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Food for Fines likely to return to Whitehorse this holiday season

Council contemplates annual Food for Fines program
The city is once again considering its Food for Fines program. Under the program, for one week in December residents can pay off their parking tickets in the form of a donation to the Whitehorse Food Bank and Kaushee’s Place. (Stephanie Waddell/Yukon News)

The City of Whitehorse is already getting into the holiday spirit.

At Whitehorse city council’s Nov. 8 meeting, bylaw manager Doug Spencer brought forward a recommendation council approve the annual Food for Fines program.

“In the spirit of contributing to those citizens who are less fortunate, and in demonstration of holiday season goodwill and community spirit, bylaw services is requesting approval to continue it’s annual ‘Food for Fines’ initiative in December 2021,” he said in a report to council, noting the program has been a holiday tradition since 2005.

Under the initiative, the city sets aside a week where residents issued fines for expired parking metres or for parking beyond two hours in a two-hour zone can pay their tickets in the form of a donation.

The donation can be non-perishable food goods or cash — at the same value owed for the ticket — to be split between the Whitehorse Food Bank and Kaushee’s Place women’s shelter.

In 2020, Food for Fines raised a total of $8,995 in cash and food donations for the organizations, surpassing the previous year’s total of $6,535.

Between 540 and 600 parking tickets are typically issued each week at $10 or $25 per ticket, with fines at $10 if paid within 24 hours, or $25 there after. That could amount to between $5,400 and $15,000 for a one-week period.

The 2021 plans would see parking tickets issued between Dec. 4 and 11 eligible for donations with the payment cutoff set for Dec. 15.

“This will permit sufficient time for bylaw services to ensure delivery of the donated food to the two identified local charities and for these organizations to then distribute the food items to those families in need prior to Dec. 25, 2021,” Spencer said.

Council will vote Nov. 15 on whether to approve the program for 2021.

Contact Stephanie Waddell at

Stephanie Waddell

About the Author: Stephanie Waddell

I joined Black Press in 2019 as a reporter for the Yukon News, becoming editor in February 2023.
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