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

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

City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

City will provide funding for family’s transit, CGC passes

Transit and Canada Games Centre passes will be granted for one year to a family of refugees who arrived in the Yukon in March.

At Whitehorse city council’s Nov. 9 meeting, members approved the spending — up to $2,617 — for the one year passes that were requested by Yukon Cares, a local organization that welcomes and supports refugees.

The group has sponsored 25 refugees who have come to Whitehorse in recent years, including the newest family to arrive in March.

The family includes a mother and her three children originally from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. They had been in South Africa before being granted asylum in Canada.

Yukon Cares requested monthly adult and youth transit passes for a year, adding that the family “would be grateful if passes to the Canada Games Centre would also be granted.”

The city has previously provided one year transit and CGC passes for refugee families arriving in Whitehorse.

Before voting with the rest of council in favour of providing the passes — to be funded from council’s donation account — councillors Laura Cabott and Steve Roddick voiced their support for the grant.

“Yukon Cares continues to do good work,” Cabott said, with Roddick noting he’s pleased council has the opportunity to support another refugee family.

Food for Fines

Anyone issued a parking ticket between Nov. 28 and Dec. 5 will see their fine go to a couple of worthy causes.

At Whitehorse city council’s Nov. 9 meeting, members approved the annual Food for Fines program for the 2020 year.

The annual program allows anyone with a parking ticket for expired meters or staying beyond the two-hour limit in those zones to pay off their tickets with donations that go to the Whitehorse Food Bank and Kaushee’s Place women’s shelter.

The 2019 event saw a total of $6,535 in both cash and food donations raised for the two organizations.

“In the spirit of contributing to those citizens who are less fortunate, and in demonstration of holiday season goodwill and community spirit, Bylaw Services is requesting approval to continue this annual ‘Food for Fines’ initiative in December 2020 which the City has been supporting since 2005,” bylaw supervisor Kyle Morrison said in an earlier report to council about the program.

He noted that the Whitehorse Food Bank is open five days a week and feeds more than 3,000 people each month while Kaushee’s Place provides food and housing to between 14 and 19 women and children every day throughout the year.

Morrison said the city typically issues between 540 and 600 tickets per week. With fines for the tickets at $10 if paid within one business day or $25 thereafter, the city could bring in anywhere from $5,400 to $15,000 in a one week period.

“During the one-week Christmas Food for Fines initiative, people will again have the option of donating non-perishable food items in lieu of regular ‘expired parking meter’ fines or ‘two-hour zone’ fine payments,” Morrison stated in his report. “Food items contributed must be of the same or higher value than the ticket. If such a contribution is made, the ticket would be considered ‘paid in full.’”

Advertising would be done to promote the event, along with the annual cheque and food presentation to follow when it concludes.

With the program now approved, donations would apply for parking tickets issued between Nov. 28 and Dec. 5.

Dec. 9 will mark the cut off date for residents to pay their fine off in the form of donations, in order to provide the donations to the two organizations ahead of the Christmas season.

Improvement charge bylaw approved

Whitehorse city council has passed the final reading of a bylaw for a local improvement charge to a property owner for electricity.

Members passed third reading of a bylaw for the charge at its Nov. 9 meeting.

Brittany Dixon, the city’s manager of financial services, explained in an earlier report that the owners of 24 Harvey Place want to add their garage and a suite onto the electrical grid and thus sought funding through the city’s urban electrification program. The program provides the funding which is repaid through the local improvement charge.

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

Whitehorse city council