Whitehorse City Hall (Yukon News file)

Whitehorse City Hall (Yukon News file)

City news, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council at its March 14 meeting and opportunities to serve on a new housing and land development committee.

FCM conference plans

Travel expenses have been approved for Whitehorse city council members to travel to Regina for the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) annual conference and trade show in June.

Council voted to authorize travel expenses for any members planning to attend, along with stipends for councillors.

The conference is typically held every year, bringing together municipal leaders from across the country.

In 2020, FCM hosted a virtual AGM in lieu of the annual event. 2021 saw a more full virtual AGM, conference and trade show held also due to the pandemic.

This time around FCM is planning a hybrid event including the in-person conference, AGM and trade show set to happen in Regina with an option for virtual attendance as well from June 2 to 5.

Councillors who attend virtually will be entitled to the stipend set at $100 for training or events that are between one and four hours and at $150 for events beyond four hours.

Because the mayor’s role is full-time, there is no stipend for the mayor to attend such events.

New membership eyed for rec grant task force

The City of Whitehorse’s recreation grant task force has two new members along with another member taking on a new term.

Whitehorse city council voted March 14 to appoint Adrienne Marsh, Benjamin Monkman and Jane Keopke to a five-year term.

Koepke has been serving on the task force and expressed an interest in serving another term, while Marsh and Monkman are new members.

As Kerri Rutherford, the city’s acting manager of recreation, explained at an earlier meeting, the current term for three members ended and the city advertised for new members, receiving applications from Marsh and Monkman. Keopke offered to serve another term on the volunteer committee that reviews recreation grant applications and provides recommendations to the city.

Grant approved

As efforts continue to be made to address the opioid crisis in the territory, Whitehorse city council will make a $2,000 donation to Blood Ties Four Directions, an organization working on the front lines.

The March 14 decision by council follows a number of meetings where members noted their desire to help address the issue.

As Valerie Braga, the city’s director of corporate services, stated in an earlier report to council, the territory is currently experiencing the highest per capita rate of opioid-related deaths in the country. (See coverage, Page 3.)

“These events led the Government of Yukon to declare a substance-use health emergency on Jan. 20, 2022,” she said.

“A donation to the Blood Ties Four Directions Centre in the amount of $2,000 has been suggested as a gesture that could be made by the city to support the community through this organization.”

Council was unanimous in its decision to approve the donation.

Parking pondered for food trucks

As the summer season approaches, food truck owners are closer to being able to have their trucks stationed at Third Avenue and Steele Street remain overnight.

Whitehorse city council passed the first two readings of a bylaw change that would allow mobile food vendors inside the two spots available at the city’s parkade at Third Avenue and Steele Street to have their trucks remain in place at the site.

Currently under the bylaw, vehicles cannot stay in a city parking lot between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m.

The change would allow the vendors to keep their truck in the spaces overnight, though they would continue to be required to close by 11 p.m.

This would be in line with the other public spaces available for food trucks over the summer in Whitehorse.

Third reading of the bylaw is expected to come forward later this month.

Committee members sought

The City of Whitehorse is looking for members for its new Housing and Land Advisory Committee.

The group will make recommendation to Whitehorse city council on ways to address the housing shortage and affordability, looking at land supply, development and approval processes.

Those interested have until April 1 to apply with applications available online.

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

Whitehorse city council