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Meet Whitehorse’s municipal candidates

Three candidates look to become the city’s next mayor; 17 want to be councillors
From left to right, Patti Balsillie, Samson Hartland and Laura Cabott are running to be Whitehorse’s next mayor. (Submitted)

As voters get set to head to the polls Oct. 21, here’s a look back at each of the candidates running, in the order they will appear on the ballots, beginning with the three mayoral candidates, followed by the 17 candidates seeking six councillor positions.

Mayoral candidates

Patti Balsillie has lived in the Yukon for 32 years and worked as a consultant for eight. This is her first run for office in Whitehorse.

Samson Hartland has been a Whitehorse city councillor for three terms and also works as executive director of the Yukon Chamber of Mines.

Laura Cabott just completed her first term as a Whitehorse city councillor and is hoping to bring “practical solutions” to the mayor’s desk.

Councillor candidates

Eileen Melnychuk is the president of the Victoria Falkner Women’s Centre, sits on the board of the Community Thrift Store and is taking her second run at a Whitehorse council position.

Noah Curtis, inspired by his father’s 9-year term as Whitehorse’s mayor, is running on a platform focused on climate change and land development.

Telek Rogan works as an office manager for Walker Home Construction and was the 2017 Rendezvous Queen. She’s running with a focus on income disparity.

Mellisa Murray is the president of the Heart of Riverdale Community Centre, member of the Yukon Arts Advisory Council and is a project and membership coordinator for the Yukon First Nation Chamber of Commerce. Her priorities are equality, climate change and housing.

Kelsey Hassard-Gammel works with the Boys and Girls Club Yukon and is an active living coordinator at Yukon’s recreation and parks association. She says she’s working toward a “more affordable and welcoming Whitehorse.”

Kirk Cameron previously served on city council from 2011 to 2015, when he resigned over the firing of two top administrators. This time around, Cameron is focusing on long-term planning for the city’s growth.

Michelle Stimson is running for council with a planned focus on bringing greater sensitivity to city matters and listening to fellow Yukoners.

Cam (Cameron) Kos has been a small business owner, worked in government and served on the Holy Family school council. He argues his well-rounded perspective of the Yukon makes him well-poised to serve as a councillor.

Doug Graham’s political career goes back to 1978, when he served his first of two terms as a Yukon Party MLA for Porter Creek West and then North. He served as minister of education and of health and social services. Between his two terms as MLA, Graham spent 11 years on Whitehorse city council.

Ted Laking is the chief of staff for the Yukon Party. He worked previously as chief of staff for the federal Environment Minister, Leona Aglukkag. Laking is running on a platform of affordability.

Robin Reid-Fraser is a building manager at the Centre de la francophonie and is on the board of the Wolf Creek Community Association. She wants to increase livability with expanded transit and more housing.

Jocelyn Curteanu is seeking a fourth term on city council. She highlighted housing, development, climate change, transportation and safety as her main priorities.

Michelle Friesen is the founder of the women’s mountain biking program Shredhers, and last run for office under the NDP banner in the territorial election. She wants to be the first Indigenous councillor to serve Whitehorse in 27 years, and is running on a platform focused on housing and climate change.

Dave Blottner is the executive director for the Whitehorse Food Bank. He is focused on lot management to improve housing and re-examining utility rates to tackle affordability.

Michelle Christenson-Toews is retired from a career as a paramedic and emergency planning for the Yukon government. She wants to see improvements to city bylaw processes and proactive movement on road safety and snow management.

Janna Swales is the executive director of the Yukon Transportation Museum. She is focused on reconciliation, affordability and transportation.

Dan Boyd is seeking a third council term to focus on long-term planning for the city and climate change.

Contact Stephanie Waddell at

Stephanie Waddell

About the Author: Stephanie Waddell

I joined Black Press in 2019 as a reporter for the Yukon News, becoming editor in February 2023.
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