Staff in Whistler are overworked and burnt out, due to a major labour shortage plaguing the resort town. 70 businesses came together, under the coordination of the Whistler Chamber of Commerce, to brainstorm possible solutions:

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Businesses are struggling. So much so, that people have been restricting operating hours, resulting in tens of thousands of dollars not made, some employers are providing housing accommodations for staff members who cannot find affordable rent, expansion plans have been dropped, and menus have been cancelled.

With the help of the Whistler Chamber of Commerce, a brainstorming session asked the link-minded business operators to think short-term, long-term, seasonal and across multiple levels of government involvement, to find solutions to the labour shortage.



The CEO of the Whistler Chamber of Commerce, Val Litwin said, “The good news is, you can hear there is a high level of creativity out there, to try and get through this crunch time, but I don’t think anyone would wish this upon a neighbouring business. It’s a tough time.” 

Some of the most immediately actionable strategies included, launching a marketing campaign to attract Canadians to work in the area, providing a local discount to people who choose to work and play in Whistler, greater access to transportation to neighbouring communities, and providing attractive employee packages.

With a long-term lens, access to housing and affordable accommodations is a noted challenge for employees, and was cause for stress for many employers. Mayor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden was in attendance, who said that the RMOW is working on this: “I don’t think Whistler wants to go to war with Airbnb*, but we do want to have housing available for our employees. So, it’s a significant issue, we are looking at it, and stay tuned.” Other big-picture solutions were discussed, such as making the Working Holiday VISA program more robust and advocating for the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.

For now, businesses will just have to grin and bear it, until any of the possible labour shortage solutions come through. If you happen to be looking for work, may we suggest heading to Whistler? They could use your help!




*Airbnb is a website service that provides short-term rental accommodations, mostly for travellers. Hosts/landlords are forgoing long-term rental agreements for short-term contracts through Airbnb, leaving less long-term housing available for employees in Whistler.