Wikimedia Commons
Chris Irvin, who’s been a Watson Lake councillor for five years and has been serving most recently as deputy mayor, was elected as the southern Yukon town’s mayor in a byelection Oct. 8.

Wikimedia Commons Chris Irvin, who’s been a Watson Lake councillor for five years and has been serving most recently as deputy mayor, was elected as the southern Yukon town’s mayor in a byelection Oct. 8.

Chris Irvin reflects on new role as Watson Lake’s mayor

Councillor was pleased with support in his bid to run as mayor

Watson Lake’s next mayor says he’s excited to soon take on the role.

Chris Irvin, who’s been a councillor for five years and has been serving most recently as deputy mayor, was elected as the southern Yukon town’s mayor in a byelection Oct. 8.

According to unofficial results, Irvin won with 154 votes compared to 92 for Gerry Bruce, 62 for Brenda Leach and 49 for Justin Brown.

“It was very exciting,” Irvin said of the byelection in an Oct. 13 interview, describing Oct. 8 as a “nerve-wracking day”.

“To have the support is great.”

Irvin, who was born and raised in Watson Lake and owns the Tags and Super A stores in town, said the community has a good strategic plan that is guiding council’s direction moving forward.

The plan, he explained, has a large economic focus with initiatives aimed at revitalization for the town.

There’s also implementation of the asset management plan and bylaws to work on including getting an updated zoning bylaw in place.

While he’s been working on those matters as a member of council, Irvin said as the town’s mayor he expects to work more closely with Watson Lake chief administrative officer Cam Lockwood on those efforts.

Efforts to work with the Liard First Nation will also continue, he said.

As Irvin gets set to formally move into the role of mayor, it’s not clear whether the councillor position left open with Irvin’s departure will require a byelection.

The territory’s Municipal Act states that if there’s a vacancy on a municipal council after Feb. 1 in an election year, the council may leave the seat vacant until the general election. The next general municipal election for the territory is in November 2021.

In an Oct. 9 email, Lockwood said town officials are working with Yukon government to determine if another byelection will be required “…. being it would put additional financial strain on the municipality for the short period that the position would be held for”.

If it’s determined a byelection is required, the Municipal Act states the nomination period must occur 30 to 45 days from when the vacancy occurs.

The mayor’s seat became vacant in August when former mayor Cheryl O’Brien resigned after she was charged with fraud over $5,000 and forgery.

Court documents allege O’Brien defrauded the Watson Lake Riding Association and made out cheques to herself “to the prejudice” of the association.

The matter has not yet been heard in court.

Contact Stephanie Waddell at stephanie.waddell@yukon-news.com

byelectionWatson Lake

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

Just Posted

Dr. Brendan Hanley, Yukon’s chief medical officer of health, speaks to media at a press conference about COVID-19 in Whitehorse on March 30. The Yukon government announced three new cases of COVID-19 in Watson Lake on Oct. 23. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Three new COVID-19 cases identified in Watson Lake

The Yukon government has identified three locations in town where public exposure may have occurred

A pedestrian passes by an offsales sandwich board along Fourth Avenue in Whitehorse on Oct. 22. NDP MLA Liz Hanson raised concerns Oct. 21 in the legislature about increased hospitalizations due to alcohol consumption that correlate with an extension in the hours alcohol can be sold in the territory. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Alcohol-related hospitalizations rise after off-sales hours extended

Reduced hours for off-sale liquor establishments likely part of Liquor Act spring reforms

Tourism and Culture Minister Jeanie McLean (formerly Dendys) speaks during legislative assembly in Whitehorse on Nov. 27, 2017. The Yukon government has announced $2.8 million in tourism relief funding aimed at businesses in the accommodation sector that have already maxed out existing funds. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Tourism relief funding offers $2.8 million to hotels and overnight accommodations

$15 million in relief funding is planned for the tourism sector over the next three years

The Whitehorse sewage lagoons photographed in 2011. With new regulations for wastewater anticipated to be introduced by the federal government within the next decade, the City of Whitehorse may soon be doing some prep work by looking at exactly what type of pollutants are making their way into the city’s wastewater. (Ian Stewart/Yukon News file)
Pondering pollutants

City could spend $70,000 looking at what contaminents are in waste water

Most of Whitehorse Individual Learning Centre’s class of 2020 graduates. The former students were welcomed back and honoured by staff at the school on Oct. 14 with a personalized grad ceremony for each graduate. (Submitted)
Individual Learning Centre grads honoured

Members of the Whitehorse Individual Learning Centre’s class of 2020 were welcomed… Continue reading

Benjamin Munn, 12, watches the HPV vaccine in 2013. Beginning Jan. 1, 2021, the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine will be available to all Yukoners up to, and including, age 26. Currently the program is only available to girls ages nine to 18 and boys ages nine to 14. (Dan Bates/Black Press file)
HPV vaccine will be available to Yukoners up to, including, age 26

Beginning Jan. 1, 2021, the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine will be available… Continue reading

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

asdf
COMMENTARY: Me and systemic racism

The view from a place of privilege

asdf
Today’s mailbox: Electricity and air travel

Letters to the editor published Oct. 23, 2020

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: Irony versus Climate

Lately it seems like Irony has taken over as Editor-in-Chief at media… Continue reading

Evan Lafreniere races downhill during the U Kon Echelon Halloweeny Cross-Country Race on Oct. 16. (Inara Barker/Submitted)
Costumed bike race marks end of season

The U Kon Echelon Bike Club hosted its final race of the… Continue reading

Smartphone showing various applications to social media services and Google. (Pixabay photo)
National media calling for level playing field with Google, Facebook

In Canada, Google and Facebook control 80 per cent of all online advertising revenues

Education Minister Tracy-Anne McPhee, right, before question period at the Yukon legislative assembly in Whitehorse on March 7, 2019. The Yukon government announced Oct. 19 it has increased the honoraria rates for school council members. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Honoraria increased for school council members

Members of school councils throughout the territory could soon receive an increased… Continue reading

Most Read