John Streicker is running for Whitehorse city council.
The territory’s former federal Green Party candidate says the move is a natural step for his career not only as a politician, but also as an engineer.
“I have a lot of professional background and technical expertise,” he said. “I think it would be great to have someone on council who understood these technical engineering questions in decision making. It would be an asset to council.”
But the biggest asset Streicker would bring is his ability to facilitate discussion, he said.
He plans on giving incumbent Coun. Kirk “Mr. Conciliator” Cameron a run for his money by campaigning on a platform to provide better public consultation.
Election-time discussions and Monday night’s council meetings don’t cut it, he said. “Social media is a good start,” he added.
Streicker also wants to see council make fewer one-off decisions and start operating on policy that works towards a common vision for the city that goes beyond a few years.
But he wouldn’t take a stand on two controversial issues: plans to develop Porter Creek D, and the proposed re-mining of the Whitehorse Copper Mine. All Streicker would say is that he supports talking more about both with affected groups first.
Both issues offer the opportunity to “lay the foundations for a level playing field,” he said.
Porter Creek D won’t solve the housing crisis. The houses it could provide may help, and it may mean the city’s footprint won’t expand, but for how long, he asked. There will still be questions about housing even after Porter Creek D is built, if it ever is, said Streicker.
And the Whitehorse Copper Mine may be a good idea, or it may be a nuisance for nearby residents, but the point is that it is industrial development within city limits and any industrial development that shares common space with residents needs to be addressed carefully, he said.
Allowing or not allowing this mine won’t erase all of the current mineral claims staked in the city, and it won’t resolve tensions between industry and residents, he said.
But council can use issues like these to help structure the vision and plan they want for Whitehorse and how they want the city to look in the next five, 10 and 15 years, he said.
Discussion breeds innovation, said Streicker. Maybe a solution beyond “yes” or “no” will be discovered, he said.
For example, why not consider paying out miners for their claims when it comes to industry in the city? And why does that have to be the municipality’s job? Why not offer that option to interested groups like conservationists?
Sure, it’s an expense, but there’s a cost in developing industry as well, he said.
The council hopeful wants to make it clear that he plans on keeping municipal politics non-partisan and free from bias, he said. But his values haven’t changed, he said.
“Mostly what I’m looking for is how we waste less, so yeah, you can call that ultimately being environmental. I call it being smart – and I don’t mean that in an arrogant way, I just think we need to make smart choices and be prudent.
“Some people have preconceived ideas, and I will do my best to talk to them and help them to understand who I am. I want them to vote for the person who I am, not the person they think I am. I am committed to applying myself to the service of Whitehorse. I love it here.”
Municipal elections are on Oct. 18.
Contact Roxanne Stasyszyn at