Whitehorse Daily Star

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GOING FOR THE TOP POSITION – Longtime Yukoners Samson Hartland and Patti Balsillie - Photo submitted

Councillor announces mayoral bid, Patti Balsillie also candidate

City councillor Samson Hartland says he wants to be the city’s next mayor.

By Whitehorse Star on March 4, 2021

Revised - City councillor Samson Hartland says he wants to be the city’s next mayor, becoming the second person to do so.

Voters will decide on a new mayor and council on Oct. 21. Mayor Dan Curtis plans to run as the Liberal candidate in Whitehorse Centre in the pending territorial election, and, even if he’s not successful, will not run for re-election as mayor.

Hartland, 42, is a married father of three children.

He has served three terms as a councillor, while also serving as the executive director of the Yukon Chamber of Mines for the last seven years.

“We made the decision as a family to run for Mayor of our great city because I am deeply committed to our community and believe I can continue making a positive impact,” Hartland said today.

“I would be honoured to continue to serve the people of Whitehorse.”

Raised in Whitehorse, he said his fierce commitment to family and small business in the territory has consistently guided his career path.

That has included working for the Whitehorse Chamber of Commerce and as a small business owner of Grizzly Collectibles.

He has also long served as translator for his hearing-impaired parents, including on an episode of CBC’s Dragons Den when the senior Hartland successfully secured investment to develop his Yukon Smoked Salmon business.

“My wife Lindsay and I are so proud to call Whitehorse home and raise our children in the best city in the world,” said Hartland.

“Access to recreation, retail, education, health care, wilderness, along with the cleanest drinking water and air in the world – and world class industries, we truly punch above our weight class,” he continued.

“I’ve learned many lessons and gained much experience throughout my three terms and I hope I have the opportunity to apply those skills in a way that continues giving back to our community.”

Hartland said he is committed to completing the Official Community Plan, which will not be finished prior to the expiration of this council’s mandate.

The plan includes re-establishing a healthy supply of building lots to keep up with the city’s exponential growth.

It also aims to keep the city’s costs down to ensure the cost of living in Whitehorse does not negatively impact senior and vulnerable populations while maintaining Whitehorse’s reputation as having one of the lowest property tax rates in Canada.

Long-time local resident Patti Balsillie announced her candidacy in late January.

“After 32 years of making Whitehorse her home, raising a family, living in many neighbourhoods, growing business and volunteering in dozens of community and national organizations, Patti Balsillie has announced her intent to serve in the mayoral campaign,” says her social media posting.

“With a broad and diverse range of experience, Patti has demonstrated her network and leadership skills in the Yukon and Canada, across business, community, organizations and governments.”

She told the Star this morning she plans to unveil a platform in June.

Comments (21)

Up 8 Down 0

Interesting on Mar 10, 2021 at 3:02 pm

One other item I would like to state. LEAVE the speed limit initiative for downtown, second and fourth avenues for the next mayor and council. Tell us, why isn’t this front and center on the city’s website. In fact, why isn’t the city more open and proactive by having a survey on this issue? Instead you have to hunt for the initiative on the city website and then find the email address to offer your comments. Leaving the issue alone for next mayor and council will allow citizens to question the candidates on the issue.

Up 17 Down 11

North_of_60 on Mar 9, 2021 at 4:08 pm

Curtis should resign. Every day he hangs on shows that he's only a political opportunist who is happy to let the City pay him to campaign for his next political stepping stone. Do the right thing Dan, show some integrity and step down. Leaving now will actually improve your chances in the next election.

Up 13 Down 6

Benn on Mar 8, 2021 at 5:34 pm

@June - June would you consider being media relations/ comm chief for the Elect Josey Mayor team? We need someone with your exceptional abilities. You would be a direct report to Wilf the Campaign chair.

Up 10 Down 10

martin on Mar 8, 2021 at 4:12 pm

Well; nothing would be worse than the outgoing mayor. I hope he doesn't get elected to the Legislate. He saddled CoW with debt for years to come. Worse than DJT running his biz.

Up 39 Down 10

Patti -- on Mar 6, 2021 at 2:29 pm

Seeing the major edit to this article and the changes to the photo, I can only assume that you complained. Combined with the comment you added. You're making yourself out to be a whiner.

Up 38 Down 12

My Opinion on Mar 6, 2021 at 2:00 pm

I like Sampson. Very approachable and an independent thinker. Good Luck Sampson you have my vote.

Up 45 Down 9

Charlie's Aunt on Mar 5, 2021 at 6:27 pm

I don't know Pattie & she may be a worthwhile candidate, but I agree with Adam re succession planning. I have never been a fan of someone from the wide blue yonder running as chair, president or any top position within an organization. I much prefer people who have come up through the ranks and have some knowledge of how things work. It also allows voters to assess whether they consider the candidate to have been a disaster or accountable.
I have known Samson for many years, and can attest to his dedication as a small business person and family member. He may have been approaching the disaster stage in his first position as a young councilor many years ago, but I have watched him mature into the person he is now. He and Dan Boyd have been the councilors who have not been afraid to speak up so, have at it Samson and good for you.

Up 55 Down 13

Adam Johnson on Mar 5, 2021 at 3:38 pm

I won't lie, I like Patti but I think your comment below was not necessary. I don't know you well, I did like your Facebook page when you announced but my first thought reading your comment was, this is all about you and not about the people if you have this "look at me" mentality. It doesn't matter who announced first, especially if you didn't put out a press release. What matters is, what the people of Whitehorse think come voting day.

I think it is good for Hartland to put his name forward. Succession planning has never been a Government strong suit. If we look at other countries, people move up the ranks to become a leader, instead of just anyone throwing their name in to be the Premier or MP. I know he has run for MLA in the past but starting low and working your way up is good. You see how things operate on various different levels. Similar can be said for cashiers who become managers overtime or nurses who start as care aid and physicians who start off as nurses.

Up 22 Down 12

Interesting on Mar 5, 2021 at 3:23 pm

First off, I fully agree with J2. Clean air in Riverdale is pretty much non-existent during the winter months. Mayoral candidates, what will you do about air quality in Riverdale during the winter months? Furthermore, Mayoral candidates, what is your plan regarding the traffic congestion in Riverdale? Please don’t use the current mayor’s dumbass answer of take the bus. That answer just shows how inept he is. What are your plans for an alternate entry and exit to and from Riverdale? Let’s see which candidate will actually have some backbone and do something and hopefully not be a liar!!

Up 27 Down 29

Wes on Mar 5, 2021 at 12:09 pm

"...he said his fierce commitment to family and small business in the territory has consistently guided his career path."
Fierce must have a different definition in the Hartland dictionary.

Up 52 Down 8

Crunch on Mar 5, 2021 at 7:55 am

There is quite a large iceberg drifting towards the ratepayers of Whitehorse. You'll notice that the individual who has had the most to do with the coming problems is bailing ship and off on a fresh agenda.

Up 12 Down 35

J2 on Mar 4, 2021 at 8:01 pm

Cleanest air in the world? Not in Riverdale during the winter, especially if there's an inversion. Typical of his comments on various issues.

Up 34 Down 37

Curious Yukoner on Mar 4, 2021 at 6:46 pm

Nothing against Samson... except the mistruths from some years ago. I would rather Dan Boyd put his name forward. He was born and raised here... .has a clean record in terms of career and life in the Yukon. He was a respected public servant at a senior level for several years. He seems to be the councilor that asks the right questions regarding fiscal management.... Run for Mayor Dan!!

Up 30 Down 17

drum on Mar 4, 2021 at 4:48 pm

You have my vote.

Up 36 Down 20

Matthew on Mar 4, 2021 at 4:00 pm

Finally! Someone with some integrity! Gets my vote for sure.

Up 48 Down 45

Patti Balsillie on Mar 4, 2021 at 3:33 pm

While I congratulate Samson on his announcement, I am happy to clarify that on January 31, I had announced my intention run for Mayor of Whitehorse through social media and with a Facebook page. I look forward to the process and wish you Samson Congratulations on your announcement - all my best
Patti B

Up 26 Down 16

Tater on Mar 4, 2021 at 2:56 pm

GREAT NEWS! You will have our vote!

Up 29 Down 20

Wilf Carter on Mar 4, 2021 at 2:49 pm

Great move - lots of experience in municipal service, Yukon government and private sector.

Up 89 Down 34

SH on Mar 4, 2021 at 1:45 pm

You'd make a fantastic mayor, Samson. You have my vote.

Up 83 Down 28

Congrats on Mar 4, 2021 at 1:32 pm

Between the three candidates that are there now, I think he's the best pick. I'm fed up with the conflict of interest. We get to deal with someone who sits on Selkirk First Nation. We get to deal with the Yessab director or someone who sits on the board. We get to deal with a "Liberal" in a box who basically spent his time as mayor padding his resume and handshaking (very nice guy nonetheless).

But it's nice to see a candidate actually put their history out there. To find out what the other mayoral candidates conflicts are, you gotta dig pretty far.

Not a fan of backroom politics.

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