It’s time to cut through the bureaucracy

The former president of the Hillcrest Community Association knows what it's like to be bounced around between different levels of bureaucracy.

The former president of the Hillcrest Community Association knows what it’s like to be bounced around between different levels of bureaucracy.

Janet Brault, better known as Janbro to people in Whitehorse, is vying for a councillor position in the upcoming municipal election.

“The government needs to have better co-operation between different levels of government,” she said.

When she worked with the city and the Yukon government on a beautification project around Burns Road she discovered how challenging multi-level government projects can be.

“It moved at glacial speed,” she said.

Even with these challenges, she said the city can try to work more collaboratively with the territory to achieve results.

“Social housing is an issue that YTG is responsible for, but how can the city work with the territory to make it happen?” she said. “There’s lots of homeless people in Whitehorse.”

These issues often get lost in jurisdictional tug-of-wars, she added.

To pay for these kinds of services, Brault believes an increase in taxes is justified as long it’s a small increase and it’s consistent from year to year.

An increase of one per cent, or less, a year would help pay for the operation and maintenance of city services, she said.

And unlike previous years, where taxes increased at erratic intervals, a one per cent increase per year would be predictable.

As with many of the candidates in this election, Brault cites affordable housing as an important campaign issue.

“The city should be working with YTG and Yukon Housing (Corp.) on this,” she said.

An increase in mining and other industries will strain an already small housing stock, said Brault.

“If more copper mines open in the Yukon, we won’t have places for people to live.”

The Official Community Plan is another area she’s interested in.

The plan is not binding, and that’s a problem, said Brault.

Citizens can put time and effort into making their opinions known, but it isn’t guaranteed that they’ll be listened to, she said.

The city should also be spending more time listening to its citizens rather than litigating with them, citing recent court cases the city has been involved in as a result of land-planning decisions.

These cases pull money and energy away from other projects that need to be worked on, she said.

On October 7th, the Whitehorse Chamber of Commerce is holding a forum for candidates at the Old Fire Hall from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. The following day the city will be holding its own noon-hour forum.

City elections are October 15.

Contact Vivian Belik at

vivianb@yukon-news.com