Chief and Council are elected by Mount Currie Band Members to be the political representation of the Lil’wat Nation.
Their influence, both directly and indirectly, is far-ranging throughout the Sea-to-Sky region.
There are many reasons why you should care about the election in Mount Currie. I’ll touch on four over a few weeks.
Here is the first reason: the economy.
The Lil’wat government spends about $18 million a year. About $8 million goes directly into the pockets (salaries and benefits) of the approximately 150 staff employed in Mount Currie. Probably another $3 million goes to social assistance for individuals and/or building and maintenance supplies and services. You can bet that a significant portion of these $11 million in direct payments and purchases go right into the local economy through groceries, gas, personal services, appliances, clothes, etc.
Beyond the direct impact on the local economy, the Lil’wat Nation is increasingly becoming a facilitator of economic development for the region. Their legal role in evaluating land-uses that might impact aboriginal title means that they have a direct say in all Crown land applications. This is over 100 land use applications each year (many of them for economic activity) that Lil’wat can either support, modify, or work to prohibit. The largest application currently under review is the 60 year renewal of the Whistler / Blackcomb Master Development Agreement.
In their own right, Lil’wat is also active (and growing) players in forestry, real estate development, and tourism.
Through it’s direct and indirect impact it is easy to conclude that the Lil’wat Nation is probably the largest single economic force in the Pemberton Valley.
It is easy to see the implications that uninterested, short-sighted, corrupt or incompetent leaders could have for everyone.
A vibrant and growing economy requires a stable, competent political leadership and that’s why you should care who is elected on March 9th.