Whitehorse Daily Star

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Photo by Vince Fedoroff

READY TO ASSUME PUBLIC OFFICE – Listening to people, and more openness at city hall, are two things Rick Karp would concentrate on if he’s elected mayor Oct. 18. The former president of the Whitehorse Chamber of Commerce is seen during this morn- ing’s formal announcement of his candidacy.

‘Our city is in good shape’: candidate

As Rick Karp’s role as president of the Whitehorse Chamber of Commerce comes to a close, he’s gearing up for another role he hopes Whitehorse voters will elect him to: that of mayor.

By Stephanie Waddell on July 26, 2018

As Rick Karp’s role as president of the Whitehorse Chamber of Commerce comes to a close, he’s gearing up for another role he hopes Whitehorse voters will elect him to: that of mayor.

This morning, Karp formally announced his long-rumoured candidacy in the Oct. 18 municipal election, marking his second run at the mayoralty.

“I want to bring all of my energy and experience to help lead the city into the future,” he told reporters and supporters who gathered outside the chamber’s building downtown for the announcement.

In 2012, Karp placed second (with 1,100 votes) among five mayoral candidates. Current Mayor Dan Curtis was elected to his first term in office that year, with 2,375 votes.

While Karp wasn’t successful in his 2012 run, he noted today that it was just days before the vote that he realized his wife, Joy, who was seriously ill, would need more care.

In the years since, he became her caregiver while remaining in his role at the chamber.

Joy died last September. Earlier this year, Karp decided he would end his career at the chamber, believing it’s time for new leadership there. He announced his plans to retire from the chamber earlier this year, with his last day there being Tuesday.

Now is the right time for him to seek the mayoralty and work toward leading the city, he said.

He recalled his 32 years in the city, going back to when he and Joy arrived from Ontario as the owners of the first local McDonald’s franchise on Fourth Avenue.

That gave them the chance to support many community initiatives. They included making the Yukon Arts Centre wheelchair-accessible, introducing the Special Olympics dinner auction to the city and more.

In his 14 years at the chamber, Karp has dealt with both the city and territory on numerous issues that impact the local business community.

“I am proud to be part of our community,” he said.

Among the issues the chamber has dealt with the city on are housing and lot development, affordable accommodation, economic development, transit, snow removal, property and business taxes and tourism.

“I helped develop a working relationship with the city, organizing quarterly meetings between the chamber board, council and senior management,” he said.

“I have presented at city council meetings many times through the years representing the business community, and have worked with many of the senior staff at the city. We have developed an excellent working relationship.”

In stressing the importance of working together and openness at the city, Karp recalled something his wife often said: “Working together works.”

Highlighting his pride in the community, he commented that Whitehorse has a lot going for it.

However, it needs to be prepared for more expansion, with the Conference Board of Canada predicting a growth rate of about six per cent annually for the coming years.

“Let me be clear: our city is in good shape,” Karp said. “We live in Whitehorse and, quite honestly, I wouldn’t be anywhere else.”

Karp then outlined 11 areas he would focus on “for making us even stronger than we are now” and preparing for the coming years.

Among them would be:

• listening to people in the community and finding out what they see as the primary issues that need attention;

• resolving the affordable housing issue;

• working with the territory to develop a two-year supply of lots;

• building on the relationship and work already underway with the Kwanlin Dün First Nation and Ta’an Kwäch’än Council through initiatives like Housing First, and Safe At Home along with others that may develop in the future;

• resolving homelessness;

• downtown parking issues;

• reviewing the budget process, including reinstating the financial advisory committee, which allowed groups like the chamber and others more input into the process;

• more openness; and

• building on existing positive relationships with partners and stakeholders in looking at how to keep the city growing.

He then made a pledge “to work with the people, businesses, and governments and continue to make Whitehorse the best place to live and work in Canada.”

Karp is the third candidate to announce his plans to seek the mayoralty.

Curtis told the Star long ago he plans to seek a third term, while Wilf Carter, who unsuccessfully sought the seat in the 2015 vote, has also publicly stated he is making a second bid for the mayor’s chair.

For the councillors’ seats, only incumbent Roslyn Woodcock and former councillor Mike Gladish have confirmed their candidacies for October.

Comments (54)

Up 1 Down 1

Scott Etches on Aug 27, 2018 at 3:08 pm

I have an interest in better understanding your prioritizing a two year supply of building lots. It would seem prudent to look to re-development and densification of existing lots, which use existing infrastructure, rather than asking the current tax base to flip the bill upfront to extend services to new areas (unless you have a plan to restructure Development Cost Charges). Creating more suburban sprawl will only add to the parking concerns of the downtown area while placing demands on transit to extend services to areas without the critical mass to be cost effective. Increasing the density of residents in the downtown core will facilitate business growth in that area as consumers will be within arms reach. Though challenges arise when trying to balance the historical nature cherished by Whitehorse residents and new development. Benefits include: reduced environmental impact, reduction of infrastructure costs to the taxpayer, prioritizing increased service to current transit users rather than spreading thin. Faster response of fire and police services and the ability to create an integrated community over the proliferation of gated-like communities in isolation.

Up 2 Down 0

SKC on Aug 15, 2018 at 6:24 pm

Wilf will you please stop. Just STOP.

Up 4 Down 4

ella r on Aug 2, 2018 at 10:01 pm

Vote for Rick Karp!!!!
You have my vote all the way!

Up 1 Down 2

Conscience on Aug 2, 2018 at 7:14 am

Wilf comes a time in a man's life when he has to decide to do the right thing for the greater good of the many. Your vast leadership skills are in more demand as a councillor doing valuable committee work and lighting the way for other committee members.

Up 8 Down 1

Teslin Resident on Aug 1, 2018 at 4:17 pm

Wilf there are still a lot of people living in Teslin who remember you and what you didn’t do.

Up 7 Down 0

north_of_60 on Aug 1, 2018 at 4:15 pm

A smart person would stop digging when they realize the hole they're in is only getting deeper.

Up 0 Down 5

Wilf Carter on Aug 1, 2018 at 3:53 pm

Business ask yourself what has the City done for you to help you be more successful, profitable, expand and employ more employees? Waste management is so far out of control. What is one possible solution? Because we are a small population base we need to have proper production management of our systems. That means YTG take over all waste management in the Yukon at a more cost effective manner instead of communities running their own program. Controlled management under one group is more cost effective and makes common sense. Instead of having ten communities running one program have one running it all.

Up 1 Down 1

Wilf Carter on Aug 1, 2018 at 3:46 pm

Another statement like the city is in good shape has no substance to every day working folks. Ask business how they like the increase in fees on their business and their homes last year of over %5 on each.

Up 1 Down 8

Wilf Carter on Aug 1, 2018 at 3:37 pm

I work on solutions not talk. Solutions like cooperative housing which reduces the cost of housing by 15% or more. Banks using that 15% savings as down payment on a house. I have done this before. Real cost of land development not $200,000 a lot which drives housing prices through the roof. Residents we need experience not talk!

Up 3 Down 2

Dean LaRue on Aug 1, 2018 at 3:35 pm

Every vote for Wilf Carter will increase the probability that Dan Curtis gets a third term as Mayor.

I for one would rather have Curtis NOT enjoy the huge and unjustified raise that he gave himself a few months ago.

Up 6 Down 0

Susanne Baumann on Aug 1, 2018 at 3:33 pm

@ Wilf Carter - With all respect, but should you not slowly starting with your campaign and coming up with solutions, instead of commenting every comment in this paper.

I know you have done every job on this earth and you have the most experience of all people in Whitehorse - so please come up with solutions when you are Mayor and stop pointing out your greatness in every piece of writing.

Up 0 Down 1

Wilf Carter on Aug 1, 2018 at 3:32 pm

Streets, roads, infrastructure as a whole. Water mains going apart. Sewage main almost causing the worst environmental problem in Yukon history. Holes in roads all over the place and taking out front ends of auto's. Unsafe 50 year old Alaska Highway through Whitehorse which will see more traffic on it through Whitehorse with world markets changing and demand for more minerals from the Yukon. Housing is a big issue but neither candidates really understand the issue because the Federal Government is supposed to supply Yukoners money for housing.
Now we have more Yukoners being audited by the Federal Gov. than anywhere else in Canada especially Whitehorse.

Up 4 Down 19

Wilf Carter on Aug 1, 2018 at 3:21 pm

Wow, Rick and his supporters do what they do to try to discredit people that challenge them. Nothing changes but the future will tell. Why are some people that support Rick so defensive and negative or is that their style? I come from a positive and respectful understanding of all peoples views no matter who you are. No one is 100% right when I read the response here just opinions. To bad we can't have a real election but it has already gone into the po pile.

Up 21 Down 3

Bob Ablanalp on Aug 1, 2018 at 10:53 am

Wilf Carter = YAWN !

Nobody asked for your resume in a Rick Karp article.

Up 21 Down 3

Seriously? on Aug 1, 2018 at 7:18 am

@ Wilf Carter....you developed variance reporting in the Yukon? Are you seriously taking credit for this? Really? Why don't you have any of those jobs anymore?

Up 20 Down 3

adam smith on Jul 31, 2018 at 11:35 pm

I think Wilf Carter should stop trolling. Please stop, I am so tired of you trying to get the last word in. How about you focus on your platform? Other than having all the answers WHAT ARE YOU ARE GOING TO DO?

Up 2 Down 20

Joe on Jul 31, 2018 at 7:48 pm

I am voting for Wilf. All my buds are voting for Wilf.

Up 6 Down 20

Wilf Carter on Jul 31, 2018 at 4:40 pm

Rick, one question that I have been asked by a lot of Whitehorse residents is how do you know the City is in good shape? Have you analyzed the operations of the City and its capital spending?
I tried to get variance statement from them I could not get copies.
Variance statement are the actual budget at the beginning of the year and what was actual at the end of the year by line item. I developed this system many years ago in the Yukon so the tax payers could see where their money is going at any time.
Will you make budgeting public?
What is your thoughts on housing and how to move forward?
How will you as our city leader set priorities for capital spending because now there is no system in place.
What will you do to make sure infrastructure maintenance program is in place because it has been failing a part with no real program in place according to the last City Manager when I spoke to her.
Finally what are you going to do with all the firing, people on leave, quitting or been pushed out in management over the last six years?

Up 7 Down 15

Wilf Carter on Jul 31, 2018 at 4:29 pm

Now that we have a race with candidates with strong backing, may the best person win. if there's more out there thinking on running come forward and please step up. City needs a strong leader not a mayor to guide it into the future. Mayor is just a title not leadership.

Up 7 Down 19

Wilf Carter on Jul 31, 2018 at 4:25 pm

Education - two years certificate in Architectural Drafting from Vocational School on the east coast. Attended St Francis Xavier University studying business. Transferred to Saint Mary's U in Halifax studying business and some engineering in production management like a pert system. Studied engineering at the University of Alberta.
I was asked by a lot of Whitehorse residents to put my background out there so people know who I am and what I have as a background. Thanks for Whitehorse for supporting candidates and getting the facts about people and needs of residents of Whitehorse. My background stands for itself.

Up 6 Down 18

Wilf Carter on Jul 31, 2018 at 4:18 pm

Other experience - In Alberta as project manager, managing land development, different types of housing including social, office towers, shopping centers, in Canada and US. Worked for companies in housing and land development from Iran. Worked with Saudi's on international development in owning part of our food production like wheat to export back to the Middle East and other products of interest. So my experience is rounded and in depth.

Up 5 Down 18

Wilf Carter on Jul 31, 2018 at 4:13 pm

OK people I will put my back ground out there: My experience in the Yukon far as governments go:
> Northwestel as manager of Revenue Requirements which at that time was owned by the Federal Government and sold to BCE.
Then Chief Administrative Officer for the Village of Teslin where I ran Villages operations and capital budgets. When there, the community decided through a public strategic planning process to build up old and new infrastructure.
I facilitated the interest of the community, not mine like what is been done in Whitehorse. We raised a lot of money and the community did their own thing.
Of any of the rural communities in the Yukon they have best infrastructure in the Yukon, It is we in Teslin not I. The partnership between First Nations people in the community and people outside the community all supported the change. Take a drive and see what they have done.
In this position I worked on many federal and Yukon government programs and policies including housing infrastructure, municipal finance by-laws, local hire programs, economic development, waste management on and on.
This is why when I write something in the paper I have the experience to back it up. I worked with all the municipal communities in the Yukon.
Next Champagne and Aishihik First Nations as director of housing, municipal properties and worked all First Nations communities in the Yukon. First Nations do a lot of good work but need more experience
Last, senior business development adviser for Department of Economic Development of Yukon Government and worked with infrastructure, mining, oil and gas etc. Handed out money, which could have been more cost effectively handled for more benefit. I know a lot of the mining company people, worked with Alaska on Economic development like energy and transportation.

Up 17 Down 2

Joe on Jul 31, 2018 at 3:26 pm

The city is not in good shape, the territory is not in good shape. We live from federal handouts and a whole bunch of people enjoy free rides. Way too much bureaucracy, way too much self proclaimed " I was here first" and way too much burden placed on those of us who pay 50% or more taxes. It is not in good shape.

Up 19 Down 1

ralpH on Jul 31, 2018 at 9:20 am

@north_of_60 work camps are the same as they have in the states. Problem with today’s society is there are too many enjoying life on the public nickel. Any excuse to not have to work. Just look around the city and many of them know nothing more than taking advantage of a free ride. Shut off the tap.

Up 10 Down 12

Politico on Jul 30, 2018 at 2:16 pm

This is hysterical. All these posters saying what bad shape the city is in and Rick, the man touted to clean up this supposed mess, says the city is in good shape. Maybe he's seeing something other people are missing, like a mayor and council that's done a decent job!

Up 18 Down 3

Bandit on Jul 30, 2018 at 9:01 am

@ Jayne W & @ Seriously.
FYI - The Criminal Code of Canada
175(1) (ii) already covers Drunk in public, no By-law required, unfortunately that is one reason our RCMP can't do their job efficiently, because they are busy hauling these people off the streets and housing them up the hill for 12 hrs.

Up 8 Down 23

Wilf Carter on Jul 29, 2018 at 7:16 pm

So for you people who don't know me and make claims about me and my background, I will give you a clear understanding of who I am, where I come from, my family and my education and experience. You need to know your facts about a person before speaking because in my world you do not have a real clue in managing a municipality. Rick is a well meaning person like me.

Up 16 Down 1

Jayne W on Jul 28, 2018 at 8:36 pm

@Seriously your funny. But do tell how do you think Council can fix the public drunkenness with a by law, think long and hard how you picture it and the outcome and how the process would work. I would love a day that our City does not have that disease in it. Use logic and guess what, I am able to comprehend a good argument. As for running for mayor, with the smoke and mirrors we all use on this comment section half of us could be on council already.

Up 18 Down 4

Darrell Drugstore's smartest neighbour on Jul 28, 2018 at 3:00 pm

Hugh Mungus
"Carter: Not a chance, this guy seems to have done everything,
but nothing well. "

Up 16 Down 5

Gordon of Riverdale on Jul 28, 2018 at 1:34 pm

"downtown parking issues"
How about traffic insanity on Second and Fourth Avenues because there is no enforcement of basic traffic laws?
How about rampant crime and vandalism in downtown because there is no overnight police presence?
Yet another clueless one with no interest in running this broken city better.


Up 26 Down 9

ProScience Greenie on Jul 28, 2018 at 11:00 am

Curtis has to go. No doubt about that. All feel good fluff, no substance and all at a high cost to taxpayers.
Carter, talks too much about himself all the time. Don't need that. Means well but he should step down. Make a great council member though.

Karp, nice guy for sure but all about the Chamber of Commerce and a low minimum wage to support an endless TFW workforce. CoW needs to greatly curb waste, spending and graft but 'running it like a business' will just shift all that into different pockets. Not good.

However, until a smart person that can represent all citizens steps forward Karp might be the lesser evil.

What is badly needed, and Carter should push this, is recall legislation for mayor and council. They need to know who they work for and that there is a price to pay if they don't represent all citizens.

It goes without saying that almost every council member needs the boot for poorly representing voters.

Up 25 Down 6

yukoner on Jul 28, 2018 at 9:30 am

What is it with retire-age men running for mayor in this city? Go fishing. When is Mandeep announcing his run, surely he will, no?

P.S. at Wilf we know that you have done it all and know it all and your linked-in backs it up. Well, my linked-in says I was the king of Sheba!

Up 7 Down 3

Seriously? on Jul 28, 2018 at 9:14 am

@ Jayne W.....sounds like YOU should be running for mayor!

Up 17 Down 11

Allan Foster on Jul 27, 2018 at 9:05 pm

Tara McCarthy for City Council (and eventually Mayor)
Joe Sparling for Mayor NOW


Up 16 Down 6

north_of_60 on Jul 27, 2018 at 6:32 pm

Just about the only effective way to address public intoxication is to trap them and relocate them just like we do with problem bears. A 'dry' remote bush camp would do.

Up 19 Down 12

Resident on Jul 27, 2018 at 2:33 pm

Rick liked to play official opposition, it would be interesting to see what he will do when he's actually responsible for these decisions.

The chamber of commerce likes to advocate to council and then disappear when the public gets mad. Remember the logo rebranding? That was pushed by the chamber to promote economic development.

Ultimately, government cannot be run like a business. Municipal governments fund many things that make no business sense. Businesses are only concerned with their own bottom line, municipalities have to be concerned about everyone's bottom line. Transit may cost the city itself money, yet have a net positive benefit to the community.

Up 27 Down 7

Jayne W on Jul 27, 2018 at 1:35 pm

@seriously, while I applaud your idea to make it a crime to be drunk in public, let's see the bigger picture. The by law is in place.......now I see minimum 20 drunk people a day, they all get a ticket. I bet if I drove to a few more hot spots I could find another 20. Guess what, they can't pay their fines, they will also be the people I see the next day drunk in public. Okay, now what do you do, they will never pay their tickets. Do you house these people in the jail for not paying, likely not as I think the jail would be over crowded. So that brings me to the question how do you think a bylaw would help? @Seriously, I am sure Mayor Curtis and the present council would prevent public intoxication if they could.

Up 36 Down 8

Seriously? on Jul 27, 2018 at 12:11 pm

Our city is in good shape? Really? Drunks everywhere, no housing, a transit system that doesn't meet the needs of one of the largest subdivisions in town, traffic out of control, garbage everywhere you look....not the Whitehorse I'd like to see, that's for sure. What about all the drunks? Will you put in a bylaw that makes it a crime to be drunk in public?

Up 33 Down 12

Hugh Mungus on Jul 27, 2018 at 11:53 am

Curtis: No thanks. He has plunged us into insurmountable debt and that raise given to himself and council is unforgivable.

Carter: Not a chance, this guy seems to have done everything, but nothing well.

Karp: He has too narrow of a focus bulldozing business interests over those of tax payers.

???: We need a mayor with a well rounded background, diverse skill set and people champion, surely there is someone competent out there???

Up 7 Down 36

Wilf Carter on Jul 27, 2018 at 7:49 am

Great that Rick is running. He has a lot to offer to the City. So Rick we have to work together to make sure one of us becomes the mayor. It is interesting a lot of items he sees as important I ran on in the last election. Rick has visibility where I have been building mine over the years.
I have had a lot suggestions on the items he listed from residents.
It nice to be on the same page in thinking and approach to public office.
The difference between me and the other two candidates is I have the following:
Senior experience in municipal Yukon and First Nation governments in the Yukon and know the system of government.
I have many years experience in land development, housing, policy developing, managing the capital and operating budgets both in the public and private sector.

Up 30 Down 7

Josey Wales on Jul 27, 2018 at 7:16 am

Our city is in good shape eh?
Well seems like the new mayor will fit in perfect, as he too is outta touch.
Record homicides...epic traffic...epic infilling and polarization...epic unaccounted fiscal irresponsibility...epic and boy do I mean epic entitlements.
Yes rick, the city is in grrrrrrrreeeeat shape.
Wow, just really wow!
Are we allowed any public debating with the civic elites, or has there been a compelled speech bylaw drafted yet...in anticipation of potentially being held to account by mere peasants?

Up 22 Down 7

Clifford on Jul 26, 2018 at 9:31 pm

Okay Wilf thanks for coming out but we don't need a split vote so maybe apply your talents as a councillor?

Up 32 Down 6

Lost In the Yukon on Jul 26, 2018 at 6:34 pm

Dear YXY … you state "Why does that make him (or any other business person) qualified to be the mayor? " Did you apply the same metric when Curtis ran for Mayor? What made him qualified? According to his bio he was the "Director of Skills Canada-Yukon, and prior to that, as a realtor and service and supply representative for what is now Northern Industrial Sales (I think that is code for Sales Clerk)." Nothing in his background would say he was "qualified".

Up 27 Down 14

his record on Jul 26, 2018 at 6:27 pm

Remember: This is the guy who consistently opposes raising the minimum wage. I make a lot more than minimum wage but I'd be wary of him as mayor.

Up 22 Down 13

Jayne W on Jul 26, 2018 at 5:44 pm

Just another note to agree with @ Bandit. Totally right. The year Mr. Karp ran there were five candidates, three which would never win but still gathered votes. If only Mr. Curtis and Mr. Karp ran that year, I would say Mr. Karp would have won by quite a margin.

Up 14 Down 21

Living up north on Jul 26, 2018 at 5:23 pm

Vote Karp!!! He is the candidate who will be the best for Whitehorse.

Up 25 Down 15

Juniper Jackson on Jul 26, 2018 at 5:20 pm

This election for me will be more about voting people out than voting someone in.. no one could possibly be as bad a Mayor as Dan and no council as greedy as this one.. OVER $100,000 K a year for a Mayor.. paying the income tax for council? Tax hikes utility hikes..holy cow.. spending money like water..they must all be Liberals..

Wilf: You run for Mayor if you want to..it's not anyone's decision but yours.

Up 22 Down 13

Ilove Parks on Jul 26, 2018 at 5:01 pm

You have my vote Rick.

This city is being run into the ground. It's almost like council just does not get it and delights in making poor decisions some of which cost us 10s of million.
Let's have change and get back on the right path.

Up 15 Down 54

YXY on Jul 26, 2018 at 3:57 pm

Ok, he ran a franchise.
Why does that make him (or any other business person) qualified to be the mayor?
No, seriously.
Business and government are 180 degrees opposite and being good at one does not mean you will be good at the other.
Chamber of Commerce? Great experience......for business.
I'd rather see someone running who has at least some government experience.

Up 38 Down 20

Jayne W on Jul 26, 2018 at 3:56 pm

Thank you Mr. Karp. You got my vote! I don't even need to listen to your platform. All you need now is 6 strong Council Candidates to come forward and run (Boyd and Samson), and we might just have a Council that will represent the taxpayers.

Up 43 Down 12

north_of_60 on Jul 26, 2018 at 3:54 pm

Remember back in the 80s when colorful character Irwin Armstrong ran for Whitehorse Mayor in every election?


Up 44 Down 21

Lost In the Yukon on Jul 26, 2018 at 3:52 pm

Thank goodness a credible candidate has come forward. He has my vote. King Dan has been at the table way too long, time to go.

Up 50 Down 12

Bandit on Jul 26, 2018 at 3:30 pm

Good on you Rick. Good Luck. To Wilf Carter, please do not run, you will not win, the only thing you will accomplish is spoiling the vote. For every vote cast for you (and you will get a few) that essentially nullifies one vote for each of the other candidates. If you want to get involved do it by supporting some competent candidates.

Up 43 Down 19

Sam McGee on Jul 26, 2018 at 2:45 pm

You got my vote Rick! Anybody but Curtis.

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