Samson Hartland seeks return to city council

Samson Hartland is asking voters for a second term on city council, 12 years after he left office. The 36-year-old and father of three is currently the executive director of the Yukon Chamber of Mines.

Samson Hartland is asking voters for a second term on city council, 12 years after he left office.

The 36-year-old and father of three is currently the executive director of the Yukon Chamber of Mines.

Hartland, who previously served as Elaine Taylor’s executive assistant from 2011 to 2014, announced his candidacy yesterday morning.

He said he’s reached a point in his life, both personally and professionally, where it “feels right” to come back and contribute to the community.

“My maturity level over the past 15 years has evolved to a point where my perspectives are completely different than what they used to be,” he said.

Elected as a 21-year-old, Hartland served on council from 2000 to 2003.

He describes his younger self as someone who was fairly inexperienced, naive and wet behind the ears.

But through his positions at the Whitehorse Chamber of Commerce and the government caucus, he’s had the opportunity to build new relationships and approach things with a “longer range focus in mind,” he said.

If elected, Hartland said he’d want to bring more transparency to city council.

He cited the Whistle Bend sports complex – an issue he’d bring back to the table – as one that could have benefited from more transparency.

“It wasn’t clear whether the city or the government would inherit the costs of this project,” he said.

“Yes, I’d be concerned about inheriting costs, but I weigh that against the benefits of having a facility like that in our community. When you look at it at face value, it’s just a zoning application.”

Hartland compared the situation to his first year on council, when the need for the Canada Games Centre was being hotly debated.

Back then, Hartland expressed concerns over the costs of the facility and whether the city could afford it, he said.

Now, he understands the benefits of the centre and what it offers to citizens of Whitehorse.

Hartland said he also wants to tackle tax increases and the impact they have on seniors and people with fixed incomes.

“You have builders of our community being pushed out of their homes because they can’t afford to pay the taxes anymore,” he said.

“If we have a positive and collaborative relationship with the Yukon government, maybe there’s an opportunity to talk about creative solutions around what the city needs in order to maintain the services it provides.”

During the summer of 2002 he made headlines after missing several council meetings, walking out of another and accusing his co-workers and a private citizen of conspiring to tear down the Sewell House.

Former mayor Ernie Bourassa challenged Hartland to quit council if the Yukon’s ombudsman cleared the city of wrongdoing – which it did.

But at the time Hartland said he hadn’t done anything to warrant his resignation.

Looking back, he said he doesn’t have any regrets about what happened that term, or what he said, and he still doesn’t think he should have resigned despite pressure to do so.

But he can offer an explanation for his behaviour that summer.

“The reality is I had a nervous breakdown,” he said.

“There was an immense amount of stress on me and I wasn’t in a good place. It was a very challenging time personally and professionally, and I didn’t have the skill set to handle that.

“If it wasn’t for the support of my family and close friends, I think I could have easily run out of this territory with my tail between my legs.”

But with that support, he says, he started the “rebuilding process” and began healing from those experiences.

He said he’s apologized to the people he accused over the years, and recognizes that he may not have handled himself as well as he could have.

“I was 21 back then, and I was called a kid. Today, I’m a father of three and have a much different perspective on things than I did back then.”

At least three council seats will be up for grabs on Oct. 15, as Mike Gladish and John Streicker have announced they will not be seeking another term.

Kirk Cameron’s seat was left vacant after he resigned in March.

Betty Irwin, Dave Stockdale and Jocelyn Curteanu are still uncertain about whether they plan to run for re-election or not.

Contact Myles Dolphin at

myles@yukon-news.com

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

Just Posted

A proposed Official Community Plan amendment would designate a 56.3-hectare piece of land in Whistle Bend currently designated as green space, as urban residential use. Whitehorse city council will vote on the second reading of the Official Community Plan amendment on Dec. 7. (Courtesy City of Whitehorse)
Future area of Whistle Bend considered by council

Members set to vote on second reading for OCP change

The City of Whitehorse’s projected deficit could be $100,000 more than originally predicted earlier this year. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
City deficit could be just over $640,000 this year

Third quarter financial reports presented to council

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley speaks during a COVID-19 press conference in Whitehorse on Oct. 30. Masks became mandatory in the Yukon for anyone five years old and older as of Dec. 1 while in public spaces. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
As mask law comes into effect, premier says $500 fines will be last resort

The territory currently has 17 active cases of COVID-19

Crystal Schick/Yukon News file
Ranj Pillai, minister of economic development, during a press conference on April 1.
Government rejects ATAC mining road proposal north of Keno City

Concerns from the First Nation of Na-Cho Nyäk Dun were cited as the main reason for the decision

asdf
WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World for Dec. 2, 2020

The new Little Salmon Carmacks First Nation council elected Dec. 1. (Submitted)
Little Salmon Carmacks elects new chief, council

Nicole Tom elected chief of Little Salmon Carcmacks First Nation

Submitted/Yukon News file
Yukon RCMP’s Historical Case Unit is seeking information related to the unsolved homicide of Allan Donald Waugh, 69, who was found deceased in his house on May 30, 2014.
Yukon RCMP investigating unsolved Allan Waugh homicide

Yukon RCMP’s Historical Case Unit is seeking information related to an unsolved… Continue reading

A jogger runs along Millenium Trail as the sun rises over the trees around 11 a.m. in Whitehorse on Dec. 12, 2018. The City of Whitehorse could soon have a new trail plan in place to serve as a guide in managing the more than 233 kilometres of trails the city manages. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
2020 trail plan comes forward

Policies and bylaws would look at e-mobility devices

Snow-making machines are pushed and pulled uphill at Mount Sima in 2015. The ski hill will be converting snow-making to electric power with more than $5 million in funding from the territorial and federal governments. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Mount Sima funded to cut diesel reliance

Mount Sima ski hill is converting its snowmaking to electric power with… Continue reading

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

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: Mask fundraiser helps make children’s wishes come true

From Black Press Media + BraveFace – adult, youth and kid masks support Make-A-Wish Foundation

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

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

Most Read