Kim Lisgo wants to see change in city affairs – and for her, that means taking a more active role in government.
A strong believer in “thinking globally, acting locally,” Lisgo is one of 20 candidates vying for one of six positions as councillor in the Oct. 18 municipal election.
“I have grown tired of business-as-usual due to a lack of collective political will and courage, and things are happening too slowly from my perspective,” she stated in a recent email correspondence with the Star.
“This is a criticism that I have of all levels of government.”
Lisgo highlighted the possibility of creating change at the municipal level over other levels of government.
With effective governance at the municipal level, she said, “we can improve the lives of Whitehorse citizens and local business, while at the same time contribute to solutions for global problems, such as climate change.”
Lisgo said she believes she can use her skills best as a councillor to help bring change to the city.
The scientist works as a researcher for the University of Alberta, based at Yukon College.
She said she is trained to solve problems, think critically, observe and listen, collect evidence, be aware of her own biases, and be creative and transparent.
She argued they are all skills she can bring to council chambers.
In her work over the last 15 years, Lisgo has co-ordinated and been part of collaborative research to develop science-based approaches and tools for conservation planning in the Canadian boreal forest.
She has also been part of and led the application for that, with stakeholders such as federal, territorial, provincial, Alaska state and U.S. government agencies, industry, environmental organizations, and First Nations.
Among the issues facing the city, the six-year resident pointed to affordable and available housing being one of the most visible issues.
She believes the city has a critical role in providing affordable housing.
“I would like to see more bold and creative initiatives, and a willingness to partner with developers, non-profits, and other levels of government,” Lisgo commented.
“I have a lot to learn, and I bet there are some great ideas out there already, just waiting for a champion.
“I would like to see improved engagement with citizens of all ages and businesses.”
She then went on to point to public engagement and climate change/reducing greenhouse gas emissions as other areas the city should focus on.
“I would like to see climate change explicitly considered in all decision-making and city operations, from energy savings to snow removal, infrastructure, transit, and wildfire preparedness,” Lisgo said.
“We can use this opportunity to improve health and safety, support a green economy, while reducing our greenhouse gas emissions.”
Lisgo then argued the need to embrace Whitehorse’s “Wilderness City” identity and implement suggestions from WildWise Yukon in order to reduce conflicts with wildlife in the city.
Finally, she praised the city’s efforts already underway to divert waste from the landfill, adding: “I would like to see this success carried forward to city-wide recycling and Zero Waste initiatives.”
During the five years leading up to her move to Whitehorse, the candidate often travelled to the territory for work. Presented with the opportunity to move here, Lisgo said she jumped at it.
Her volunteer work includes having just started her fourth year as president of the Whitehorse Women’s Hockey Association, and her second year as vice-president of the Yukon Queer Film Alliance.
She is also on the board of one of the condominium corporations in Hillcrest and volunteers for QueerYukon when she can.
Also seeking council seats are incumbent councillors Samson Hartland, Betty Irwin, Roslyn Woodcock, Jocelyn Curteanu and Dan Boyd, former councillors Mike Gladish and Jan Stick, former Yukon Party MLA David Laxton and local residents Eileen Melnychuk, Oshea Jephson, Steve Roddick, Andrew Smith, Cory Adams, Danny Macdonald, Jim Cahill, Scott Etches, Darrell Hookey, Leonard Boniface and Laura Cabott.
The mayoral candidates are incumbent Dan Curtis, Rick Karp, Colin LaForme, Kelly Suits and Wilf Carter.