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LOOKING TO ENTER POLITICS – Mellisa Murray’s priorities include racial and gender equity, climate change, health and safety, and supporting local businesses.

Born and raised Yukon woman will seek a seat on city council

Mellisa Murray, a born and raised Yukoner, has announced her candidacy for city council in October’s election.

By Whitehorse Star on June 9, 2021

Mellisa Murray, a born and raised Yukoner, has announced her candidacy for city council in October’s election.

A mother of two, Murray is an active member of the city’s arts and business community.

She is the president of The Heart of Riverdale Community Centre, a member of the Yukon Arts Advisory Council, and an employee of the Yukon First Nations Chamber of Commerce.

Murray, 32, has been heavily involved with NGOs, has volunteered and led community initiatives, and built strong relationships within the local arts and business community over many years.

She said Monday she is running for council because she believes her perspective and experience will help bring a strong voice for the people of Whitehorse and the city she has always called home.

“As a young woman and second-generation Chinese-Canadian, I believe I can bring an enthusiastic, dynamic and diverse perspective to city hall,” said Murray.

“Coming from an arts background, I never thought I would become a politician—but watching the world change around me and seeing how these issues have affected our city has helped me find my voice.

“I now know that I need to use that voice to advocate for the people in our city and push for real positive change.”

Currently enrolled in the Indigenous Governance Program at Yukon University, Murray said she is dedicated to learning about Yukon First Nations’ history and governance.

“I want to protect the land we live on for future generations, and am excited for the opportunity to collaborate with the Kwanlin Dün First Nation and the Ta’an Kwäch’än Council,” she said.

Some of her priorities include racial and gender equity, climate change, health and safety, housing, and supporting local businesses.

She also said she’s excited to speak directly with Whitehorse residents about the things that matter most to them.

“For the next few months leading up to the election, I will devote myself to learning about the issues currently impacting our city, and, most importantly, listening to people,” she said.

If elected, she said, she would work with the new mayor and council to prioritize these issues in the city’s next strategic plan.

She is also committed to learning council’s practices and procedures so she could effectively represent her constituents.

“I hope to make our city safer and improve people’s lives on so many different levels,” she said.

“I truly believe I have a lot to offer.”

Comments (25)

Up 5 Down 1

Anie on Jun 15, 2021 at 2:44 pm

The Hanmer, we will not reach any meeting of minds, so I won't belabour. But I would like to note that my "churlish" comment was directed at the headline, not the candidate. Even so, if 'churlish' is verbal abuse, as you say it is, then reasonable debate and discussion in this world is doomed.

Up 8 Down 6

Deep Insight on Jun 15, 2021 at 5:04 am

Looks like a great candidate with plenty enough bullet points on her agenda to me.
Being born here just means she's got some extra votes and is familiar with local issues, concerns, etc. You either like the candidate or not.

Up 5 Down 0

Resident on Jun 14, 2021 at 7:57 pm


Council is dissolved the day of the election. Any councillor running for mayor will not be a councillor the day of the election. They'll either be mayor-elect or an ex-councillor. You cannot run for both positions at the same time. There is no lame duck period.

Up 14 Down 5

Groucho d'North on Jun 14, 2021 at 9:41 am

Judging by the comments posted here so far, it appears that many are looking for something to bitch about and will pick holes in any story the editors publish.
It's summer- get outside and play, have some fun. If you want to complain about something consider this:
Tax Freedom Day in 2021 comes seven days later than in 2020, when it fell on May 17. This change is due to the expectation that the total tax revenue forecasted by Canadian governments will increase faster than the incomes of Canadians. Tax Freedom Day for each province varies according to the extent of the provincially levied tax burden.
Best of luck on your ambitions to be a City Councillor Ms. Murray.

Up 12 Down 14

YukonMax on Jun 14, 2021 at 6:31 am

Well, Justin is just the son of a late Prime Minister.
That is his only qualification.
Oh! The hair...

Up 10 Down 14

TheHammer on Jun 11, 2021 at 4:43 pm

Really@ born and raised means you have a vested interest in the territory that is different from nomads without roots, but lots of baggage.

Up 9 Down 8

TheHammer on Jun 11, 2021 at 4:36 pm

Anie@ peer on peer abuse? So the workers in the schools were abusing each other and not the kids? You mean the kids were beating up each other for speaking their own language? Your comment calling the Mayoral candidate churlish is a form of verbal abuse. if your definition of churlish is to tell people where you were born and raised, it almost sounds like a racist agenda against mayoral candidate.

Up 12 Down 9

Anie on Jun 11, 2021 at 3:38 pm

The Hammer, where did you get your facts? Do you know that we have paid out a lot of compensation for what has been classified as "peer on peer abuse" in residential schools? Look it up. This "these people all bad, those people all good" childishness could mean we will never reconcile. Or is that what you want?

Up 15 Down 15

bonanzajoe on Jun 10, 2021 at 8:41 pm

One of the things that matter to me is, what is your political ideology? Are you left wing or right wing? So far her brief is all about FN. What has she to offer the other races?

Up 13 Down 13

TheHammer on Jun 10, 2021 at 4:53 pm

Ani@ All the people involved in residential school abuse came from outside the Yukon. 99% of churlish people I know come from outside Yukon, they are called Canadians.

Up 30 Down 9

BnR on Jun 10, 2021 at 4:43 pm

Oh my god!!! She says she was born and raised here!!
Good grief. The only ones making a big deal about this are.... those who weren’t.

Up 22 Down 22

Anie on Jun 10, 2021 at 2:52 pm

To the many people who moved here by choice, not accident of birth, and who contribute to the Yukon being a great place to live, please do not let this headline, and the sentiment it implies, prevent you from running for office. Most intelligent voters in the Yukon do not share that churlish point of view.

Up 17 Down 9

TheHammer on Jun 10, 2021 at 2:14 pm

Born and raised is not a credential for political office, but it is worth mentioning. As for gender equality, there are men in Whitehorse coming from countries where women are chattels to be bought and sold, shaking their heads at Western women's dress style as they enter the business these males work for. Time to give them the message, this is the West, and the West is the best.

Up 7 Down 4

Dogman on Jun 10, 2021 at 1:42 pm

How does the municipal election work for those Councilors running for Mayor? For example, if Heartland or Cabot run and lose, do they also "lose" their Council seat? Can you run for both simultaneously? Cant find any info online.

Thanks for any explanation folks! Cheers.

Up 24 Down 6

JSM on Jun 10, 2021 at 8:31 am

Weird move to put Gender and Racial Equality first and foremost? Shouldn't that be on the mind of every politician regardless of party affiliation?
At least she happens to mention fiscal responsibility... Baby steps i guess

Up 26 Down 14

Martin on Jun 10, 2021 at 6:27 am

Obviously, her priority is not the business community.

Up 11 Down 18

Bob Loblaw on Jun 9, 2021 at 11:05 pm

Anie...60% of GHGs in Yukon are from transportation, and most of that is from commuting, and most of the commuting happens in Whitehorse. The COW has plenty of influence over how our roads are built, speed limits, funding and promoting use of transit, completing the cycling network, increasing density, preventing urban sprawl, etc. In fact, City probably has more influence over GHGs emitted in Yukon than YG or federal government does. I am happy to see a candidate say she stands for addressing climate change. Now let’s see if she does, if elected.

Up 30 Down 18

Politico on Jun 9, 2021 at 9:51 pm

Gotta love the idea that if you are born and raised here that somehow makes you more special or qualified for the position. Obviously, being a Yukoner makes you better than any other Canadian or, god forbid, foreigner for any position up here. Tribalism!

Up 33 Down 24

Really? on Jun 9, 2021 at 8:09 pm

Curious about this ‘born and raised’ thing. Does that make someone a higher caste of people? Will this person only represent born and raised Yukoners?

If being born and raised here is your top bullet point on your resume, you are deeply under qualified.

Up 10 Down 16

--@tin roof on Jun 9, 2021 at 4:59 pm

The benefit of BNR is the possibility there'd be a connection to local culture.
Technically all of our internet should be chinese/india in language if you pick the "best/most popular."
Same thing with stores. We should just have Wal Mart's. The important of BNR is that you maintain some connection with the culture. Ultimately we're stuck in a paradox. If you want to "maintain" FN culture you have to accept that you don't want the "best" all the time.
Our government is specifically setup to NOT do the best all the time. We would have automated jobs years ago. It's fine if you want a dead gray world. "This is the best car, this is the best house, this is the best.." blah blah blah.
It's only when you stop to say, "I don't want the best, I want authentic" that you can keep the culture.

But, trying to explain that to a transplanted nation is absolutely ridiculous. Thus, current treatment of FN and their "backward" ways
"no offense intended".

Up 67 Down 41

Tin Roof on Jun 9, 2021 at 4:25 pm

Born and raised huh?
The old sense of entitlement the BNR crew have is a dying artifact of days gone by.

I'm a bigger fan of best person for the job regardless of where they are from, the colour of their skin or who they share a bed with.

Up 59 Down 24

Bingo on Jun 9, 2021 at 3:42 pm

Female..check, artsie...check, second generation Chinese...check, taking Fn Studies...check mate.

Up 16 Down 33

John D on Jun 9, 2021 at 3:22 pm

Born and raised... waiting for the Rendezvous pitch forks to strike again!

Up 42 Down 37

Nathan Living on Jun 9, 2021 at 2:55 pm

Exceptional candidate, thank you for running.

Up 68 Down 14

Anie on Jun 9, 2021 at 2:49 pm

She might have my support if, in addition to the motherhood issues of equality, climate change etc, she had at least mentioned a few municipal issues, like fiscal responsibility, traffic movement , etc

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