Garth Brown isn’t optimistic about his odds of winning a seat on city council.
“My chances are slim to none,” said the 58 year old.
But it’s not stopping him from giving it a shot.
“If you never try, then you always fail,” he said.
A recovering alcoholic, Brown does work for several Whitehorse-based non-profits including Blood Ties Four Directions, Yukon Learn and the Yukon Anti-Poverty Coalition.
Brown, who’s been clean and sober for 48 months, knows from personal experience how hard it can be to kick a habit and get your life back on track.
That’s especially true given the lack of supports in the Yukon.
Although he does a lot of charity work, it often feels like nothing is getting done, said Brown.
“I’m just trying to help people,” he said.
He’d like to see the city take a more active role in dealing with the city’s social problems.
Getting a proper detox facility would be a good place to start, he said.
If the city can’t do it, then council should push the territorial government to take action, said Brown.
“The way it is right now, whatever people get from social assistance or whatever, it’s just going right back to the bar.”
Having better support for people suffering from addictions would go a long way to solving some of the problems that Whitehorse faces, like homelessness, housing and crime, said Brown.
Originally from Prince George, B.C., Brown first came to the Yukon in 1971 as a long-haul truck driver and fell in love with the territory.
He moved to Whitehorse permanently 12 years ago and has no plans on going anywhere else.
“I’m a Yukoner for life,” he said. “Nobody bothers you up here, and there’s so much opportunity.”
While he doesn’t have any political expertise, or much education, he speaks from experience.
“I’ve been there, done that,” he said.
While he’s been through the ringer, he still tries hard to maintain a positive attitude.
“I’m here today and I woke up this morning,” he said. “I think it’s high time that the rest of this city woke up too and took up the challenge of making sure that all people in this city are included in decisions that affect them.”
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