Councillor candidate Kim Lisgo during the second set of debates on Oct. 3 for the municipal election in Whitehorse on Oct. 18. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)

Climate change isn’t a one-issue issue for council candidate

Considering climate change can address other municipal concerns, says Kim Lisgo

Kim Lisgo decided to run for Whitehorse City Council because she’s concerned about climate change.

“It’s missing from the conversation despite it being widely recognized as one of the most significant concerns with regard to health, economy and the natural environment,” she told the News.

“If I would like to see climate change on the agenda, then I need to become an even greater part of the process, which for me means stepping into the role of decision-maker.”

Lisgo, a University of Alberta researcher who has been based in the Yukon for the last six years, said climate change isn’t the sole focus of her work, but it has been part of it.

Her research has focused on conservation planning in the Canadian boreal forest. She has also worked with various levels of government, including federal, territorial, provincial, and First Nations, to apply those methods.

Just because a municipality is smaller, she doesn’t see why climate change can’t be considered a municipal issue.

Lisgo said cities are vulnerable to the effects of climate change because of the role climate plays in how cities are designed and built. Climate change can also increase the risk of wildfire and floods, and impact everything from infrastructure and energy security, to food sovereignty.

“I don’t think of climate change as a one-issue platform,” she said. “It is an everything platform.

“As a scientist, I have been trained to solve problems, think critically, observe and listen, collect evidence, be aware of my biases when making decisions, and be creative and transparent. These are skills that I can bring to any issue before Whitehorse City Council to support good decision-making.”

Lisgo wants to see bold, creative initiatives and partnerships with various organizations and levels of government that fold climate change into the way other municipal issues are addressed.

In terms of housing, she said encouraging density over sprawl is key. Not only does this kind of planning minimize the distances residents have to drive every day, it takes advantage of existing downtown infrastructure, both of which reduce costs and greenhouse gas emissions.

Looking at transit will solve traffic problems within the city while also fighting climate change. A more efficient system will hopefully get people out of their cars and onto buses, bike paths and walking trails. Additionally, she said the city could lobby the territorial and federal governments for rebates on hybrid and electric vehicles.

Having the city invest in renewable and geothermal energy, as well as energy storage (batteries to store the energy generated by the hydro-electric dam at night, for example) could have a huge impact, she said. So could focusing even more on waste management, including diverting organics from the landfill.

“For the city to succeed now and into the future, we will need improved engagement with citizens of all ages and businesses. Engagement is essential for fine-tuning services that the city provides and for identifying gaps. It also strengthens our community as citizens feel valued and a part of what we build together.”

The Whitehorse municipal election takes place Oct. 18.

Contact Amy Kenny at amy.kenny@yukon-news.com

Municipal election

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

An avalanche warning sigh along the South Klondike Highway. Local avalanche safety instructors say interest in courses has risen during the pandemic as more Yukoners explore socially distanced outdoor activities. (Tom Patrick/Yukon News file)
Backcountry busy: COVID-19 has Yukoners heading for the hills

Stable conditions for avalanches have provided a grace period for backcountry newcomers

Several people enter the COVID-19 vaccination clinic at the Coast High Country Inn Convention Centre in Whitehorse on Jan. 26. The Yukon government announced on Jan. 25 that residents of Whitehorse, Ibex Valley, Marsh Lake and Mount Lorne areas 65 and older can now receive their vaccines. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Vaccine appointments available in Whitehorse for residents 65+

Yukoners 65 and older living in Whitehorse are now eligible to receive… Continue reading

Diane McLeod-McKay, Yukon’s Ombudsman and information and privacy commissioner, filed a petition on Dec. 11 after her office was barred from accessing documents related to a child and family services case. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Yukon government rejects Ombudsman requests for documentation filed to Supreme Court

Diane McLeod-McKay filed a petition on Dec. 11 after requests for documents were barred

Buffalo Sabres center Dylan Cozens, left, celebrates his first NHL goal with defenceman Rasmus Ristolainen during the second period of a game against the Washington Capitals on Jan. 22 in Washington. (Nick Wass/AP)
Cozens notches first NHL goal in loss to Capitals

The Yukoner potted his first tally at 10:43 of the second period on Jan. 22

Rodney and Ekaterina Baker in an undated photo from social media. The couple has been ticketed and charged under the Yukon’s <em>Civil Emergency Measures Act</em> for breaking isolation requirements in order to sneak into a vaccine clinic and receive Moderna vaccine doses in Beaver Creek. (Facebook/Submitted)
Former CEO of Great Canadian Gaming, actress charged after flying to Beaver Creek for COVID-19 vaccine

Rod Baker and Ekaterina Baker were charged with two CEMA violations each

The bus stop at the corner of Industrial and Jasper Road in Whitehorse on Jan. 25. The stop will be moved approximately 80 metres closer to Quartz Road. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
UPDATED: Industrial Road bus stop to be relocated

The city has postponed the move indefinitely

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police detachment in Faro photgraphed in 2016. Faro will receive a new RCMP detachment in 2022, replacing the decades-old building currently accommodating officers. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Faro RCMP tagged for new detachment

Faro will receive a new RCMP detachment in 2022, replacing the decades-old… Continue reading

In a Jan. 18 announcement, the Yukon government said the shingles vaccine is now being publicly funded for Yukoners between age 65 and 70, while the HPV vaccine program has been expanded to all Yukoners up to and including age 26. (1213rf.com)
Changes made to shingles, HPV vaccine programs

Pharmacists in the Yukon can now provide the shingles vaccine and the… Continue reading

Parking attendant Const. Ouellet puts a parking ticket on the windshield of a vehicle in downtown Whitehorse on Dec. 6, 2018. The City of Whitehorse is hoping to write of nearly $300,000 in outstanding fees, bylaw fines and court fees, $20,225 of which is attributed to parking fines issued to non-Yukon license plates. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
City of Whitehorse could write off nearly $300,000

The City of Whitehorse could write off $294,345 in outstanding fees, bylaw… Continue reading

Grants available to address gender-based violence

Organizations could receive up to $200,000

In this illustration, artist-journalist Charles Fripp reveals the human side of tragedy on the Stikine trail to the Klondike in 1898. A man chases his partner around the tent with an axe, while a third man follows, attempting to intervene. (The Daily Graphic/July 27, 1898)
History Hunter: Charles Fripp — gold rush artist

The Alaskan coastal town of Wrangell was ill-equipped for the tide of… Continue reading

A man walks passed the polling place sign at city hall in Whitehorse on Oct. 18, 2018. While Whitehorse Mayor Dan Curtis is now setting his sights on the upcoming territorial election, other members of council are still pondering their election plans for the coming year. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Councillors undecided on election plans

Municipal vote set for Oct. 21

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

A look at decicions made by Whitehorse city council this week.

Most Read