Three readings, 24 hours, 15 minutes

Three readings, 24 hours, 15 minutes Open letter responding to recent remarks made by Whitehorse's chief administrative officer comparing the census attached to the voter enumeration bylaw to a referendum question: Adding questions about the specifics o

Open letter responding to recent remarks made by Whitehorse’s chief administrative officer comparing the census attached to the voter enumeration bylaw to a referendum question:

Adding questions about the specifics of Whitehorse households to the voter registration exercise is, in no way, like “tacking” a referendum question onto a ballot. It’s not an intrusion to add an issue to vote on to a ballot; that’s consistent with the purpose of holding a public vote.

The purpose for the vestigial census, survey, what-have-you becomes more perplexing and less compelling with every new official comment on the matter.

But it’s been clear from the outset that it has nothing to do with voting.

A citizen-initiated referendum question undergoes a rigorous public examination before it’s even put on a ballot, since the consent of 2,000 eligible voters is required to get it that far.

In contrast

the seven members of city council folded the census questions into the enumeration bylaw by giving it three readings within a 24-hour period, with not more than 15 minutes of discussion in front of the public.

Media coverage, public relations and official advertising have been focused on the survey (with city officials displaying a sketchy grasp of confidentiality issues along the way).

If I hadn’t yet taken part in a municipal election, I still wouldn’t know from any of that information if I was eligible to vote.

I might be wondering, though, what kind of gear is needed to negotiate the “confusing” and “inconvenient” terrain of the polling station on election day.

Surely we can all agree that neither elected officials nor their administrative staff should be mired in the mechanics of the electoral process.

In fact, asking voters whether they support the appointment of an independent electoral officer to supervise municipal elections and other public votes would be an excellent question to put to a referendum.

Marianne Darragh


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Mayo-Tatchun MLA Don Hutton sits on the opposition side of the legislative assembly on March 8 after announcing his resignation from the Liberal party earlier that day. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News)
Don Hutton resigns from Liberal caucus; endorses NDP leadership

Hutton said his concerns about alcohol abuse and addictions have gone unaddressed

Crystal Schick/Yukon News
Calvin Delwisch poses for a photo inside his DIY sauna at Marsh Lake on Feb. 18.
Yukoners turning up the heat with unique DIY sauna builds

Do-it-yourselfers say a sauna built with salvaged materials is a great winter project

Wyatt’s World

Wyatt’s World for March 5, 2021.

Yukonomist: School competition ramps up in the Yukon

It’s common to see an upstart automaker trying to grab share from… Continue reading

The Yukon government responded to a petition calling the SCAN Act “draconian” on Feb. 19. (Yukon News file)
Yukon government accuses SCAN petitioner of mischaracterizing her eviction

A response to the Jan. 7 petition was filed to court on Feb. 19

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley receives his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine from Public Health Nurse Angie Bartelen at the Yukon Convention Centre Clinic in Whitehorse on March 3. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
State of emergency extended for another 90 days

“Now we’re in a situation where we see the finish line.”

The Yukon government says it is working towards finding a solution for Dawson area miners who may be impacted by City of Dawson plans and regulations. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Miner expresses frustration over town plan

Designation of claims changed to future planning

Team Yukon athletes wave flags at the 2012 Arctic Winter Games opening ceremony in Whitehorse. The 2022 event in Wood Buffalo, Alta., has been postponed indefinitely. (Justin Kennedy/Yukon News file)
2022 Arctic Winter Games postponed indefinitely

Wood Buffalo, Alta., Host Society committed to rescheduling at a later date

Housing construction continues in the Whistle Bend subdivision in Whitehorse on Oct. 29, 2020. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Yukon Bureau of Statistics reports rising rents for Yukoners, falling revenues for businesses

The bureau has published several reports on the rental market and businesses affected by COVID-19

Council of Yukon First Nations grand chief Peter Johnston at the Yukon Forum in Whitehorse on Feb. 14, 2019. Johnston and Highways and Public Works Minister Richard Mostyn announced changes to the implementation of the Yukon First Nations Procurement Policy on March 3. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Third phase added to procurement policy implementation

Additional time added to prep for two provisions

Crews work to clear the South Klondike Highway after an avalanche earlier this week. (Submitted)
South Klondike Highway remains closed due to avalanches

Yukon Avalanche Association recommending backcountry recreators remain vigilant

RCMP Online Crime Reporting website in Whitehorse on March 5. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Whitehorse RCMP launch online crime reporting

Both a website and Whitehorse RCMP app are now available

A man walks passed the polling place sign at city hall in Whitehorse on Oct. 18, 2018. The City of Whitehorse is preparing for a pandemic-era election this October with a number of measures proposed to address COVID-19 restrictions. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
City gets set for Oct. 21 municipal election

Elections procedures bylaw comes forward

Most Read