Housing and transit key issues for Buurman

Michael Buurman is a new player in city politics. Having moved to Whitehorse two years ago, he says a lack of affordable housing and a broken transit system prompted him to run for council.

Michael Buurman is a new player in city politics.

Having moved to Whitehorse two years ago, he says a lack of affordable housing and a broken transit system prompted him to run for council.

“I’d like to fix the transit system and look at reducing fees, or getting rid of them altogether,” he said.

“I think we should be encouraging people to take transit. My idea is that if you build it, they will come.”

Things that could make the service stronger are more buses in the mid-afternoon and a more consistent schedule, said Buurman.

Overly high housing costs are also a concern to Buurman who, as a young father, recently purchased a house downtown.

“Housing costs are expensive. I worry about someone who is working a service job, I don’t know how they survive,” he said.

Being able to represent the downtown is important to Buurman, who has said he’ll make a point of door-knocking in his neighbourhood.

“Last election, I understand there was no one downtown who ran,” he said. “That’s significant.”

Making the city more sustainable is something he would work to improve if he were elected, Buurman said.

“From what I’ve been reading so far, I’m pretty impressed with what’s been happening at council (in terms of sustainability),” he said.

“But there are certain things that have taken longer to put in place than they should have.”

Buurman points to the new garbage and compost bins as an example and questions why they took so long to put in place.

“There was a lot of debate over them, which is good, but when you’re dealing with the environment, you’ve got to act.”

Buurman moved to Whitehorse with his wife and young child after living in Japan for three years.

His time abroad taught him political apathy is everywhere, not just in Canada.

This is Buurman’s first foray into political life. He is a social work student at Yukon College, currently doing a practicum at adult probation services.

He is one of 12 people vying for six council positions in the upcoming municipal election.

Contact Vivian Belik at

vivianb@yukon-news.com