City news, briefly

Some of the decisions made at the Nov. 12 Whitehorse council meeting

City of Whitehorse launches another Food for Fines campaign

As the festive season approaches, Whitehorse city council members are in the giving spirit, voting to once again go ahead with the annual Food For Fines program.

Over a one week period in December, anyone who gets a parking ticket for an expired meter or parking beyond the two hours allotted in those zones can contribute either a cash donation or the equivalent value in non-perishable goods with all of the proceeds going to the Whitehorse Food Bank and Kaushee’s Place women’s shelter.

A total of $3,120 in cash and goods was raised in the 2018 effort.

Bylaw constable Kyle Morrison said he’s seen the amount raised in previous years range anywhere from $3,000 to $8,000 depending on the year.

This year’s campaign will apply to tickets issued between Nov. 30 and Dec. 7.

Transit and CGC passes approved for refugee family

Whitehorse city council members will provide year-long transit and Canada Games Centre passes to a new family who recently arrived in the territory.

Council voted Nov. 12 to approve a grant from the council donation fund that will cover the year-long transit and CGC passes for a family of four refugees who arrived in the Yukon recently. They are from Iraq.

The request for the passes came from Yukon Cares, a local organization that supports refugees.

While city staff had recommended council provide a pass for transit only based on previous donations made to Yukon Cares, most council members suggested there is enough money in the donation account available for both and pointed to the benefits of being part of a recreational and community centre for the family in becoming part of the Whitehorse community.

Mayor Dan Curtis was the only member to vote against providing both passes, suggesting that it could be expected in the future when the donation account may not have as much money in it. Curtis did speak in favour of providing the transit pass.

“I think it’s being very generous,” he said.

Some council members also suggested that while they support providing both passes this time, they would also like to see a broader policy considered around providing such donations, given that requests have come in and been provided previously.

Michelle Edwards, a member of Yukon Cares, addressed council before the vote noting the organization’s appreciation for the support the city has offered in the past in the form of transit passes to refugees who are new to town and a one-time previous donation of a CGC pass to one of the refugee families Yukon Cares has helped support.

Cycling workshop planned

City officials are inviting anyone interested in cycling safety to come out to an open house and workshop scheduled for Nov. 18 at the Frank Slim Building in Shipyards Park.

As Mike Gau, the city’s director of development services, told Whitehorse city council at its Nov. 12 meeting the event will focus on two major areas that have come up as concerns for cyclists – the intersection of Second and Fourth Avenues and finding a way to connect Two Mile Hill with the waterfront trail.

A group of cyclists brought forward a petition calling on the city to speed up the implementation of its bicycle network plan and provide better cycling connections around town at council’s Nov. 4 meeting.

Gau emphasized the Nov. 18 session is a planning event and that things are still in the early, conceptual stage with city staff looking for input from the public.

The first part of the evening will be a drop-in from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. with a workshop then getting underway until about 7 p.m.

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