Whitehorse Daily Star

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ATTUNED TO LOCAL CONCERNS – ‘I hear issues on an ongoing basis,’ says Eileen Melnychuk. She has announced plans to pursue a city council seat in the Oct. 18 election.

Race for council gains 13th candidate

As a volunteer with numerous community organizations, Eileen Melnychuk regularly hears about the local issues concerning residents.

By Stephanie Waddell on September 17, 2018

As a volunteer with numerous community organizations, Eileen Melnychuk regularly hears about the local issues concerning residents.

She has been involved with getting the new local thrift store up and running, has been on the board of her condo corporation, and has worked with the Victoria Faulkner Women’s Centre, among others.

“I hear issues on an ongoing basis,” she said in an interview Friday.

Listening to those issues at the grassroots level on a regular basis and – wanting to take action – is among the reasons Melnychuk has decided to get her name on the ballot for the Oct. 18 municipal election.

“I hear issues on an ongoing basis,” she told the Star, highlighting that she wants to deal with those grassroots issues.

“This election is really critical,” Melnychuk said. “There’s going to be some tough decisions.”

With the city set to review its Official Community Plan – a guiding document – in the coming year, Melnychuk pointed out that land development will be a huge issue.

The city is on the cusp of major growth, and future development needs to be planned responsibly, she said.

She went on to point out there’s very limited space to grow, and it’s important to balance the lifestyle Whitehorse residents enjoy with continued growth.

Of major importance for Melnychuk is “affordable living.”

She pointed out the high cost of housing – whether it be purchasing a home or renting – is having an impact.

Officials in the tourism industry have already publicly noted they’re having issues in finding a place to live.

Melnychuk knows of at least one former Yukoner who would like to move back to the territory but can’t afford the high cost of living here.

The candidate also pointed to the need to keep waste out of the landfill.

As it stands, she said, the life of the landfill is reaching an end (the city’s website states the current estimate gives it about another 39 years).

The city will then have to spend millions of dollars to decommission the current site and millions more to open a new site.

If the city can extend the life of the landfill, Melnychuk argues, it can spend that money elsewhere.

“We need to make this great life we have here sustainable,” she said.

Traffic is another major concern Melnychuk said she’s hearing about whenever she’s talking to voters.

A number of issues involve traffic conflicts between vehicles and cyclists, she noted, with many feeling like they’re forced to deal with vehicular traffic problems.

The city has numerous bike paths and trails in many areas of town, Melnychuk noted.

Given the ever-changing population in the city, she said, there may need to be a greater emphasis on educating residents of the trail and path network around the city.

Melnychuk is no stranger to election campaigns, having sought the Porter Creek North seat in the legislature under the Liberal Party banner in 2016. The Yukon Party’s Geraldine Van Bibber was ultimately elected.

Melnychuk also sought the Yukon Party nomination in Takhini-Kopper King in 2011, but was defeated by Samson Hartland (now a city councillor seeking reelection).

She emphasized her commitment now to the city, noting that should she be elected as a councillor next month, she would not run in a territorial election during her term. Like the next municipal election, the next territorial vote is scheduled for 2021.

Melnychuk stressed that she is excited to work on those grassroots issues that come up at the municipal level.

Campaigning to serve at the civic level is quite different than at the territorial level, given the shorter campaign period and the challenge of having to reach everyone she can in the city over a smaller area that comes with a territorial riding in the city.

She also pointed out running for city council is so much more of an individual effort than a territorial campaign where there’s a political party behind the campaign.

Melnychuk is the 13th candidate to announce plans to seek one of the six positions for councillor in the Oct. 18 vote.

The others are incumbents Hartland, Roslyn Woodcock, Betty Irwin and Dan Boyd, as well as former councillor and former NDP MLA Jan Stick, ex-councillor Mike Gladish, former Yukon Party MLA David Laxton, and community members Oshea Jephson, Laura Cabott, Steve Roddick, Cory Adams and Andrew Smith.

Mayor Dan Curtis is pursuing a third term, with Rick Karp and Wilf Carter also seeking the mayoralty.

Nominations close at noon on Sept. 27.

Comments (22)

Up 3 Down 0

Scott Etches on Oct 11, 2018 at 5:00 pm

I am running in an election against Eileen. I should support the disparaging comments against her. I do not. Canada should not have a government based on Trump-like haters. Are we not better?

Up 5 Down 11

Ilove Parks on Sep 20, 2018 at 6:36 pm

Wilf, please keep commenting and please note your point of view is appreciated.

Sometimes elections are a popularity contest without substance so it's nice to know where you stand on civic issues.

Up 5 Down 14

Wilf Carter on Sep 19, 2018 at 7:11 pm

Do residents of Whitehorse want the same type of government in Whitehorse or a government that supports the residents of Whitehorse?

Up 6 Down 5

Ilove Parks on Sep 19, 2018 at 3:03 pm

Wilf, that gas tax money is mainly used to build paved trails for skidoos and ATVs.

The City wants residents to get out and away from populated areas and to get between the many areas within the City. If you use motorized recreational vehicles this would make sense to you and it's very cost effective. The gas tax money is wisely spent by mayor and council.

We will always have potholes and poor roads in town and the main reason is lack of upkeep and funding but again, it's important to provide paved trails for motorized recreation within the city. Even tho there are out and away trails most trail use is done within the city so the gas tax money is saving the environment outside the city. I think that was planned all along.

I think the plan all along was to create a haven for rec vehicles in the city to reduce the impact on outside areas, The city is already developed so planning wants to keep negative impacts close to home.

Wilf, if you become the mayor maybe the staff can brief you on this. Do you want nice roads to drive on or do you want the Canada Games Centre which costs a million to run annually and paved trails for quads. In my mind roads fall way below nice city infrastructure and the games centre and paved trails.

Up 20 Down 5

Bob Folster on Sep 19, 2018 at 2:50 pm

Wilf Carter - the rude, uninvited guest who won't leave after the party is over.

You need to start your own blog Wilf !

Up 17 Down 5

Dean LaRue on Sep 19, 2018 at 2:44 pm


Wilf Carter once again fills someone else's announcement with an
unrequested wall of blather

I wonder what Eileen Melnychuk thinks about having to possibly
work with this elephant sized ego ?

Up 18 Down 1

My Opinion on Sep 19, 2018 at 1:32 pm

Whitehorse Star.

Would it be possible to publish all of the articles on the candidates again in one paper so that we can look at them all at once? Need a book on these guys or we forget who they are and what they stand for. City should publish it as well.

Up 7 Down 20

Wilf Carter on Sep 19, 2018 at 11:27 am

Some of my platform.
Get the Federal Government to support Whitehorse housing needs.
Get a maintenance program going on our infrastructure so we don't have to continue to spend millions fixing it every year. It is called proactive maintenance and saving tax payers millions.
To bring back local government to people of Whitehorse.
Leave the social engineering to Feds and YTG. That is their business not City business.
Focus on thing that matter to residents of our city.
Help the staff to do the best job they can.
Rick states the City is in great shape! How does he know?
I have tried to get variance statements from the City but they will not provide them.
The minister who was on City Council got involved and he sent me a summary which tells residents nothing.
A variance statement is simply a line by line of the city budget of everything we spend money on to operate our city.
This will show residents the budget amount for the year, and if the city was over or under on each line item in the operations budget at year end.

Up 4 Down 21

Wilf Carter on Sep 19, 2018 at 11:09 am

It has been reported but I could not fact check that the City will or has received $7 million in gas tax rebate. The mayor has been reported as saying we are going to put the money into trails development when we already have 100 kms of trails.
A lot of residents have said to use that money to fix our infrastructure from failing apart like it is now.
Several groups want this $7 million to go into our operating budget to hold the line on tax increases and fees.
This or any other mayor has the right to spend the money the way they think the money should be spent.
That is the problem with Dan Curtis and if he or Rick want to challenge me on any of my comments please do! But I don't see or hear anything from them. I stand up for what's right and in the best interest of residents.

Up 1 Down 21

Wilf on Sep 19, 2018 at 11:00 am

Folks it is interesting how people see candidates. Right now our City has failing infrastructure, no real maintenance plan, no building relationship with other governments like housing.
Some just sent info on what City of Whitehorse wants on housing and they stated in their study that 785 of Whitehorse do not want the City of Whitehorse giving money into housing by tax forgiveness. They see that Federal Government is not holding up their responsibility to fund housing in Whitehorse. Our city is in a housing melt down for the last three years and land cost is part of the problem, but our mayor and Rick Karp has done nothing to solve the problem. I have many years in land development and housing incuding some in the Yukon.

Up 5 Down 21

Wilf Carter on Sep 19, 2018 at 10:42 am

Thanks Allan you do not know me.
Just so you know I have worked in the public and private sector in senior positions including CAO and Executive Director and director in municipal government. You must be a Rick Karp supporter. I met Rick at the food store and he turned away from me. Far as Dan Curtis goes, a lot of residents have told me they want him gone. Rick is nice person but has no experience at all. People reading this would want someone with experience.

Up 3 Down 14

Wilf Carter on Sep 19, 2018 at 10:36 am

Candidate platform will be posted on my facebook page. Thanks for asking.

Up 9 Down 0

Candidate platform on Sep 19, 2018 at 9:00 am

@Ginger Johnson - who is the candidate talking about day-to-day operations? That person will get my vote as well (not voting for anyone for mayor though). I've been trying to keep track of who's who and what they are running on, but (like last election) there seem to be a lot of them, can't find a good source for understanding their platforms. Thanks!

Up 31 Down 4

Ruth Ferguson on Sep 19, 2018 at 7:36 am

It's obviously easy to sit at home and anonymously denigrate those citizens courageous enough to put their names forward for city council in an effort to make a difference in their city. I don't see any positive comments here, for anyone! I think anyone who ever ran for council including those now sitting on council, can all recount the many personal, hurtful and often untrue statements made about them in their run. It takes a lot of grit and determination to run. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, regardless of how distorted it might be, but if you stand by what you say, you should at least have the courage to sign your name.

Up 25 Down 7

Allan Stanley on Sep 18, 2018 at 10:33 am

YES - Wilf Carter - an interesting race because any vote for you will increase the chances of yet another term for Dan Curtis.
You need to withdraw from this election.
You can always run for the Maxime Bernier Party in the next Federal Election - it'll be a much bigger stage for your ego.

Up 18 Down 5

Ginger Johnson on Sep 18, 2018 at 10:28 am

13 candidates and EXACTLY one has indicated that he'd work to improve the
day-to-day running of this broken city.
It won't take me very long to vote next month - one new mayor and 1 council member

Up 24 Down 3

Henry Wensleydale on Sep 18, 2018 at 10:23 am

It's "Interesting" that Wilf Carter keeps posting in these announcements but NEVER says anything about the city council candidates that he'd have to work with if he somehow became mayor of Whitehorse

Up 4 Down 25

Wilf Carter on Sep 18, 2018 at 9:04 am

Wow look at the down tums. Must mean the other two mayor candidates are feeling the heat or don't like challenges.
Dan Curtis ran on no campaign and won.

Up 7 Down 17

Josey Wales on Sep 17, 2018 at 10:46 pm

The race thus far, is very salt peter like.
I have thee opinion that if someone put a husky, as in a canine...on the ballot? We would be the victors upon said husky getting a mandate.
We certainly do not need anymore champagne socialists in our hall, for that there should be little argument.
Could you imagine getting defeated by a canine, after convincing yourself you have done a stellar job representing the citizens?
Might feel as demoralizing as say, paying your civic taxes/user fees and trying to keep pace with the exponential growth...of said increases.
Nah...it would feel worse, cuz now one must mingle with mere “common folk”?
Mind you we might get cat catchers at bylaw, retrained laid off dog catchers perhaps?
We should so do it folks, it would be a hoooowwwwwwwlll!

Up 30 Down 19

Yukon Sox on Sep 17, 2018 at 5:46 pm

She has been trying for a free ride in various elections and has not been successful, thank our lucky stars. Just say, NO!!! A good warning sign is someone that has not held down a full time job and claims to have a whole slew of skills but can't back it up at all. I've also worked (very short time for her) with this woman in the past and she's as flaky as my Gramma's pie crust.

Up 9 Down 37

wilf carter on Sep 17, 2018 at 4:09 pm

Interesting race. We have Dan Curtis, Rick Karp running for Mayor. Rick has been a business person, with no experience in public life. Then you have Dan Curtis who people don't want for a long list of reason. Folks I have disabilities with arthritic issues and can't walk properly. But what I do have have is experience in family business, senior positions in both the public and private sectors.

Up 34 Down 17

Nope on Sep 17, 2018 at 2:56 pm

I've worked with her in the past on few occasions and she seems to be all over the map on everything. Pretty clearly evident in this story. We need someone with focus, and determination to get things done.

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