City bylaw officer Colin Laforme announced Sept. 27 that he is running for mayor of Whitehorse. (Submitted)

City bylaw officer eyes mayor’s job

“We have a lot of young, new, vibrant people in town and the city was becoming stagnant”

Like many, Colin Laforme came to the Yukon for a few months’ adventure and watched those months turn into years.

His latest adventure is joining the mayor’s race in the Whitehorse municipal election.

“I thought the city was going through a demographics change,” said Laforme, 33. “We have a lot of young, new, vibrant people in town and the city was becoming stagnant so I thought it was a good opportunity to breathe some new life into an awesome city.”

Laforme, who works as a city bylaw officer, told the News he made the run for mayor instead of councillor because, as a city worker, he’ll have to resign from his job if elected (the mayor’s salary is more than $100,000 and councillors make $36,000).

He said he thinks the city is moving in the right direction on a lot of things, just not fast enough, particularly when it comes to housing issues.

Laforme said there are lots of young people, with good-paying jobs, who can’t afford more than a basement apartment. At the same time, older folks who are selling homes that are too big for them now aren’t finding an adequate return on their investments when they try to downsize, and end up paying significant amounts for smaller houses and condos.

He said he wants to see ingenuity in dealing with an issue like this — one that’s a problem for everyone. This could mean anything from tiny houses, to community living, to anything that exists outside of the current way of thinking about what a city looks like.

He’d also like to see Whitehorse modernize.

“We’re in a modern age and we run the city kind of like it’s the early ’90s or late ’80s,” he said. Residents should be able to do everything from pay taxes online, to registering online for classes at the Canada Games Centre.

“Anything done through the city, you have to sign eight different papers in five different buildings and make sure it all lines up,” he said. Apps and online options, in his mind, are more efficient, and will reduce redundancies at city hall.

He’d also like better accountability when it comes to accounting. Each year, the city announces its budget in January. After that, he said, there are no updates on changes, or where the money is being spent.

He wants a portal where residents can log in and see where city funds are going rather than having to rely on a meeting that happens once a year.

Finally, he said his third major concern is with safety. Since moving to Whitehorse after his first visit in 2011, he has lived in Riverdale, Granger, downtown, and now Copper Ridge, with his wife and two small kids. He said every neighbourhood has had some element of crime, even if it’s as minor as having someone rifle through the contents of a car.

He said the RCMP handles issues as best it can with the resources it has on hand, but he’d like to see the police work with bylaw and the Kwanlin Dün First Nation Community Safety Officer and Land Steward Program.

The Whitehorse municipal election takes place on Oct. 18.

Contact Amy Kenny at amy.kenny@yukon-news.com

Just Posted

Yukon Yuletide: Santa Claus to make early gift drop in Watson Lake

Santa will be stopping by the community today in a DHC-2 Beaver

Yukon health insurance unit requested too much medical info to process doctor’s bill, IPC finds

The Department of Health and Social Services overreached by asking for a patient’s clinical record

MP Larry Bagnell to vie for re-election

The announcement was made on Dec. 14

Contractor says YG bonding policy prevents small companies from building school portable

The Department of Highways and Public Works confirmed bonding is required for the project

WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World

Yukon Yuletide: How to find the perfect Christmas tree

Every Yukon household is entitled to harvest two Christmas trees every year

Commentary: Know your rights: Changes to Canada’s criminal driving laws are coming

Bill C-46 is bringing with it some new laws starting Dec. 18

Santa makes an appearance on Main Street

This weekend was Whitehorse’s Santa Claus Parade

History Hunter: The misfortune of ‘Hard Luck’ Harper

The story of “The Father of the Yukon,” Arthur Harper

Yukonomist: Back to the future on Arctic oil and gas development in Alaska and Russia

Senator Ted Stevens wore Incredible Hulk ties when pushing ANWR to show everyone how serious he was

Canada Cup Series starts again at Mount Sima

More than 60 athletes from across the country took part in the slopestyle and big air competitions

Most Read