Whitehorse Daily Star

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Betty Irwin

Irwin is third councillor to announce plans

Betty Irwin says she’s ready to continue her work as a city councillor,

By Stephanie Waddell on September 4, 2018

Betty Irwin says she’s ready to continue her work as a city councillor, announcing this morning her plans to seek re-election in the Oct. 18 municipal vote.

“I enjoy being on council,” Irwin said.

She highlighted her plans, if re-elected, to “continue to advocate for laws, policies and plans which will meet the desires and needs of all the citizens and be a part of one team with a common goal of building and maintaining the best place in the world in which to live.”

Irwin said she had been considering whether to seek another term on council for several months, deciding about a week ago that she would pursue a fourth term.

While she’s excited at the prospect of another term on council, she said, running for mayor never crossed her mind.

She noted the mayor’s role often involves a lot more of the publicity - being the face of the city – than that of a councillor. It’s also a much busier schedule that involves showing up for many events over the course of a week.

Irwin said she enjoys the work of a councillor and wants to continue that.

“I believe that city council has three top jobs: (1) shaping and re-shaping the city into being the kind of city in which citizens want to live, play and work; (2) delivering quality public services at affordable prices; and (3) making the financial decisions which will accomplish the first two,” she noted.

“Everything else is just a subset of those three objectives.”

While individual issues may fall under those three major jobs of council, Irwin said she’s expecting the update of the city’s Official Community Plan will be a major issue for the next council. That will deal with planning for land development into the future.

Looking further at land development, she pointed out the continued population growth in Whitehorse. The next council will also likely have to look at where residential development will happen after Whistle Bend is fully built out.

Irwin said she believes that needs to happen as close to the city centre as possible. That would allow for new residential sites to tie in to existing city services – utilities, transit and the like.

The city’s relationship with local First Nations has grown significantly over the last three years, she noted. It’s important for the city to continue work with First Nations as development of the city continue in facilitating housing, she believes.

Looking back over the last three years, Irwin said a lot of work has been done toward planning for the future of the city – downtown and Marwell plans, a transit master plan and a study looking at traffic demand, among others.

“We’ve achieved a lot of (planning),” Irwin commented. The documents give city administration a “road map” on how to move forward on those matters in the coming years, she added.

Most important for the new council, Irwin said, is coming up with its strategic plan which gives management “their marching orders” over the three-year term.

She pointed out that going into the next term, each council member will bring forward his or her own issues of concern. It’s through the strategic planning exercise that council decides where its overall focus will be.

“Council’s going to have to work together,” Irwin said, noting from her own experience that the effort involves compromise by members.

The work of council is not always easy, she stressed.

“Council must make sometimes very hard decisions on how and where to allocate limited resources but that is what they are elected to do – set policies and create visions and plans which they see will benefit the community as a whole,” she said.

Along with her work as a city councillor, Irwin highlighted her experience as an inter-provincially certified tradesperson and one of the founding members of Yukon Women In Trades. She worked for government and as a business owner.

Irwin has also held a number of volunteer roles, which currently include being a director with the Humane Society Yukon and the Golden Age Society.

In 2015, Irwin placed third of 23 councillor candidates with 2,457 votes.

She is the latest to announce her plans to run for council with incumbents Samson Hartland and Roslyn Woodcock also seeking re-election.

Also planning to run for councillor are former councillors Mike Gladish and Jan Stick, former Yukon Party MLA David Laxton and local residents Andrew Smith, Steve Roddick and Laura Cabott.

Mayor Dan Curtis is also seeking re-election, challenged by Rick Karp and Wilf Carter.

Nominations will close at noon Sept. 27.

Comments (19)

Up 2 Down 2

Johnson on Sep 10, 2018 at 2:03 pm

I for one am sick of candidates promising better services and lower taxes.
We all want more for less and it's a damn fantasy. Betty being the sensible councilor she is, is one of the few who hasn't talked about tax cuts.

We already pay a very low rate of property tax, as little as 25% of similar sized municipalities. Unless you want to talk about closing the CGC and ending curbside garbage pick up, the city needs revenue to operate.

Thank you for your sensible service Betty.

Up 3 Down 1

Josey Wales on Sep 9, 2018 at 3:58 pm

Gee again Harvey....seems your focus needs a calibration, allow me respectfully?
Not certain why the axe grind with Doug, other than dissent triggers you...dunno?
That said, issues with your facts.
I know not anything of him other than his input, so I have no dog in the fight. I do know that this charade we call home up here, this socialist mecca, Ponzi scheme...is funded by everyone in Canada that pays taxes.
So from a more broad focus, one should look at his participation here as a shareholder.
Our entire community of Whitehorse and the rest of the Territory is more like a theme park, Disney for authority zealots, social constructs and cultural supremacists more accurately. We have gobs of folks living in this engineered delusion that in “a” real world would be unsustainable.....completely so.
Folks from afar can also participate in community discourse, I know nothing of your work either Harvey. But your post suggests a gatekeeper role. I open gates.
I may never fly to Toronto, but I hope the city has Faith in their hall soon.
See what I did there...eh?

Up 6 Down 2

Josey Wales on Sep 8, 2018 at 9:04 am

Not a fan, paid her dues in regards to town violence I recognize.
That said....”where’s the beef”, rings in my ears.
Much like Wendy’s...we too need a new spokespeople.
I know that last one does not rooolll off the tongue very well.
Apparently spokesmen, says mister fancy socks...is sexist.

Try federal politics you could be red teams, minister of pandering, or be appointed in charge of daily disingenuous double speak.
You could take the mayor with you, and with DDDS in your portfolio and on your favourite team... you would have a huge staff.
A huge staff to not be responsible for, kinda like your time here suggests.

Up 8 Down 1

Harvey on Sep 8, 2018 at 4:37 am

Well Doug Ryder (Fisher) is all over these articles and he has a view from his mom's basement in Toronto. He's a writer/consultant but I'm not aware of any of his work. He is comfortable with being a virtual citizen of Whitehorse with no investment whatsoever. And besides that the Leafs still suck and always will.

Up 3 Down 2

Dougie on Sep 8, 2018 at 4:30 am

@Junio---- You campaigned heavily against the Liberals last election and they won by the widest margin ever, seven thousand votes. Keep up the good work and thank you.

Up 11 Down 1

FOS on Sep 7, 2018 at 4:37 pm

Samson does live in city limits. Get it right and then sit and type!

Up 11 Down 2

Jayne W on Sep 7, 2018 at 4:14 pm

@ Patti Eyre, so is Country Res. not part of the City of Whitehorse and anyone in these areas should not run for council? Pretty sure I live in CR and pay City taxes, like or not we are part of the City of Whitehorse. If anything it is nice to have someone on Council that lives in these areas not just right in the middle of the City.

Up 8 Down 12

Patti Eyre on Sep 7, 2018 at 3:23 pm

So neither Samson or Betty actually live in the City of Whitehorse. There should be a residential requirement to be subject to the decisions you make as a councillor. I will vote for someone who lives in the city, not someone who doesn't.

Up 7 Down 10

Jayne W on Sep 7, 2018 at 2:25 pm

I see there is some discussion on the raise our elected officials voted on. I am not a fan of this present council at all (except for a few) and hope all new faces will appear after the election. BUT......the mayor's position is a full time job (and then some) just making over 100K. What educated, motivated, well spoken, professional would do it for anything less than that?

Up 14 Down 4

Juniper Jackson on Sep 6, 2018 at 11:56 pm

Although party politics should not enter into municipal elections, Mayor Dan has made no secret that he is Liberal, and his councils have spent like Liberals driving the city so far into debt that with so few tax payers, I don't see how we can ever dig our way out.. the next council, one could hope, will be fiscally more responsible in dispensing tax payer money and not make so many trips to the bank to borrow more. Mayor Dan also gave himself OVER $100,000 dollars a year, plus perks..and the council was only too happy to vote themselves in a lot more money.. I hope we get a complete turnover.

Up 17 Down 2

Tony Baer on Sep 6, 2018 at 8:17 pm

You remember that outrageous raise you voted for yourself. Your not going to see it.

Up 18 Down 1

Ilove Parks on Sep 5, 2018 at 7:28 pm

Betty does represent us hapless civic taxpayers on occasion.

If she does not get reelected maybe she can open a pot store.

Up 20 Down 1

drum on Sep 5, 2018 at 5:30 pm

Time for change - move on Betty.

Up 26 Down 1

Ginger Johnson on Sep 5, 2018 at 3:27 pm

There's something very wrong with a city that can't repaint the crosswalks in the spring, plow the sidewalks in the winter, enforce basic traffic laws and reduce recurring theft and vandalism.

The City of Whitehorse needs a MAJOR change in government.

Up 27 Down 5

Darrell Drugstore's smartest neighbour on Sep 4, 2018 at 10:29 pm

NOPE - too in the Curtis gang.
Votes to spend too much money too often on self-interest groups.
Doesn't seem the least bit interested in improving the day-to-day running of this city - traffic / infrastructure maintenance / crime all an ever worsening mess.

Mayor and entire City Council need to be replaced IMHO - NEW BLOOD PLEASE

Up 10 Down 3

Edwin dehart on Sep 4, 2018 at 8:55 pm

I think being there for the people is great and stronger financial decisions that are beneficial for everyone is an asset.

Up 26 Down 3

Nope on Sep 4, 2018 at 7:09 pm

No thanks.

Up 29 Down 2

MIke M on Sep 4, 2018 at 4:26 pm

After Irwin's veiled 'threat' that an infill lot could become a 'sex shop' *GASP* if COW didn't rezone a commercial lot it is apparent she is getting a bit 'punchy'.

Time to sail off into the sunset Betty.

Up 42 Down 8

Need Change on Sep 4, 2018 at 3:49 pm

Sorry Betty nothing against you but this current council and Mayor needs a major overhaul time to vote for someone new.

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