Buckway to challenge Bourassa

here are some qualities a successful city mayor must have: first-rate communication skills, an open ear for listening and a knack for solving…

here are some qualities a successful city mayor must have: first-rate communication skills, an open ear for listening and a knack for solving problems.

Bev Buckway says she possesses these qualities in spades.

“I have a 94-per-cent attendance record at council, I’ve shown I respond to concerns, I do site visits and I’ve shown I can be respectful to everyone,” said the city councillor on Wednesday, while announcing her intention to run for mayor in Whitehorse’s upcoming municipal election, slated for October 19th.

The only other candidate who has expressed interest in the job is the incumbent, Ernie Bourassa.

“It’s not that I’m better or worse (than Bourassa); I’m just different,” said Buckway.

“I’m coming from a women’s perspective — women tend to be more collaborative and more inclined to gather people around to sort out situations.”

Fresh off a four-year council term that has seen some high-profile arguments over land development in the city, Buckway said her time in council offered a steep learning curve.

“You can’t be right all the time — you’re wrong with 50 per cent of the people half the time and the other the next day,” she said.

And she’s optimistic about the next four years of land management, which will be guided by the newly drafted land-development protocol agreement between the city and the territory.

“The controversy will never go away, but it’s all about working with people,” she said.

And the time for consultation is before any action is taken and before it becomes a “crisis.”

If elected, she will look to the city’s future. It must ride out the lull after the upcoming 2007 Canada Winter Games, she said.

A primary focus will be on affordable housing and supporting higher-density developments, like condos or apartments, which have a smaller footprint.

Another focus will be rejuvenating the city’s infrastructure, like its sewer system and roads, she said.

Buckway is proudest of the work she’s done with Yukon’s community of disabled residents.

She served as the Yukon Council on Disability’s executive director for a year, and gained a better understanding of the barriers people with disabilities face each day.

Although this term was her first on city council, Buckway brings years of experience in local business, non-profit organizations and exceptional leadership abilities, she said.

Born and raised in the Yukon, Buckway began her political career running student council elections at FH Collins.

She used to own Barber’s II on Main Street and has operated her own tourism consulting business, Buckway at Large, for the past three years.

Those wanting to run for mayor, or for a seat in city council must submit their intentions to the city by September 28th at 12 p.m.