Former elementary school teacher Leona Kains has added her name to the list of Whitehorse city council hopefuls.
Kains, who was raised in the city, has considered running for council for many years.
“It was always, ‘Someday, someday I’ll do this.’ Well, ‘someday’ is today.”
If elected, she wants to review the city’s priorities, she said. She wants to research and analyze what the city has done in the past to see if these priorities benefit the whole community.
“We need to be diligent on our costs.”
Affordability is a big concern, she added. Young families need to know they will be able to afford to live in Whitehorse, she said.
Economic growth is important; many people who don’t live in Whitehorse own businesses in the city, and their needs must also be considered, she said. There must also be support for people who want to start new businesses.
“I’m sure starting a business is not easy for people,” she said, adding that rental costs have increased.
She would also like to see the city work with different organizations to bring in youth mentorship programs.
“They are our future.”
Youth need guidance and to know they are valued so they don’t turn to drugs and alcohol, she said. “I like to see people taking pride in themselves and grow.”
For the past year, Kains has volunteered at Sally & Sisters, a lunch program for women and children. While this has allowed her to meet many great women, it has also shown her that many issues, like affordable housing, need to be addressed, she said.
She would also like to see the city improve road safety at certain intersections around Whitehorse, she said.
Before becoming a teacher, Kains worked in the government for 15 years. She also served on the school council for Elijah Smith Elementary School. Her many experiences in the community mean people will feel comfortable approaching her to discuss their concerns, she said.
“I like to have my voice heard as well as be the voice for others who choose not to go forward, who can go through me to bring up some concerns as well.”
She likes to listen to people and is not going to have a debate with people who have concerns, she said. Not everyone feels comfortable discussing the issues in a public setting.
“I will be there to ensure that their concerns will be heard.”
Along with her degree in education, Kains has studied towards a master’s degree in public administration. She lives with her spouse, David, in Copper Ridge. The couple has two daughters, one of whom recently started university.
Municipal elections are Oct. 18.
Contact Meagan Gillmore at