of this category of medical services then the younger residents. The municipality needs to explore options to retain family practitioners in the community as the costs of operating here send them in search of better opportunities.||I’d like to see the municipality work with the practitioners still present, the province and community organizations to help provide better financial incentives for primary care practitioners. This might be in the form of subsidizing office space in order to reduce overhead and make family practice more rewarding. I think the community would really get behind fundraising and other initiatives in support of their access to primary care and other medical services.||MAC is a growing organization as more of our residents reach the threshold to join. It should be given a greater representation where available in community engagement and outreach endeavours, whether that be task forces, committees or other forums. Fair representation of the community at large will require our mix changes to adapt to the changing demographics of Whistler.||I think the mature population segment of Whistler contains the largest resource of talented, experienced and dedicated people. Getting those people into positions where they can be effective, contribute and share their talents and time will always get my support. Without equal representation and rights to all age groups, the community wouldn’t gain from the diversity of thought, perspective and ideas needed to make it work for everyone.|
|Jen Ford||Like all residents of Whistler, MAC members need a safe and secure home that they can afford, appropriate infrastructure (clean water, safe walking networks, and safe roads), and social and recreation opportunities. Outside of municipal mandate, seniors need access to health care, aging supports, and financial security. Local government is the closest level of government that can advocate on behalf of it’s residents. That was why I ran for and was elected to the Union of BC Municipalities, so that I can be that voice on behalf of Whistler to the province and federal government!!||I worked with Gary Watson and the WHA to bring to life the seniors’ housing building at Rainbow, which will hopefully give many seniors a great place to live. There are many in the community who don’t have the security of home ownership. I have supported the WHA in ensuring that there are affordable options for seniors home ownership as well as rental homes. We can and should build more as quickly as is feasible!
For social and recreation, we need to continue to engage with the community about what sorts of programs you want. Programming through Municipal facilities are dynamic and user driven. Community Enrichment grants are available to various groups to support grass roots initiatives like the tool lending library, social functions, and community building.
Another challenge for our community is the access to general physicians and specialist health care providers. I have worked with the various doctors to understand their challenges, and housing for their staff and cost recovery from the province are central to their issues. I have advocated with the province to improve access to these essential services to meet our unique needs. I’d like the opportunity to continue this work!
|I have made myself available to all residents to call, email or meet me for a coffee any time. I’ve visited many in their homes to understand what I can do to help. I am an open listener who cares deeply about the people who live here. I have aging parents that live very far away, and I am sensitive to complex issues. I believe that we could help to solve or ease many of our community’s challenges with a simple gathering of people. No agendas, no goals except to bring people together to talk and to listen. There is a large gap in our community that has been growing, and it is caused by a new world of being so connected, and never more isolated. There is a lot of anxiety and concern that could be addressed by simply getting to know your neighbours and sharing concerns before they turn into challenges.||I currently sit on the following groups on which there are members of the MAC:
Whistler Housing Authority
Measuring Up Committee
Whistler Health Care Foundation
Recreation & Leisure Advisory Committee
There is of course always room for and encouragement of participation in the other committees. If MAC wants to be present at these other boards, I’d be supportive.
|John Grills||Seniors housing has been a top priority for MAC over the years and as you know there is a WHA senior’s rental housing project being built in Rainbow at this time. Additional units could be considered after we see the uptake on the Rainbow project. A dialogue with Vancouver Coastal Health needs to take place regarding increased OR hours and staff at the Squamish Hospital. I also think the increased investment in Arts and Culture and both indoor and outdoor recreational facilities will enhance the quality of life for all Whistler residents.||I would say the items mentioned in question one are ongoing except for the VCH item which is a short term goal. As for other strategies, I would add to the list, increased local transit and the introduction of regional transit. Continue the focus on keeping property tax increases as low as possible and looking for ways for homeowners to capture some of the equity in their property by way of an employee restricted housing addition.||One method that Council uses to hear the voices of the community is by holding an open house, either on a specific subject or at times a combination of subjects. In the past ten months alone we have had a number open houses, on transportation, employee housing, the budget, the water use bylaw and our updated OCP to name a few. Each year numerous surveys are conducted and one method is by phone. The senior demographic quota is filled easily as they are the ones with phone landlines. There are many other options including the council phone line and email, or maybe it is as simple as saying hello in the village.||It would be helpful if you expanded the term “relevant”. One could argue that all committees of council would impact all residents and guests of Whistler regardless of age. Typically when a call goes out to the community to fill a position on a committee, board etc. it is the more senior members of Whistler that respond. I would say the Mature Action demographic is well represented. Looking at our current council four of the seven members are 55 or older.
If there was a specific position the MAC membership would like see made available there is no reason they couldn’t bring that request forward to council
|Lance Bright||A: Seniors Housing: I was pleased to be at a meeting recently where a seniors housing project was approved and I spoke with Gary about the issues. From what I have read and heard from Whistler’s seniors, I believe there continues to be a need for specialized seniors housing on multiple areas. While I believe there is a market for luxury 55+ condos, there is also a need for Independent Living and Assisted Living options and for those requiring subsidized senior accommodation. We also need to look at our Care Facilities to ensure they are adequate so that a resident of Whistler can remain a resident of Whistler throughout their life. There should be an acknowledged category of buildings specialized not only for the physical and medical needs of our senior population, but also their desires, hobbies, and lifestyle. Seniors today in Whistler are still vitally active in their sixties, seventies, and eighties. They are skiing and hiking our mountains—we need to address their specialized needs to stay fit and do the activities they came to Whistler for.
Your consolidated input would be greatly appreciated! A retired councillor pointed out to me the advancing ages of the WHA membership and how it may be advantageous for them to focus on more senior-oriented housing optional, thereby freeing up some movement in the waitlist. We need the RMOW to streamline timelines in accomplishing these goals. When proposals regarding the health and wellness of any our citizens are brought forward, these must be handled quickly and efficiently. A short-term strategy would be to have a presentation on where we are at this time with seniors specialized housing in Whistler and what the current goals are. Long term would be make sure a taskforce is put in place to continue monitoring these projects and determine how the RMOW city council can facilitate them.
Another need I see is in regards to Wheelchair Accessible cabs. I understand that not everyone needs a wheelchair cab but transportation is an issue for us as we age. In the absence of any HandyDart systems, like the GVRD have, I occasionally need to call around to check on wheelchair cabs availability in Whistler. One company is great, but the other has never come through, giving me the same excuses now as they did a year ago. As a prelude to HandyDart, it would be a prudent first step to involve the taxi service as a stop gap. I know in Vancouver, taxi companies have to maintain a standard of service in this regard. Why do ours not? I am of the opinion that if a taxi company cannot keep a wheelchair-option vehicle on the road, perhaps that license should be questioned. Considering the cost of operation of a large transit bus, with handi cap options and a HandyDart bus, I do believe the door-to-door option of a taxi has a lot of economic appeal on the whole and a lot of appeal to the marginalized rider. Walking to meet a bus may not be the best thing to do in Winter.
On the topic, Our transit bus system needs to have several routes addressed, and I have sent multiple letters to city council to change routes to make them more user friendly. I would also like to have a report on how many buses have wheelchair options. LanceBright.com Transit for further.
The older we get, the more difficult it is for us to deal with icy, snow-packed sidewalks. One thing I would like to examine is if city hall is adequately addressing the enforcement of sidewalk clearing during the winter months by our businesses and residences, and by city workers.
|response included in answer # 1||I believe my answer to the first part of question 3, is somewhat answered by saying “yes” to the latter part of question 3. Why would we not want to be inclusive? To execute any decision without the aggregate wisdom of our Whistler elders would be insane. Many mature members of the Whistler community are my "go-to" people for all matters. Your long-term perspective and insight is invaluable.
I spoke earlier of a retired councillor and his take on the WHA’s waitlists—this is what we need to hear! He is a perfect example of how the Mature Action Community would be able to provide specific guidance to the housing task force and other issues. We need to listen to seniors and other Whistler residents who know exactly where the bottlenecks are in preventing positive outcomes for our seniors here. “Retired” doesn’t mean “without a voice”.
As your city councillor, I would both ask for and expect a concise supply of ideas to forward your cause.
Thank you again for your diligent work on behalf of all of Whistler’s seniors, and for giving me the opportunity to address your community.
|response included in answer # 3a|
|Larry Falcon||As our population continues to age, and it will, we need to be able to anticipate the needs of this important segment of our valley. Right now we have many options available for seniors in regards to jobs, health and recreation. What we do not have is adequate housing in the pipe to ensure that our seniors can continue to live in Whistler for the rest of their lives. We are addressing senior housing, but I believe we need to look beyond that and build for the extended care facilities that will continue to allow seniors to live out their lives close to their families. Sending seniors with extended care requirements should not have to look to the lower mainland for solutions. We need to look to partnerships between the muni and private developers to create extended care solutions that are affordable, comfortable and livable.||Short term, we need to start this conversation immediately in conjunction with MAC and other vested parties so that we have a solution in the pipe within five years. Long term, we will need to monitor the growth in demand for extended care facilities so that we can ensure a growth that matches with the needs of our community.||I strongly feel that we need less closed sessions of council and more open transparency. The best way to ensure equal respect and that all voices are heard is to open as many council meetings as possible to the public so that input is heard from all, and on an ongoing basis||I believe strongly that MAC should be represented on relevant committees and task forces. I do not believe that they should have voting privileges. Agreeing to this would be a right that should be decided by the voting public as to whether they agree with this request. Council has not been given the right to agree to this request as of now.|
|Melanie Tardif||I certainly agree with the statement that the contribution seniors make for Whistler is central to the overall success, wellness and livelihood of this community. I believe seniors have lots of knowledge, experience, stories and wisdom to share with their communities and it's up to the community and the municipality, not the elders, to harness this expertise.
Unfortunately, I did not grow up with grandparents in my life, since they passed away when I was 2 years old. Therefore, I would like to see all children in Whistler have the opportunity to live close to their grandparents as they are a fundamental part of their lives (for both children and seniors).
It's clear that housing is a crucial issue for all age classes in Whistler, at the moment, but what is equally essential is the ability for seniors to age in place, with assistance and appropriate care. I'll admit I was naive and didn't realize that there were no assisted care housing in Whistler, and when I found out about that, I was truly sadden. I was disheartened to learn that for seniors who have lived here for decades, having to leave Whistler as their physical and/or mental capabilities change, is a harsh reality. If or when they do need to move out of their homes and into assisted care housing, that they often have to move away from Whistler, a place where they have devoted so much time and love to the community, to a place possibly down in the city or elsewhere. Ultimately, they end up living the rest of their lives in a "strange", unfamiliar community, far from their friends. That doesn't sound fair to me and I'd like to change that if elected. These people have helped shape our beautiful community and I'm sure they have lots more to add to the history books, thus we should explore more ideas on how we can help them to continue to live in Whistler as they age with assisted full care living opportunities.
Furthermore, there are definitely other priorities such as accessible transportation and a sense of belonging, I would support starting a dialogue with the RMOW and brainstorming solutions. The municipality may not be able to address public transportation but they sure can lobby the provincial government & Ministry of Transportation for better services and scheduling. However, the municipality can definitely help with the sense of belonging, see my answer below regarding LUNA.
|I think the new WHA housing proposal in Rainbow will have some priority seniors rental housing (I would like to confirm if this is actually happening) but if not I would advocate for more affordable rentals for the senior demographic. However, what also needs to be addressed at the moment, is the "Better at Home" program that the Sea to Sky Community Services have developed and the municipality championing that by increasing funding and encouraging volunteers!
Long term: look into building a seniors housing complex that has both independent and assisted level care, for seniors that have lived in the community for a long period of time.
In addition, lobby the province for an increase in pensions for seniors, for a better quality of life and livable wage. I've been told that more and more seniors in BC are struggling to get by on their pension alone, having to take on part time jobs after retirement, coupled with other social services like the food bank. (This would also benefit everyone down the line, as I too worry about my future and my pension)
Easy short term ideas: Integrate senior programs in the community, hosted monthly at the library or Arts Centre, to create a better sense of belonging and engagement. I believe LUNA is funded by the RMOW, it would be really great if we can develop a similar organization for elders and even the 35-55 age class, as there is not much for us either, in terms of late & unique nightly alternatives. I often hear my older friends talking about how they wish there wasn't a cap on the age requirements to join LUNA activities. Maybe MAC and the RMOW could partner on monthly games night. We need community space for these events, which is where I think the RMOW can help.
|I sure hope that everyone in this community gets treated with equal respect, from the 5th grade children, to the van dwellers, and our elders. If it wasn't obvious during the All Candidates Meetings, I emit a lot of love and compassion and I would be delighted to help spread that love and respect by building more community engagement. I believe we are entering a new chapter with regards to world peace and people are really starting to speak from their hearts as opposed to their egos.
MAC could host monthly dialogues to help brainstorm more ideas and solutions for their voices to be heard, meanwhile inviting council members and other Whistlerites to be a part of the conversations at your quarterly or monthly board meetings. I like attending and hosting Potlucks and outdoor BBQ/bonfires to socialize, maybe this is something the RMOW or MAC can do?
When I host Green Drinks every 1st Wednesday of month at Black's Pub, I'm always so delighted to have an intellectual conversation with an elder, their insights and wisdom astound me.
|That is not an easy question to answer, as I don't completely understand the ins and outs of who gets to vote during municipal committee meetings and task forces. Moreover, it's reasonable to say that if RMOW grants that privilege to MAC then all the other organizations in Whistler would want the same privilege (everybody wants a piece of the pie!), which wouldn't be feasible. Although I do believe that committees should have widespread representation of the community embodied at these meetings and task forces and that those most affect should be at the table.
After a little bit of research on the RMOW website, I see that MAC does not have an appointed Councillor who sits in at your Board meetings, l think that would be the first step for having your voices heard by the municipality. The RMOW partnering with MAC would be my short term solution to engagement and synergy.
|Miroslav Kolvek||As a senior citizen, I believe areas of focus for the senior community should be:
- Increased inventory for Whistler Housing Authority senior priority housing (both purchase and rental);
- Accessibility to health programs and investment in the medical services we are able to offer in town;
- Property taxes decreased based on senior’s income and/or pension;
- Social and educational programs for seniors - https://www.economist.com/the-economist-explains/2018/08/16/why-universities-for-the-elderly-are-booming-in-china
All of the above can be addressed and supported by the Resort Municipality of Whistler.
Short-term - Support stricter enforcement of illegal rentals and other Whistler Housing Authority abuses to clear up inventory for seniors and other community members that are in dire need of affordable housing.
Long-term – Increased inventory.
For all other areas a short-term strategy would be to begin sourcing funding for these ventures and in the long-term seeing them come to fruition.
|Using public platforms such as radio slots, Pique editorials, and local school presentations is a great way to generate awareness about senior and other community member’s needs. A weekly posting in our local newspaper for MAC members to share stories, their views, and their wisdom with the community would be a great way to increase connection. Another would be youth and senior events at local elementary schools where both groups can interact and learn from one another.||Absolutely, diversity in all voting groups is vital. Seniors built the community into what it is today and it is important their hard work and dedication is recognized.||Thank you for your questions, as a Council Member I will work tirelessly to ensure senior needs are met.|
|Nathan Hawkins||I feel that housing, transport and activities are the main 3 areas that need to be addressed by our municipality I would ensure that all seniors are given a voice. The municipality is currently working towards housing the seniors population I feel that with my construction background I could help work the next Phase of developments through the municipality to get more housing sooner for the community||Short-term - I feel the municipality is currently working on this issue in the decision from council to continue with the Phase2 development of Cheakamus and The Seniors development at Rainbow. With all units being available to seniors first in compliance with WHA points system. Transport is one area I would like to look into more to see what is available currently.
Long Term - I would refer back to the draft OCP and continue to grow on what policies are currently working with in that frame to ensure longevity of seniors in our community.
|If elected I would help get their opinion across to the community and discussions that would come up. I would listen and base my decisions off that.||Yes I would encourage that the senior community be active in having a voice in our community decisions|
|Ralph Forsyth||I’ve volunteered and worked alongside many seniors in Whistler, I can’t imagine the community getting as much done as it does without them. The one constant in my conversations with seniors it their concern about their ability to age in place. The Municipality’s main tool to enable this is zoning. There are also some policy objectives that can be set to meet the needs of seniors. (See other answers)||I would start by adopting the World Health Organization’s, Global Age-Friendly Cities eight key features.
I’m not sure we need the “designation” but we could do all the checklist items required to be a recognised “Age Friendly Community”.
1. Outdoor spaces and public buildings are pleasant, clean, secure and physically accessible.
2. Public transportation is accessible and affordable.
3. Housing is affordable, appropriately located, well built, well designed and secure.
4. Opportunities exist for social participation in leisure, social, cultural and spiritual activities with people of all ages and cultures.
5. Older people are treated with respect and are included in civic life.
6. Opportunities for employment and volunteerism cater to older persons’ interests and abilities.
7. Age-friendly communication and information is available.
8. Community support and health services are tailored to older persons’ needs.
There’s some good policy work already completed for BC Municipalities.
You can find it here:
|I think that on the path to completing the aforementioned checklist we would need to engage seniors in the process-that should address any concerns about having your voices heard.||To be honest, I’m not sure how efficient that would be. I think the strategies I’ve outlined in other answers would ensure seniors are represented in a meaningful way. I would however, be supportive of adding the Mature Action Committee to the list of Council Appointments as an RMOW Partner Organization. That way you can have a member of council as a member of your committee. I’ll even volunteer to do it!|
|Steven Andrews||Accessibility is the greatest thing in my mind, i.e. proximity to the village and services. also purpose-built WHA housing that has proper bathrooms, ease of mobility, lack of stairs. Perhaps it's worth looking at a memory care facility as well.||Getting proper housing as part of the plan, as well as private assisted living/memory care.||Give them a platform. I have deep respect for seniors and have made it a mission to give them a voice. To show i'm not just all talk here is a video I made this year with that intent, basically having the elder generation sharing advice for the young 'seniors' just graduating high school:
|I sure would rather see someone from the MAC than other "stakeholders" such as Whistler backcomb on board. Equally important as an elder I think we should have a youth representative. Both are terribly underrepresented in the decision making process.|