Thivierge aims to make Whitehorse more eco friendly

For people like Francine Thivierge, retirement doesn't mean slowing down, it means life gets busier. The 64-year-old is running for a seat on Whitehorse city council in the upcoming municipal election.

For people like Francine Thivierge, retirement doesn’t mean slowing down, it means life gets busier.

The 64-year-old is running for a seat on Whitehorse city council in the upcoming municipal election.

For more than 20 years she ran a financial planning business, helping people invest their money and prepare for retirement.

“I was starting to get bored,” she said, 18 months into her retirement.

“I’m really good with numbers and I want them (council) to take advantage of that. I’m a solution finder, that’s what I love doing.”

Thivierge, who recently returned from a trip to India, said she has ideas on how to help the city’s most vulnerable people.

She suggested partnering with Yukon College’s carpentry programs to build tiny houses – approximately 10 by 10 metres – for the homeless. Ideally, the houses would be located somewhere downtown, next to a future detox centre. The Yukon government has announced it plans on building a new detox centre and inpatient drug and alcohol treatment centre in downtown Whitehorse, to replace the aging Sarah Steele Building on Sixth Avenue.

Thivierge said it’s “disgraceful” to see people living on the streets.

An avid outdoorswoman and hunter, she wants to work towards turning Whitehorse into “Greenhorse.”

One idea would be to double the size of the existing bike lanes in the city.

Not only would it encourage people to bike with friends but schools could create reward programs to encourage students to bike to school, she added.

Thivierge also wants the city to create a bylaw that makes every new home an R-2000 home.

R-2000 is a set of benchmarks to judge the energy efficiency of a house. It breaks down for ratings on certain parts of a house, such as the walls and ceiling.

“You need to make that information available to residents, how they can improve their homes,” she said.

She also believes the city should do a better job of communicating its decisions to residents – for example, how it arrived to a 1.7 per cent increase in property taxes for 2015.

“They should put an ad in the paper or use the community television station (WHTV) more,” she said.

“The city isn’t doing a good job of communicating how smart they are.”

Originally from Quebec City, Que., Thivierge lived in Vancouver for 30 years before moving to Whitehorse in 2004.

“I don’t miss it for a day – there’s no going back.”

The upcoming municipal election will take place on Oct. 15.

Contact Myles Dolphin at

myles@yukon-news.com

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