Austin revs up for fifth term

After 12 years on Whitehorse city council, Dave Austin is not ready to slow down. And he has a big idea to speed up traffic downtown: one-way streets on Second and Fourth avenues.

After 12 years on Whitehorse city council, Dave Austin is not ready to slow down. And he has a big idea to speed up traffic downtown: one-way streets on Second and Fourth avenues.

“It would certainly move traffic along faster,” he said. “I’ve talked to the Emergency Measures people, they think it’s a great idea. It may cause some grief with the transit system, but I’m sure we could work those things out.”

Austin is seeking his fifth term on council.

“It gets into your blood after a while,” he said.

Whitehorse will get a new mayor and at least two new councillors this fall, and Austin believes that having experience on council is important, he said.

“The learning curve on this job is fairly steep, and you’re in there a year before you even start to understand what you’re doing.”

One of the big accomplishments over his time as councillor was the improvements to the transit system, he said.

“Ridership is up,” Austin said. “I never before took the bus to work. I take it every day now, because it stops in front of my house in Crestview, and it stops right out here outside the government building 25 minutes later. So, hey, it doesn’t get any better than that.”

Austin defends council’s decision to ban dogs from city-run buildings, noting that affected groups are being given help to find other solutions. But he would also like to see Whitehorse open an outdoor dog park.

“Many other cities have them, and they work like a hot damn, if you don’t mind me saying so.”

Austin identified one of the baseball diamonds off the South Access Road as a suitable location. It is overgrown and hasn’t been used in years, he said.

The area is already fully fenced in, and the dugouts provide seating and shelter for dog walkers, said Austin.

Austin also said it may be time for council to revisit the issue of Porter Creek D. The proposed subdivision has generated controversy over whether the area around McIntyre Creek should be developed or protected.

Austin pointed to the recent lottery at Whistle Bend, where only 26 of the 90 available single-family lots received bids.

“It’s not an indicator that there’s a shortage of lots,” Austin said.

Setting aside Porter Creek D as a park is one option that council could look at. But Austin isn’t pushing for any particular solution. He just wants the question reconsidered, he said.

The long time councillor is always open to feedback and wants residents to know that he is ready to work for them.

“I still have the energy and interest in doing the job. I always listen to people. The only time I object to people talking to me on city business is if I’m out for dinner with my wife. If I’m out for dinner by myself, feel free.

“With 12 years of experience, I still have at least one good term left in me. And rest assured, if I get re-elected they’ll get a good term out of me.”

Contact Jacqueline Ronson at jronson@yukon-news.com

Just Posted

Whether the dust jacket of this historical novel is the Canadian version (left) or the American (right), the readable content within is the same. (Michael Gates)
History Hunter: New novel a gripping account of the gold rush

Stampede: Gold Fever and Disaster in the Klondike is an ‘enjoyable and readable’ account of history

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: Your furnace and your truck need to go

Perhaps the biggest commitment in the NDP deal with the Liberals was boosting the Yukon’s climate target

Air North president Joe Sparling said the relaxing of self-isolation rules will be good for the business, but he still expects a slow summer. (Mike Thomas/Yukon News)
Air North president expects a slow summer

Air North president Joe Sparling suspects it will be a long time before things return to pre-pandemic times

XX
WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World for May 14, 2021.… Continue reading

Copies of the revised 2021-22 budget documents tabled in the legislature on May 14. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Liberals introduce new budget with universal dental and safe supply funding

The new items were added to secure the support of the NDP.

Caribou pass through the Dempster Highway area in their annual migration. A recent decision by the privacy commissioner has recommended the release of some caribou collar re-location data. (Justin Kennedy/Yukon News)
Privacy commissioner recommends release of caribou location data

Department of Environment says consultation with its partners needed before it will consider release

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Family pleased youth will be able to get Pfizer vaccine

Angela Drainville, mother of two, is anxious for a rollout plan to come forward

Safe at home office in Whitehorse on May 10, 2021. (John Tonin/Yukon News)
Federal government provides $1.6 million for Yukon anti-homelessness work

Projects including five mobile homes for small communities received funding.

Drilling at Northern Tiger’s 3Ace gold project in 2011. Randi Newton argues that mining in the territory can be reshaped. (Yukon government/file)
Editorial: There’s momentum for mining reform

CPAWS’ Randi Newton argues that the territory’s mining legislations need a substantial overhaul

At its May 10 meeting, Whitehorse city council approved the subdivision for the Kwanlin Dün First Nation’s business park planned in Marwell. (Submitted)
KDFN business park subdivision approved

Will mean more commercial industrial land available in Whitehorse

Main Street in Whitehorse on May 4. Whitehorse city council has passed the first two readings of a bylaw to allow pop-up patios in city parking spaces. Third reading will come forward later in May. (Stephanie Waddell/Yukon News)
Whitehorse council pursuing restaurant patio possibilities

Council passes first two readings for new patio bylaw

Neil Hartling, the Tourism Industry Association of the Yukon president, left, said the new self-isolation guidelines for the Yukon are a ‘ray of hope’ for tourism operators. (Ian Stewart/Yukon News file)
Yukon tourism operators prepared for ‘very poor summer’ even with relaxed border rules

Toursim industry responds to new guidelines allowing fully vaccinated individuals to skip mandatory self-isolation.

Most Read