Welcome to the Mayor’s corner!
Would you like to know some of the things Mayor Laura Cabott has been up to?
Here you can find updates on exciting projects, council decisions, and experiences Mayor Cabott would like to share!
This page will be updated bi-weekly. On alternate weeks you can hear from Mayor Cabott on CHON-FM’s City Matters on Tuesday mornings at 8:00 a.m.
If you would like to contact Mayor Cabott please e-mail her at email@example.com
Snow, snow, and more snow. We have had more snow to date than we did at end of March of last year, which was a record snow year in itself. I recognize that we haven't been able to stay on top of snow removal so far this winter, and some streets have not yet seen a plow. I understand this is very frustrating for people, but please know our crews are working around the clock, and we have also engaged private contractors to assist. It's all hands on deck! I'm told we should be caught up in a few weeks.
We have invested an additional $240,000 in snow removal resources in our proposed 2022 Operating Budget, and we are considering doing a complete review and overhaul of our Snow and Ice Control Policy to address the new reality of our winter conditions and growing City. Thank you for your patience.
Sunday bus service, including the Handy Bus, is coming to Whitehorse! The proposed budget also contains other enhancements such as increasing the frequency of stops on our more popular routes and two new mobile apps, which make it easier for riders to pay for their rides and time their trips more efficiently. More information can be found at whitehorse.ca/transit. Get on board and take a ride with us!
I was pleased to be part of the recent announcement for the Safe at Home Society's supportive housing project, which will see 55 units added to the housing inventory in Whitehorse. Housing is a priority for this Council. Council has proposed establishing a City of Whitehorse Housing Advisory Committee made up of industry experts to find bold and innovative ways to tackle the housing shortage. I have also had a number of conversations with the Minister responsible for Yukon Housing Corporation, Ranj Pillai, on how the City and the Government of Yukon can work together on other exciting projects.
Looking ahead, Council is developing its Strategic Priorities - we've had some spirited discussions so far, and we're looking forward to sharing our priorities towards the end of February. Strategic Priorities set the direction for Council moving forward, and your feedback during the election and since our term on Council has certainly had an important impact on our conversations.
We also look forward to intergovernmental meetings with Kwanlin Dün First Nation and the Ta'an Kwäch'än Council this week, as we strengthen the relationship between our governments.
Take care and be kind to each other,
Mayor Laura Cabott
On Monday, December 13th, we held a public input night for the 2022-2025 Capital Budget. I was pleased at the amount of feedback we received, which mostly focused on increasing active transportation options in the community. I am thankful for the public’s participation in the budget process, and Council will review and carefully consider all input.
Council also approved submitting $5 million from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation to the Yukon Housing Corporation. This funding will go towards the Safe at Home Society’s supportive housing project at the High Country Inn. This project will have a significant impact on homelessness in Whitehorse, and is a great example of multiple levels of government and community groups working together to tackle this issue.
The City raised $3,575 in cash and $1,950 in food donations through its annual Food for Fines campaign. Donations were given to the Whitehorse Food Bank and Kaushee’s Place, who provide a valuable service to our community. Thank you to everyone who generously contributed.
Looking a head to 2022, Council will be very busy in the beginning of the new year. We will need to pass the Capital Budget, as well as the next Operating Budget. We will also establish this Council’s Strategic Priorities, which sets our direction for the future to make Whitehorse one of the best places in the world to live. Finally, we will focus on producing a draft Official Community Plan within the first three months of the new year for public review and comment.
I want to wish everyone a safe and happy holiday season, and I’ll see you in the new year.
Mayor Laura Cabott
On Monday, November 29th, we introduced the 2022-2025 Capital Budget. This proposed budget focuses on reducing our energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions through important upgrades to some of our biggest facilities. The City is also aware of the requirement to use taxpayer funds responsibly while managing the increased costs associated with the global pandemic. Don’t forget to submit your feedback by December 13th to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mayor and Council had a productive meeting with the Whitehorse Chamber of Commerce last week. Among the topics discussed were the Official Community Plan, tourism in Whitehorse, housing and lot development, and supporting local businesses. We look forward to working closely together as our local economy continues to recover. I have also had some very productive meetings over the past few weeks with Chief Doris Bill of the Kwanlin Dün First Nation, Chief Amanda Leas of the Ta’an Kwäch’än Council, and a number of Government of Yukon ministers on matters of common interest.
Over $15,000 in Environmental Grants were disbursed to three important local organizations: Whitehorse Tool Library, Yukon Queer Society, and Yukon Invasive Species Council. The City is committed to encouraging and enabling societies, commercial organizations, and schools to be active partners in achieving the City’s sustainability goals.
I am pleased that the Yukon Government’s Better Build Program will proceed in the New Year, and that it allows municipalities time over the winter to work with the Government of Yukon to develop the regulations.
You may have noticed that our city is lighting up as well. The Parks crews have done a tremendous job making our dark December days just a little bit brighter. As always, we encourage residents to use LED lights on their homes, and timers are great to help you conserve power and money throughout the winter.
Finally, the annual Food for Fines campaign kicked off on Saturday. Until December 11th, you can pay off your parking ticket by donating food of equal or greater value to your ticket. All donations go directly to the Whitehorse Food Bank and Kaushee’s Place, two local organizations that support people in need in our community.
Despite the frigid temperatures on Saturday evening, I saw many of you at the tree lighting ceremony at the corner of Front Street and Main Street. Once again, thank you to the parade organizers and the volunteers who helped make this event happen for all of us to enjoy.
Mayor Laura Cabott
It’s been one month since Whitehorse elected a brand new Mayor and Council. I am very pleased to be part of this team. Our historic swearing-in ceremony (with COVID-19 safety protocols in place) was presided by Chief Justice Suzanne Duncan and attended by a variety of local dignitaries, family and friends. A strong emphasis was placed on First Nations involvement and we were pleased to include members of both the Kwanlin Dun First Nation, and the Ta’an Kwäch’än Council as part of the ceremony. Thanks again for joining us on such a special evening.
Council has been busy with numerous meetings and workshops, as we learn to understand the City and its departments, our roles and responsibilities, and pressing issues that require our attention and direction. The City continues to follow the recommendations from the Chief Medical Officer of Health, and it remains a priority to ensure the safety of our staff and patrons of our facilities. Please be kind to frontline workers!
During the election, I committed to enhanced transparency and public engagement at the City, if elected. One way to address that is by developing the Mayor’s Corner, an opportunity for me, as your Mayor, to update you every second week on important initiatives, decisions and upcoming matters that may impact you. On alternating weeks, you can catch my updates on CHON-FM’s City Matters segment on Tuesday mornings at 8:05 with Dylan McNeil.
Enjoy the fluffy snow and the holiday lights our crews have been busy setting up around the city. I really look forward to seeing many of you at the Winterval Parade on Dec. 4th!
Mayor Laura Cabott