Whitehorse bids on sustainability conference

The City of Whitehorse wants to host the Federation of Canadian Municipalities' annual Sustainable Communities Conference in February 2015.

The City of Whitehorse wants to host the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ annual Sustainable Communities Conference in February 2015.

On Monday night, city council voted unanimously to approve a bid to host the event.

“This is just one more step in that direction, to show that we can play with the big provinces and territories,” said Coun. Kirk Cameron, noting the city has been working to increase its presence on the national stage. He asked council if the conference could be held close to other large events, like the Yukon Quest or the Frostbite Music Festival.

The FCM has set Feb. 4 to 6, 2015 as the conference dates, but Whitehorse hotels are already booked for the Yukon Quest, Shannon Clohosey, manager of environmental sustainability told council. The city has submitted proposals to host the conference on the weekends before or after this date. Hosting the conference from Feb. 11 to 13 would place it between the Yukon Quest and Rendezvous, Clohosey said. FCM has said it would consider changing the date, city manager Stan Westby told council, calling that a “ray of optimism.”

This year’s conference is being held in Windsor, Ont., on Feb. 13-15. Coun. John Streicker will represent Whitehorse.

Attending these conferences is work and can “suck,” Mayor Dan Curtis told council. But going to these events increases the city’s chances of winning its bid, he said.