Yukon North Of Ordinary

News archive for July 4, 2012

‘I’m open to opportunities’: outgoing mayor

Whitehorse is guaranteed to have a new mayor this fall.


Photo by Whitehorse Star

THE START OF THE REIGN – Bev Buckway, seen with nine-month-old Tori Vollmer, watches municipal election results roll in on the evening of Oct. 19, 2006. She defeated then-incumbent Ernie Bourassa for the mayoralty.

Whitehorse is guaranteed to have a new mayor this fall.

Mayor Bev Buckway confirmed to the Star Tuesday evening she will not seek the mayoralty a third time. That leaves the door open for a new candidate to take on the role after the Oct. 18 election.

“It’s time for somebody else to take the chair,” Buckway said in an interview Tuesday following the evening council meeting.

With a new city manager, Stan Wesby, starting work at the city in August and initiatives around zoning and other matters coming forward, Buckway said she believes it’s time for someone else to take the mayor’s chair on council.

As she pointed out, she’s been on council for nine years. The former owner of Barbers II began with her first term as a councillor in 2003, when she took the most votes of any council candidate with 2,945.

In 2006, at the age of 52, she defeated incumbent mayor Ernie Bourassa by 530 votes, with 1,874 residents electing her as mayor. Ray Kitz and Bob Barry were also defeated in their run for mayor that year.

When she announced her candidacy for that election, Buckway said she wanted to improve accountability and communications; offer more recycling initiatives, improve roads and infrastructure and make the Canada Games Centre a success.

‘I’m looking towards strong leadership, and a different type of leadership if I’m successful for mayor,’ she said at the time.

In 2009, Whitehorse voters again chose Buckway as mayor with 2,540 votes compared to 1,580 for her only competitor, local businessman Al Fedoriak.

Her campaign that year focused on the experience she had on council, which she argued was needed to lead the city into 2012.

Asked what she feels she’s accomplished during her nine years on council, Buckway pointed to Official Community Plan rewrites, the development of the new Public Safety Building which replaced the fire hall at the top of Two Mile Hill and the anti-smoking bylaw (later replaced with the territorial ban), among a number of initiatives.

As she recalled, the public smoking ban the city implemented in 2004 seemed like “the end of the world” to opponents of the new law at the time.

Through her years on council, the body has also been dealing with huge growth in the city and following its sustainability plan at the same time, she said.

Buckway was also at the city’s helm when Whitehorse played host to two major sporting events: the 2007 Canada Winter Games (which also marked the first time they were hosted North of 60) and, more recently, the 2012 Arctic Winter Games.

Working with the Association of Yukon Communities (including a stint as its president) and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities has helped build territory-wide and national connections for Whitehorse, she said.

“So much of the job is building relationships,” Buckway commented.

As for what the mayor will do after a new council is sworn in this fall, she’s not sure.

“I’m open to opportunities,” she said, adding the Yukon is full of options for her to explore.

She won’t be going into retirement-mode though, she said, commenting that she’s too much of a “doer” to end her working career.

Rick Karp, the president of the Whitehorse Chamber of Commerce, has been the only person to announce plans to seek the mayoralty this fall.

During an interview this morning, he congratulated Buckway on her time with the city, noting she’s left her mark on Whitehorse.

Her plans won’t change anything about his campaign though, he said.

“As I said before, it is time for change,” Karp said, adding he’s looking forward to the coming months.

CommentsAdd a comment


Jul 4, 2012 at 5:27 pm

Your tax hikes and failure to develop housing lots has closed the door for generations of young families to develop any traction or equity.


Jul 4, 2012 at 7:50 pm

uuugh, i swear if Rick Karp becomes mayor, my family and i will be the first ones to leave this city. 

Cmon whitehorse, be smart and vote in new change, including not electing Karp.

June Jackson

Jul 4, 2012 at 9:18 pm

My own opinion is that we had Bucky 4 years too long..

Also.. I think a 3rd grader could win the election against Mr. Karp..

I’m voting for the first person who says I’m not going to the bank for money, I’m not jacking taxes and the city will live within its means.. oh.. and Sima is on its own.. not one more penny.


Jul 5, 2012 at 2:26 pm

I’ve only lived in Whitehorse for a year, but I’m a property owner and have seen enough. I’d be willing to run in the election!

Jackie Ward

Jul 5, 2012 at 4:14 pm

Your failed legacy will be on view for everyone to see for years mrs buckway. You have done nothing to make Whitehorse a better place. All I think of when someone says buckway is, increased taxes & roundabouts. Wow, I bet mr karp could compete on that level. Hey rick, your interests are with profits, not people. I hope people see that. Myself, you won’t get my vote rick.


Jul 5, 2012 at 4:35 pm

I agree about Mt. Sima. People can’t find housing but better make sure the ski hill has millions of dollars put into it.


Jul 5, 2012 at 4:46 pm

Remember, if you dont want a Rick Karp as Mayor, then get out there and VOTE!  VOTE Vote Vote!!! JUST VOTE!!!

Thank Heavens!

Jul 5, 2012 at 5:16 pm

The only regret this Whitehorse resident has reading this story will be in not getting the satisfaction of seeing ‘Tax Hike Buckway’ actually voted out of office in a huge way.
To whoever gets to be mayor next, please don’t treat the COW general revenue account like your own little social program fund. Let Sima sink or swim on it’s own and don’t make homeowners fund every little special interest activity through ever increasing taxes.
To all you councillors who support the misuse of taxpayer funds for every cockeyed idea that comes down the road, get it together or join Buckway on the way out.

Josey Wales

Jul 5, 2012 at 6:07 pm

see ya hairdresser…thanks for moving forward on creating lil TO North of sixty.
Your…“ahem” leadership has left scars on this town. ...and to think you come from long time Yukon creed.


Jul 5, 2012 at 10:28 pm

A smart person knows when they’ve worn out their welcome.

Look for opportunities somewhere else, outside.

Leaving a legacy of tax hikes and misspent funds that will take years to fix.


Jul 6, 2012 at 6:43 am

No reason to waste energy worrying about Rick Karpe. Lots of time for quality candidates to step forward.

Jackie Ward

Jul 6, 2012 at 4:58 pm

Her last laugh is hiring a non Yukoner for City Manager. Shame on you. You are not a true Yukoner bev. We all know your cards now. Bailing out ski hills like bailing out Wal.St. Rewarding incompetence. Thanks for nothing. And thank the seniors of Whitehorse for choosing her over Al. Heck they will probably vote for rick. Because he is a nice guy you know?  I vote for Tagish Elvis for Mayor 2012, lol. No seriously.


Jul 6, 2012 at 10:40 pm

I sure hope you’re right, Patrick. But experience tells me there’s no idea too shocking for the handful of Whitehorse voters that show up to vote to embrace.

And voting in a guy so regressive that he thinks it’s reasonable to reward the “Top 10 Taxpayers” with the right to vote, no matter where they live, is a shocking idea indeed. We’ll be calling Karp Your Worship before the year is out.

Josey Wales

Jul 7, 2012 at 3:44 pm

@ Thank Heavens…Ditto!
I agreed with you but these days a text post saying so…if posted, ensures it stays agreed to.

Where are those elite bling storage lockers the city made? There are a few sitting in a rented storage yard I see, but downtown?

Funny how we cannot fund regular police presence to rid the river bank crew of a nice place to get wasted.
Went for a stroll from SS Klondike to shipyards on Thursday…man the bushes were a busy place, felt like I was in downtown Winnipeg or Regina.
Glass…shit and the smell of piss drunks…more drunks…yelling drunks and a couple sneaky get wasted quieter cuz there I was….strolling.

Yes Bev…a fine watch you had too. At least Sima got fed up with the city, I mean fed up with the cities coffers of our cash.

I perused the city site the other day to get info on the candidate criteria…struck out. I was seeing if the CoW “moved forward” with removing a need to be a Yukon resident (if ever that was)...or even need be a Canadian? Wouldn’t surprise me since we are having “such difficulty” finding good reliable civic politicians…

At Rick’s lobbied hard efforts and wages for set efforts set at $13+/HR never-mind 30% more than an ACTUAL Canadian’s minimum wage…we as taxpayers will save scads.

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