Whitehorse city councillors are debating whether to allow proxy voting for the next election, although the Municipal Act does not currently provide for proxy voting in municipal elections. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)

Proxy voting questioned at Whitehorse council meeting

‘It’s actually been removed from the Elections Act at a territorial level’

Proxy voting could be problematic voting — that was the concern raised by Coun. Sampson Hartland during a standing committees meeting on May 14.

“Why are we considering to allow proxy voting in this election when in the last territorial election, that was the last time you could do proxy voting and it’s actually been removed from the Elections Act at a territorial level, so they won’t be doing proxy voting in the next election?” Hartland said.

The Municipal Act does not currently provide for proxy voting in municipal elections.

On May 14 Norma Felker, assistant city clerk with the city of Whitehorse, introduced a bylaw to establish procedures for the municipal election. This included a proposition that “persons exercising a proxy will be required to vote by special ballot.”

Felker said part of the justification for proxy voting is to accommodate people in work camps who may not be able to make it to one of the approximately 12 polling stations that will be set up for the fall election.

“It’s very different for people in work camps or people who have their holidays planned so the proxy voting gives them an opportunity to make sure they still can exercise their franchise,” she said.

Hartland pointed to advance polls, wondering why that option wasn’t sufficient.

“My concern obviously is, you know, assigning a vote to somebody else is a bit problematic for me,” he said. “I think there’s an opportunity for, you know, misuse of that and I think that’s why you see some jurisdictions moving away from the ability to proxy vote and I would like us to strongly consider doing away with proxy voting moving forward but can appreciate that this is probably where we’re at at this point in time but not without some reservations on my part.”

In addition to proxy voting, the bylaw under consideration addresses time, date, place and submission of nominations, a board of revision and the hours the board will sit, honoraria paid to elected officials and more.

During the meeting, Coun. Rob Fendrick also encouraged residents to consider running in the upcoming election. He directed potential candidates’ attention to a freshly-drafted 32-page handbook titled The Joy of Governing.

The handbook can be found on the website for the Association of Yukon Communities at www.ayc-yk.ca.

The election procedures bylaw will come forward for a vote on May 21.

Contact Amy Kenny at amy.kenny@yukon-news.com

Municipal electionWhitehorse city council

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

Just Posted

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
YUKONOMIST: Another election, another anomaly

Monday’s “double-tie” election is generating some free publicity for the Yukon as Outside news agencies scramble to find someone to interview.

A cyclist rides along the Millenium Trail in downtown Whitehorse on a frigid Feb. 9. Whitehorse city council has passed the first two readings of an e-bike bylaw that would designate how e-bike riders can use city trails. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
First two readings passed on Whitehorse e-bike bylaw

Delegate calls on city to consider age restrictions and further regulations

Whitehorse City Hall at its Steele Street entrance. (Stephanie Waddell/Yukon News)
Change of plans approved for city hall

Project would see 1966 city hall demolished

A city map shows the property at 107 Range Road. The zoning is now in place for developers to proceed with plans for a Dairy Queen drive-thru. If plans proceed on schedule the new restaurant is anticipated to open in October. (Cyrstal Schick/Yukon News)
October opening eyed for Dairy Queen

Will depend on everything going according to plan

Crystal Schick/Yukon News Whitehorse International Airport in Whitehorse on May 6, 2020.
NAV CANADA suspends review for Whitehorse airport traffic control

NAV CANADA announced on April 15 that it is no longer considering… Continue reading

A bulldozer levels piles of garbage at the Whitehorse landfill in January 2012. (Ian Stewart/Yukon News file)
Rural dump closures and tipping fees raise concern from small communities

The government has said the measures are a cost-cutting necessity

lwtters
Today’s Mailbox: Rent freezes and the youth vote

Dear Editor, I read the article regarding the recommendations by the Yukon… Continue reading

Whitehorse City Hall (Yukon News file)
City news, briefly

A look at city council matters for the week of April 12

Joel Krahn/joelkran.com Hikers traverse the Chilkoot Trail in September 2015. Alaska side.
The Canadian side of the Chilkoot Trail will open for summer

The Canadian side of the Chilkoot Trail will open for summer Parks… Continue reading

Letters to the editor.
Today’s mailbox: Hands of Hope, the quilt of poppies

Toilets are important Ed. note: Hands of Hope is a Whitehorse-based non-profit… Continue reading

École Whitehorse Elementary Grade 7 students Yumi Traynor and Oscar Wolosewich participated in the Civix Student Vote in Whitehorse on April 12. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Yukon Student Vote chooses Yukon Party government; NDP take popular vote

The initiative is organized by national non-profit CIVIX

Yvonne Clarke is the newly elected Yukon Party MLA for Porter Creek Centre. (Submitted/Yukon Party)
Yvonne Clarke elected as first Filipina MLA in the Yukon Legislative Assembly

Clarke beat incumbent Liberal Paolo Gallina in Porter Creek Centre

Most Read