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Council candidate puts focus on downtown Whitehorse

Roslyn Woodcock is taking a second stab at city council and this time, she won't have Mike Gladish in the way.

Roslyn Woodcock is taking a second stab at city council and this time, she won’t have Mike Gladish in the way.

The 43-year-old, who lost a recount to Gladish by three votes in the last municipal election, has announced she is running once again. Gladish, on the other hand, is not seeking a second term.

Woodcock has spent the better part of the last 15 years working in the public service.

As a former executive director of the Yukon Federal Council, she worked on inter-governmental affairs with a group made up of senior civil servants from each federal department in the territory. And in Inuvik, N.W.T. she worked as a community development coordinator for the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation, managing federally funded programs.

“My background is very bureaucratic and I think it’s important to have that expertise, that familiarity and that patience for city council,” she said.

“That experience helps in situations like sitting on city council, where there is a lot of relationship-building and communication required, especially with the Yukon government.”

She also believes her degree in city planning and her certificate in public administration give her an edge over other candidates when it comes to knowledge of governance.

“It means I can hit the ground running without a massive learning curve,” she said.

Woodcock said one of her priorities on council would be encouraging more growth in the downtown core.

A downtown resident herself, she said tax incentives might encourage owners of underused lots and abandoned buildings to do something with their properties.

“As busy as we are here, you come downtown on a weekday evening in the winter, it’s pretty quiet,” she said.

“We need to have more happening downtown. The city is already doing a great job of that but we need more of what we have on Main Street, more small businesses, more housing.”

As a success story, she pointed to Horwood’s Mall, where more and more micro-businesses have been opening up.

Another benefit of a denser downtown core would be a reduction in crime, she said.

“The more housing we have downtown the more people there are and crime is less likely to happen.”

Woodcock said she’s also a big advocate of the city’s proposed curbside recycling program.

The City of Whitehorse is set to award the tender contract for that program this fall.

Based on a report prepared by engineering consultants Morrison Hershfield last year, it was estimated that Whitehorse households would pay about $15 a month for weekly curbside recycling collection.

Woodcock said she already pays almost double that amount for her current recycling collection and wouldn’t hesitate to switch over to the city’s program.

“Before the blue box I was taking everything to Raven or P&M, and it would take a few hours out of my month,” she said.

“This is so much simpler and better in the long run for the landfill.”

Woodcock has changed her approach to campaigning this time around. Three years ago she printed out posters and signs, hoping people would stick them up in their yards.

But the day after the election, it all turned to garbage, she said.

This time, she’s harnessed the power of social media. Woodcock has made signs available for download, instead.

For every one that’s printed, she’ll give an item of food to the Whitehorse Food Bank.

“I just thought it’s a cool way for me to spend the same amount I would have spent on printing costs and to give to the food bank,” she said.

“It’s a small way that candidates can show their involvement in the community.”

Candidates for city council can submit their nomination papers from Sept. 14 until Sept. 24 at noon.

The municipal election is on Oct. 15.

Contact Myles Dolphin at