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

Two doctors in Watson Lake say they are at risk of losing their housing due to a Yukon Housing Corporation policy that only allows one pet per family. (Wikimedia Commons)
Healthcare workers in Watson Lake say housing pet policy could force them to leave

The Yukon Housing Corporation has threatened evictions for having more than one pet

The Many Rivers Counselling and Support Services building in Whitehorse on March 28, 2019. Three people who sat on Many Rivers’ board immediately before it closed for good say they were relieved to hear that the Yukon RCMP has undertaken a forensic audit into the now-defunct NGO’s financial affairs. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Former Many Rivers board members relieved to hear about forensic audit, wonder what took so long

Three people who sat on Many Rivers’ board immediately before it closed… Continue reading

Whitehorse General Hospital in Whitehorse on Feb. 14, 2019. The Yukon Employees’ Union and Yukon Hospital Corporation are at odds over whether there’s a critical staffing shortage at the territory’s hospitals. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
YEU, Yukon Hospital Corp. at odds over whether hospitals are understaffed

YEU says four nurses quit within 12 hours last week, a claim the YHC says is “inaccurate”

Two former Whitehorse Correctional Centre inmates, Ray Hartling and Mark Lange, have filed a class action against the jail, corrections officials and Yukon government on behalf of everyone who’s been placed in two restrictive units over the past six years. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Class action filed against Whitehorse Correctional Centre over use of segregation

Two former Whitehorse Correctional Centre inmates have filed a class action against… Continue reading

asdf
WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World for Oct. 21, 2020

Education Minister Tracy-Anne McPhee, right, before question period at the Yukon legislative assembly in Whitehorse on March 7, 2019. The Yukon government announced Oct. 19 it has increased the honoraria rates for school council members. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Honoraria increased for school council members

Members of school councils throughout the territory could soon receive an increased… Continue reading

Triple J’s Canna Space in Whitehorse on April 17, 2019, opens their first container of product. Two years after Canada legalized the sale of cannabis, Yukon leads the country in per capita legal sales. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Yukon leads Canadian cannabis sales two years after legalization

Private retailers still asking for changes that would allow online sales

A sign greets guests near the entrance of the Canada Games Centre in Whitehorse on June 11. The city announced Oct. 16 it was moving into the next part of its phased reopening plan with spectator seating areas open at a reduced capacity to allow for physical distancing. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
CGC reopening continues

Limited spectator seating now available

During Whitehorse city council’s Oct. 19 meeting, planning manager Mélodie Simard brought forward a recommendation that a proposed Official Community Plan amendment move forward that would designate a 56.3 hectare piece of land in Whistle Bend, currently designated as green space, as urban residential use. (Courtesy City of Whitehorse)
More development in Whistle Bend contemplated

OCP change would be the first of several steps to develop future area

asdf
EDITORIAL: Don’t let the City of Whitehorse distract you

A little over two weeks after Whitehorse city council voted to give… Continue reading

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

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

Northwestel has released the proposed prices for its unlimited plans. Unlimited internet in Whitehorse and Carcross could cost users between $160.95 and $249.95 per month depending on their choice of package. (Yukon News file)
Unlimited internet options outlined

Will require CRTC approval before Northwestel makes them available

Legislative assembly on the last day of the fall sitting in Whitehorse. Yukon’s territorial government will sit for 45 days this sitting instead of 30 days to make up for lost time caused by COVID-19 in the spring. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Legislative assembly sitting extended

Yukon’s territorial government will sit for 45 days this sitting. The extension… Continue reading

Most Read