Whitehorse Daily Star

Ex-mayor begins his next career

Former Whitehorse mayor Ernie Bourassa has a new job with the Yukon Chamber of Commerce.

By Whitehorse Star on January 11, 2007

Former Whitehorse mayor Ernie Bourassa has a new job with the Yukon Chamber of Commerce.

Bourassa said in an interview Thursday he has accepted the position on the executive of the territory's chamber.

'I've been offered and I have accepted the position of president and CEO of the Yukon Chamber of Commerce,' Bourassa said.

Bourassa was the mayor of Whitehorse for two three-year terms until he was defeated by current Mayor Bev Buckway in last October's municipal election.

Bourassa replaces Sandy Babcock, who has accepted a position with the Yukon government.

He said he took his new job because he feels it will enable him to work on a number of issues he undertook while mayor.

'Certainly, I'll be looking at some of the same things I did while I was mayor, like economic development,' Bourassa said.

Other issues, he added, include attracting investment to the territory and the shortage of labour being felt by Yukon employers.

Rob McIntyre, the chamber's board chair, said this morning Bourassa was chosen from 11 candidates who applied for the position.

'We shortlisted that number down and came up with Bourassa as the top guy. He was just the perfect candidate,' McIntyre said.

Bourassa's experience in running his own insurance business, mayor of Whitehorse and vice-president of the Association of Yukon Communities, McIntyre added, give him a wealth of experience to deal with chamber issues.

'He understands how the various levels of government work. He has a good understanding of the issues,' he said.

McIntyre said he was quite pleased with the performance of Babcock.

'Sandy's performance was just exemplary in the eight years she was there. We are happy that there are good things ahead for Sandy.'

McIntyre said he sees a number of things ahead the chamber will have to address. They include issues around economic and infrastructure development, business regulations, land disposition, labour and government regulation.

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