From pizza delivery to populist politics

At first, Randy Collins wasn't really serious about running for city council. "I got into this with the idea of just getting some issues out there," said the 61-year-old Riverdale resident.

At first, Randy Collins wasn’t really serious about running for city council.

“I got into this with the idea of just getting some issues out there,” said the 61-year-old Riverdale resident. “I just wanted to get some things discussed.”

He also thought that giving himself a bit of notoriety might help him find a full-time job.

At the moment Collins, who works two part-time jobs, is a clerk at Bernie’s Race Trac during the week and a delivery driver for Pizza Hut on the weekends.

But from the positive reaction he had after putting his name forward, taking on another part-time gig as a city councillor doesn’t seem far fetched, he said.

“The more I got into it, the more I thought, ‘I have a few ideas on how things could be changed, how they could be improved,’” said Collins.

Number one on his list is affordable housing.

On a recent trip to Vancouver, Collins saw an advertisement for modular homes.

“My numbers could be off, but I think they were offering $1,000 down, $600 a month, rent-to-own,” he said. “I saw this ad and I went, ‘Why can’t they do that up here?’”

While the city has a development incentive policy offering tax breaks to developers for building rental housing, Collins said it should go further, and raise the taxes on expensive luxury homes and condos.

“I’ve got some radical ideas,” he said.

Collins and his wife came to the Yukon from Edmonton five years ago. They were looking to escape the city, he said.

“I’ve said for years that Edmonton was the big city with a small-town atmosphere,” said Collins. “But in the last couple of years it lost the small-town atmosphere.

“It’s just a big bloody city. It’s lost that friendliness.”

Before moving to Whitehorse, the furthest north Collins had ever been was Watson Lake. That was years ago, when he was touring as a drummer in a country/rock band.

He’d heard stories of Whitehorse as being a hard-drinking, rough-and-tumble town.

“We got up here and for me it was a it of a shock to find out that this city is actually a lot bigger than I thought it was. And it’s moving, it’s starting to progress,” he said. “I personally think Whitehorse is on the verge of a boom, and if I get into city council or if I don’t, the fact is, I’d like to be here when it starts to happen.”

A self-described “little guy” with no previous political experience, Collins said he’d like to represent the “voice of the people.”

After spending 30 years in the hotel business, Collins rose through the ranks to become general manager.

“Before I got the job, I always thought that as general manager I could do whatever I wanted, no one can touch me,” he said. “But, I found out that head office is up here saying, ‘Why are you doing this? Why are you doing that?’

“No matter what position you get, no matter how much power you have, there’s always somebody to answer to.”

It’s a lesson that most of the territory’s politicians seem to have forgotten, said Collins.

“I’ve talked to people and they’re angry, they’re upset,” he said. “The way I look at it, they figure nobody’s listening.”

Although Whitehorse has its fair share of problems, it also has a tremendous amount of potential, said Collins.

“I think there’s a lot of very intelligent people in this town … all it requires is for some people to sit down at a table and go, ‘We have to do this. How are we going to do it?’”

Collins is the fourth person to announce their candidacy for city council.

The municipal elections will be held October 18.

Contact Josh Kerr at

joshk@yukon-news.com

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

Just Posted

Whitehorse and Carcross will be among seven northern communities to have unlimited internet options beginning Dec. 1. (Yukon News file)
Unlimited internet for some available Dec. 1

Whitehorse and Carcross will be among seven northern communities to have unlimited… Continue reading

Willow Brewster, a paramedic helping in the COVID-19 drive-thru testing centre, holds a swab used for the COVID-19 test moments before conducting a test with it on Nov. 24. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
An inside look at the COVID-19 drive-thru testing centre

As the active COVID-19 case count grew last week, so too did… Continue reading

Conservation officers search for a black bear in the Riverdale area in Whitehorse on Sept. 17. The Department of Environment intends to purchase 20 semi-automatic AR-10 rifles, despite the inclusion of the weapons in a recently released ban introduced by the federal government, for peace officers, such as conservation officers. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Environment Minister defends purchase of AR-10 rifles for conservation officers

The federal list of banned firearms includes an exception for peace officers

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: The K-shaped economic recovery and what Yukoners can do about it

It looks like COVID-19 will play the role of Grinch this holiday… Continue reading

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

Colin McDowell, the director of land management for the Yukon government, pulls lottery tickets at random during a Whistle Bend property lottery in Whitehorse on Sept. 9, 2019. A large amount of lots are becoming available via lottery in Whistle Bend as the neighbourhood enters phase five of development. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Lottery for more than 250 new Whistle Bend lots planned for January 2021

Eight commercial lots are being tendered in additional to residential plots

The Government of Yukon Main Administration Building in Whitehorse on Aug. 21. The Canada Border Services Agency announced Nov. 26 that they have laid charges against six people, including one Government of Yukon employee, connected to immigration fraud that involved forged Yukon government documents. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Charges laid in immigration fraud scheme, warrant out for former Yukon government employee

Permanent residency applications were submitted with fake Yukon government documents

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

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

Karen Wenkebach has been appointed as a judge for the Yukon Supreme Court. (Yukon News file)
New justice appointed

Karen Wenckebach has been appointed as a judge for the Supreme Court… Continue reading

Catherine Constable, the city’s manager of legislative services, speaks at a council and senior management (CASM) meeting about CASM policy in Whitehorse on June 13, 2019. Constable highlighted research showing many municipalities require a lengthy notice period before a delegate can be added to the agenda of a council meeting. Under the current Whitehorse procedures bylaw, residents wanting to register as delegates are asked to do so by 11 a.m. on the Friday ahead of the council meeting. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Changes continue to be contemplated for procedures bylaw

Registration deadline may be altered for delegates

Cody Pederson of the CA Storm walks around LJ’s Sabres player Clay Plume during the ‘A’ division final of the 2019 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament. The 2021 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament, scheduled for March 25 to 28 in Whitehorse next year, was officially cancelled on Nov. 24 in a press release from organizers. (John Hopkins-Hill/Yukon News file)
2021 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament cancelled

The 2021 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament, scheduled for March 25 to 28… Continue reading

Lev Dolgachov/123rf
The Yukon’s Information and Privacy Commissioner stressed the need to safeguard personal information while shopping this holiday season in a press release on Nov. 24.
Information and Privacy Commissioner issues reminder about shopping

The Yukon’s Information and Privacy Commissioner Diane McLeod-McKay stressed the need to… Continue reading

Most Read