Kirk Cameron won yesterday’s Whitehorse city council byelection.
With more then 17 per cent of the vote, Cameron beat out 13 other candidates to win the seat recently vacated by long-serving city councillor Doug Graham.
Graham triggered the byelection when he resigned from council in October after winning a seat in the Yukon legislature.
For Cameron, a 52-year-old father of three, the election campaign was a lot of hard work, but he also had a lot of help.
“My team was absolutely amazing,” he said. “I had three people that really stepped up to the plate.”
Over the course of the campaign, Cameron had heard from many people about many issues facing Whitehorse.
“In the last week or so I’ve been non-stop on the phones talking to people and getting phone calls from folks about various issues that people are looking to explore with me as a new city councillor.”
Chief among those is the economy, said Cameron.
“We have to get ahead of the curve on the economy,” he said. “We are in a pretty substantial growth pattern and I hear from the Chamber of Mines and others here in town that it’s going to continue be hot for the next couple of years at least.
“We’ve got to get ahead of things that drive prices up especially around housing.”
Tackling the housing issue is going take the co-operation from all levels of government, said Cameron.
His experience as a political consultant makes him ideally suited for that, he said.
“The federal government has given the territory a lot of money for housing and I’d like to find out what’s the status of using that money for development of more affordable housing in the city,” he said.
Cameron will be going from the campaign frying pan into the political fire.
On Monday city planners will be recommending that council approve initial development plans for a subdivision and road in McIntyre Creek.
The Porter Creek D subdivision is controversial.
During the campaign Cameron said he was opposed to the development, but he said he may end up voting in favour of the proposal.
That would mean moving forward with a $419,617 detailed design and more through environmental assessment.
Right now the details of the project aren’t clear, said Cameron.
A more detailed design should help clear that up.
However, he said he still opposes the subdivision.
“I can’t imagine why we would need to develop Porter Creek D at this time,” he said.
Despite the unprecedented number of candidates who ran in the byelection, voter turnout remained low.
Only 19 per cent of the more than 11,000 eligible voters cast a ballot.
Cameron won with a total of 405 votes.
Mike Tribes, who came in third with 292 votes, said he wasn’t disappointed with the outcome.
“I learned a lot during the campaign,” he said. “There were so many strong candidates, I don’t know how people decided.”
The loss hasn’t discouraged Tribes from politics.
“I think I’ll try it again,” he said.
It won’t be long before he gets that chance. Whitehorse will go back to the polls in less than a year, with the next municipal election scheduled for October.
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