Mayor's Report (April 5, 2011)

We want to acknowledge everyone that has expressed concern about the reports of the sled dog incident that allegedly took place outside of the Whistler municipal boundaries in April 2010. We know that our local community, visitors, and many others have an ongoing interest in these allegations and in particular, the recommendations brought forward by the Province’s Sled Dog Task Force.

Today, the Provincial Task Force issued a report with suggested changes to the provincial animal cruelty laws (Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, PCAA) along with specific recommendations to enhance the health, welfare and protection of sled dogs in British Columbia.  We are in support of these recommendations and are pleased with the Task Force’s thorough analysis on the sled dogs sector across the province.

The sled dog matter continues to be under investigation and many reported claims have not been confirmed. The RCMP and an SPCA-driven investigation are still underway.

The RMOW has received questions regarding revoking the business license of the operator. Outdoor Adventures at Whistler and Howling Dog Tours Whistler Inc. do have municipal business licenses for their activity booking office, which is located in Whistler Village. We still are awaiting more information from the RCMP before considering any action on this matter. While the office is in Whistler, the company’s dog sled operations—which are not permitted within Whistler—take place outside of municipal boundaries and are licensed in the Squamish Lillooet Regional District.

Until there is further clarity around allegations, Tourism Whistler continues to suspend the sale of Whistler Outdoor Adventures activities via Whistler.com and the Whistler Visitor Centre.

The RMOW will continue to monitor the situation and will report back with any new information.  For your information, the full Sled Dog Task Force report is available at: http://www.gov.bc.ca/agri/taskforce.html.

Sincerely,

Ken Melamed

Mayor

Resort Municipality of Whistler