The Province continues to support First Nations partnerships, major re-investment and development plans in British Columbia with the approval of master plan updates and the signing of new 60-year Master Development Agreements for Whistler Blackcomb today.
Key to the Province’s approval was the involvement and support of the Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) and Líl̓wat Nations, on whose traditional territories Whistler Blackcomb operates. The Province and Whistler Blackcomb have worked toward the approvals in close partnership with the Squamish and Líl̓wat Nations to ensure all parties and their respective communities will benefit from the next 60 years of operation. In that regard, the Province and Whistler Blackcomb have entered into agreements with the Squamish and Líl̓wat Nations to ensure that the Nations participate in the success as partners.
The new 60-year agreements and master plans provide certainty for the Province and Whistler Blackcomb by allowing the resort to make the future capital investments required to maintain its position as a world-class mountain resort destination. This in turn ensures a strong tourism economy for the Province and provides continued benefits for the community of Whistler.
In addition, the Province, the Resort Municipality of Whistler, Whistler Blackcomb and the Squamish and Líl̓wat Nations have entered into a memorandum of understanding on how to work together moving forward.
The master plans are the conceptual phased development plans of how Whistler Blackcomb will be built-out over time. The 60-year Master Development Agreements are the land-use contracts between the Province and Whistler Blackcomb that detail how the resort will be expanded and operated.
Steve Thomson, Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations –
“I’m pleased to be able to approve these Master Development Agreements for Whistler Blackcomb, which in turn help to ensure Whistler’s continued contribution to the economic success of our Province. I’m impressed with the partnership approach that Whistler Blackcomb has taken in working with the Squamish and Líl̓wat Nations and the local community.”
Jordan Sturdy, MLA for West Vancouver-Sea to Sky –
"I have been pleased to see the collective effort, focus and commitment of the partners with resulting benefits in the Sea to Sky for the Nations, the resort and the Province. The agreements provide a collaborative foundation for future opportunities for all the partners."
Dave Brownlie, chief operating officer, Whistler Blackcomb –
“This is a significant milestone for Whistler Blackcomb and our local communities as it provides us with the long-term certainty for the capital investment required to maintain our position as a premier mountain resort destination in the world. We are grateful for the support the Province has provided during this process and for our strengthened relationships with the Squamish Nation and Líl̓wat Nation through which all our communities will benefit.”
Chief Dean Nelson, Líl̓wat Nation –
“Líl̓wat Nation being recognized as a respected partner in these Master Development Agreements negotiations demonstrates the progress the Nation has made in our relationships with Whistler Blackcomb and the Province. By signing these 60-year agreements we are ensuring that Líl̓wat Nation realizes long-term economic benefits through its stakeholder position in development undertaken by Whistler Blackcomb on unceded Líl̓wat territory. We hope this spirit of fair negotiation has also laid the foundation for how we also move forward with the Resort Municipality of Whistler in the next phase of development.”
Chief Ian Campbell, Xálek’/Sekyú Siyám, Squamish/Skwxwú7mesh Nation –
“The Squamish Nation welcomes this day, which demonstrates how working together to recognize the Nation's presence in our traditional territory has existed since time immemorial. Through this Agreement we will add significant value to the growth of this world-class destination. We welcome the new partnerships which have been created in the Master Development Agreement and we welcome how all parties will begin the road to reconciliation over the next 60 years. We celebrate the hard work and dedication and what it achieves with the signing of the Master Development Agreement and memorandum of understanding.”
Mayor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden, Resort Municipality of Whistler –
“A strong relationship with Líl̓wat and Squamish Nations, Whistler Blackcomb and the Province of British Columbia is very important to the Resort Municipality of Whistler. We look forward to working together with our partners and community members to explore future opportunities of common interest and finalize an updated Official Community Plan for Whistler that sets the stage for the continued success of our community.”
- Whistler Blackcomb is internationally recognized as a world-leading all-season resort destination, and is frequently voted as the top ski area in North America.
- The resort community of Whistler generates 25% of B.C.’s tourism export revenues.
- There are now 37 mountain resorts throughout the province, with the addition of the new Valemount Glacier Destinations resort.
- All-season mountain resorts contribute over $1.5 billion to B.C.’s economy.
Whistler Blackcomb: https://www.whistlerblackcomb.com/
Líl̓wat Nation: https://lilwat.ca/
Squamish First Nation: http://www.squamish.net/
Resort Municipality of Whistler: https://www.whistler.ca/
Gaining the Edge: 2015-2018 – British Columbia’s Tourism Strategy: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/tourism-and-immigration/tourism-industry-resources/gainingtheedge_2015-2018.pdf