City council byelection

Harry Hrebien also wants to be the next Whitehorse city councillor. But the 60-year-old father of six is going to have his work cut out for him.

Harry Hrebien also wants to be the next Whitehorse city councillor.

But the 60-year-old father of six is going to have his work cut out for him.

There are 13 candidates who have come forward for this election and only one seat is available.

Other than a stint as the official agent for Ken Gabb’s unsuccessful 1997 Reform Party campaign, Hrebien is a political novice.

“I’m getting to a point in my life where I want to see what kind of service I can render,” he said.

As a jeweller, Hrebien said he has learned a lot about dealing with the public and how to listen.

He also has a background in accounting.

The city’s finances are something he’d like to look in to.

“Whitehorse had a $800,000 shortfall and then seemed to find the money right away,” he said. “I’d like to know how that happened.”

Hrebien has lived in the territory since he was six years old.

And while he is a longtime Yukoner, if elected he’d be a fresh face on council.

“A lot of the councillors have been there for a long time,” he said. “It’s always a good thing to get some change, some new ideas, some fresh ideas.”

Hrebien isn’t alone in his ambitions.

There are 12 other candidates in the running, including Linda Bonnefoy, who is the only woman on the roster.

Bonnefoy, a longtime political activist, only recently decided to run.

Last week, she appeared before council and asked it to consider providing transit passes for the poor, only to be told that transit passes are the responsibility of the Yukon government.

“They just passed the buck,” she said.

At that same meeting she also asked council to consider allowing open barrel fires as both part of a fundraising drive for the Yukon First Nations Party, and to help those living on the street warm up.

Citing safety concerns, that request was also rejected by council.

“I think the priorities of the city are misplaced,” she said.

Originally from Manitoba, Bonnefoy came to the territory 25 years ago when she was 12 years old.

Bonnefoy has been involved in several small businesses ventures over the years. She used to own a daycare in Whitehorse and is now promoting tourism through several websites she owns.

A self-described social and environmental activist, she wants to bring more attention to these matters in the council chamber.

“I’d like to be the conscience of the city of Whitehorse,” she said.

There are 11 other candidates in the race.

Murray Martin, Pat Berrel, Norm Hamilton, Mike Tribes, Kirn Dhillon, Cam Kos, Kirk Cameron, Ted Lambert, Patrick Singh, Duke Connelly and Martin Lehner.

The election is scheduled for December 1, with advanced polls opening the week before, on November 24.

The city won’t have time to enumerate everyone, but those not on the list don’t have to worry.

All you have to do is provide one piece of photo ID.

That’s a far cry from the recent territorial election. Those who missed the enumeration not only had to provide two pieces of ID, but also had to bring along a neighbour to vouch for them.

“(Voters) won’t have to go through all the bells and whistles that they did for the territorial election,” said Norma Felker, the election returning officer.

Even those without valid photo ID can still vote, they just have to swear an oath.

However people do have to make sure to vote where they are listed, she said.

Those lists should be posted in all city buildings by today.

Contact Josh Kerr at

joshk@yukon-news.com