The City of Whitehorse could soon be looking at its sister city relationships if a motion Mayor Laura Cabott is proposing moves forward.
At Whitehorse city council’s Jan. 23 meeting, Cabott brought forward a notice of motion to inform council she will bring forward a motion for city administration to review its guidelines for sister cities, analyze its current relationships and whether it would have the ability to add another city.
As Cabott explained, the motion comes from a recent request Whitehorse received from the city of Chortkiv, in western Ukraine.
“I’m definitely intrigued,” she said, noting that when the Ukraine was invaded by Russian forces in 2022 and efforts were being looked at on how to support the Ukraine, she had considered the possibility of a sister city relationship between Whitehorse and a community in the Ukraine, but it wasn’t pursued.
“But when a country is at war, that’s not something that probably comes to top of mind,” she said.
So when the request came to Whitehorsefrom the mayor of Chortkiv, Cabott said she thought is was interesting and worth looking into.
While she said it’s not entirely clear why they are making the request of Whitehorse, the two communities do have some things in common. Population sizes are similar with Chortkiv’s being estimated at close to 30,000 with Whitehorse at just over 30,000 (in its muncipal boundaries) as of March 2022. Both communities feature rural and urban areas, as well, Cabott said.
Chortkiv already has sister city relationships with six Polish cities as well as the city of Béziers in France.
Council will consider Cabott’s proposal to look at the sister city guidelines and whether another could be added to the list of three sister cities Whitehorse already has.
Those cities include Juneau, Alaska; Lancieux, France; and Ushiku, Japan.
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