Trash tops in Teslin mayoral race

Teslin's mayoral race may not be down and dirty, but challenger Rob Gareau is dwelling on garbage. Gareau, who was unsuccessful in a previous attempt to run for council, wants the village landfill to be better managed.

Teslin’s mayoral race may not be down and dirty, but challenger Rob Gareau is dwelling on garbage.

Gareau, who was unsuccessful in a previous attempt to run for council, wants the village landfill to be better managed.

It’s a mess, he said. And the dump should be open at least five days a week, and definitely on the weekends, he said. It’s currently only open three days a week.

Mayor Clara Jules acknowledges that residents want the landfill to be open longer. She would have to talk with the community and council before making any changes, she said.

Managing the site will have a cost, said Gareau.

“If we’re going to run a recycling business, we take the good with the bad. Get the cardboard to Whitehorse. Get it shipped off to wherever it’s got to go. If it’s got to go, it’s got to go. We can’t pile up 30, 40, 50 bags.”

Jules has been mayor for nine years. Before that she sat on council for 14 years. At the same time, she sat on the council for the Teslin Tlingit Council. She is a member of the crow clan.

Jules has more to do as mayor, she said. But she wouldn’t commit to any promises, other than to say she wants to work with the community to get things done. Just what, she wouldn’t say.

Gareau, Jules’ only challenger, said he wants “to put Teslin on the map.”

With its ski trails, recreation complex that includes an artificial ice rink and a weight room, three museums, First Nation heritage centre, two motels, store, library and churches, it has much to offer, he said.

“For what we have here, I think a lot of the smaller towns would love to have what we have,” said Gareau.

“I see a lot of people drive by, and they never see it,” said Jules, who has lived in the area her whole life.

When people move to Teslin, they usually stay, said Mike Hodgson. He’s a former mayor of Teslin, and one of eight people running for the four council spots. Robin Smarch, Darryl Kremer and Stephen Kremer are seeking re-election. Gord Curran, Tess Gareau, Rob’s wife, Denise Johnston and Brad Stoneman are also running.

But bringing change into Teslin may mean changing the village’s boundaries.

They are “outdated,” said Hodgson.

Teslin has a small tax base and neither mayoral candidate wants to raise taxes. Around 300 people live in the village, which has a large Tlingit population. Residents already pay for water, sewage and garbage pickup.

About 200 people live just outside Teslin’s limits and pay taxes to the territory.

Council has discussed expanding the boundaries for years, said Jules.

Teslin also needs to increase recreation opportunities, said Gareau.

The village is hiring a new recreation director. Without someone in that position, it’s hard to get activities started. The curling rink and skating rink need to be used more, added Gareau.

The centre is the community’s only hall, said Tess Gareau. She’d like to see more people use it, especially since its renovated often, she said. There are user fees – and that may be a reason why some people don’t use the facilities as much, she said.

The village also needs to do a better job enforcing animal bylaws, said Rob Gareau.

Dogs often run loose through town. He thinks this problem should be addressed before someone gets hurt. He would like to see a larger fine for when dogs are picked up.

Dogs aren’t running around like they used to, said Jules. There was a spay and neuter clinic in Teslin earlier this year, and it was a success, she said.

Work has been done on the main streets in Teslin, but more needs to happen, said Gareau. He drives the ambulance.

“Trying to drive on those streets, if you’ve got a patient in the back, it’s not a very nice place to be,” he said.

The village will continue to improve its streets, said Jules.

If elected as mayor, both candidates will do their best to listen to the concerns of the whole community, they said.

Contact Meagan Gillmore at

mgillmore@yukon-news.com

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

Just Posted

Premier Sandy Silver during a live update on the COVID-19 situation at a press conference in Whitehorse on March 27. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Total Yukon COVID case count increased to 42 cases

Premier urges patience after national meeting on vaccine roll-out

Benjamin Poudou, Mount MacIntyre’s ski club manager, poses for a photo in the club’s ski rental area on Nov. 16. The club has sold around 1,850 passes already this year, compared to 1067 passes on Oct. 31 last year. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Early season ski pass sales up as Yukoners prepare for pandemic winter

Season passe sales at Mount McIntyre for cross-country skiing are up by around 60 per cent this year

The City of Whitehorse will be spending $655,000 to upgrade the waste heat recovery system at the Canada Games Centre. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
New waste heat recovery system coming to the CGC

Council approves $655,000 project

Yukon First Nation Education Directorate education advocates and volunteers help to sort and distribute Christmas hamper grocery boxes outside Elijah Smith Elementary School on Feb. 23. (Rebecca Bradford Andrew/Submitted)
First Nation Education Directorate begins Christmas hamper program

Pick-ups for hampers are scheduled at local schools

Cody Pederson of the CA Storm walks around LJ’s Sabres player Clay Plume during the ‘A’ division final of the 2019 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament. The 2021 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament, scheduled for March 25 to 28 in Whitehorse next year, was officially cancelled on Nov. 24 in a press release from organizers. (John Hopkins-Hill/Yukon News file)
2021 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament cancelled

The 2021 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament, scheduled for March 25 to 28… Continue reading

Lev Dolgachov/123rf
The Yukon’s Information and Privacy Commissioner stressed the need to safeguard personal information while shopping this holiday season in a press release on Nov. 24.
Information and Privacy Commissioner issues reminder about shopping

The Yukon’s Information and Privacy Commissioner Diane McLeod-McKay stressed the need to… Continue reading

Keith Lay speaks at a city council meeting on Dec. 4, 2017. Lay provided the lone submission to council on the city’s proposed $33 million capital spending plan for 2021 on Nov. 23, taking issue with a number of projects outlined. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Resident raises issues with city’s capital budget

Council to vote on budget in December

Beatrice Lorne was always remembered by gold rush veterans as the ‘Klondike Nightingale’. (Yukon Archives/Maggies Museum Collection)
History Hunter: Beatrice Lorne — The ‘Klondike Nightingale’

In June of 1929, 11 years after the end of the First… Continue reading

Samson Hartland is the executive director of the Yukon Chamber of Mines. The Yukon Chamber of Mines elected a new board of directors during its annual general meeting held virtually on Nov. 17. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Yukon Chamber of Mines elects new board

The Yukon Chamber of Mines elected a new board of directors during… Continue reading

The Yukon Hospital Corporation has released its annual report for 2019-20, and — unsurprisingly — hospital visitations were down. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Annual report says COVID-19 had a large impact visitation numbers at Whitehorse General

The Yukon Hospital Corporation has released its annual report for 2019-20, and… Continue reading

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

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

Most Read