Whitehorse Daily Star

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Photo by Vince Fedoroff

TIME FOR A CHANGE – Kelly Suits, C.D., seen earlier today, is taking on four opponents in seeking to become the mayor of Whitehorse in the Oct. 18 election.

Voters are seeking a different approach: candidate

Kelly Suits C.D. says it’s time for a change.

By Stephanie Waddell on September 28, 2018

Kelly Suits C.D. says it’s time for a change.

That’s why he’s running for mayor in the Oct. 18 municipal election.

Suits is one of five mayoral candidates in the race. He turned in his nomination papers Thursday morning, more than an hour ahead of the noon deadline for candidates.

In an interview Thursday, Suits said that while he has no issue with incumbent Dan Curtis, it’s time for a fresh approach.

Born and raised in the community, Suits highlighted his diverse career experience over the years.

He has worked a variety of jobs, from a reservist to a correctional officer to a park warden who spent time on the Chilkoot Trail to a wildland firefighter. He is currently a casual bus driver with the city.

While he works for the city, as a casual driver, he noted, he will not be working in the role during the campaign. City employees are required to take a leave of absence when seeking office.

Suits is one of two mayoral candidates who have jobs with the city. Bylaw officer Colin LaForme is also seeking the seat, and has taken a leave of absence from his job during the election period (see Thursday’s Star).

Suits believes his experience working “in the trenches” in a wide range of roles would serve him well as the city’s next mayor.

He said he knows of many who want to see things done differently.

Among the major issues facing the city, Suits first highlighted traffic, noting it has increased in recent years.

He pointed to roundabouts in other jurisdictions and the success they’ve had in better controlling traffic.

He said he’s not sure if more are needed in Whitehorse, but suggested it may be worth exploring.

“They do work,” he said.

Just as the city’s expanded population has impacted traffic, he also pointed to the impact it’s had on housing, and his personal difficulty in finding housing.

“I’m just wondering how that happened,” Suits said of the current situation.

He recalled a time when Whitehorse was more of a small town.

He said it makes him sad that the capital has become “so busy so fast,” but at the same time, he acknowledges that progress can’t be stopped.

“We’re a city now,” he said, highlighting the need to deal with the housing shortage.

“I don’t think anybody knows what to do about housing,” he said.

Suits said he would likely push for building smaller homes that could be rented out at more affordable rental rates.

The Yukon Bureau of Statistics reports the median rent in Whitehorse in 2017 was $950 monthly.

Suits noted there are many issues in the city right now, and he’s open to hearing about those issues and solutions residents might bring forward.

The other mayoral candidates are Rick Karp and Wilf Carter.

Voters will go to the polls on Oct. 18, with advance polls on Oct. 11 at city hall and the Canada Games Centre and on Oct. 13 at the Canada Games Centre.

See roundup of community elections, acclamations, letters.

Comments (17)

Up 0 Down 1

sameold on Oct 4, 2018 at 7:44 am

Kim Dhillon, Thank you for proving my point. That's what WCB is for, giving money to those who need it most. The strategy worked. Inferior legislation, mismanagement of claims, abuse of injured workers leads to more money in the coffers to give back to employers, and a reduction in premiums. That is the main objective, reduction in premiums. As for supporting Anti poverty and homelessness initiatives, well, what did that cost for garnering imaginary philanthropic status while creating poverty for injured workers?

Up 12 Down 9

Kirn Dhillon on Oct 3, 2018 at 4:24 pm


Your information is incorrect about Karp's views on wages. Please refer to an article in the March 27, 2012 edition of the Whitehorse Star called "‘No one makes minimum wage': chamber". You should also know that Rick, while being President of the Chamber of Commerce, actively supported the Yukon Anti-Poverty Coalition's study of a livable wage in the Yukon and supported the Chamber of Commerce's role in creating "Safe at Home: A Community-Based Action Plan to End and Prevent Homelessness In Whitehorse, Yukon".

With regards to actions Rick took related to the WCB, it was due, in part, to his lobbying efforts that in 2015 on top of $3.9 million given back to small businesses through reduced rates he lobbied for, the WCB decided to return an extra $10 million back to struggling small businesses, and then WCB further reduced rates for 2016, at a cost of $5.2 million. These savings go back to businesses that can keep their costs competitive with outside businesses and keep more money in the Yukon and be able to hire more Yukoners. (source Whitehorse Star, September 25, 2015, article entitled "WCB to give $10 million back to businesses".

Please come to the Candidates Forum Thursday, October 4, 2018 - 6:00pm to 9:00pm at the Gold Rush to ask your questions to Rick in person. He is a very open, approachable and a generally affable guy. He would respectfully answer any questions you might have and address your doubts.

Keep in mind that he represented the Chamber in past and he did a great job for that group. He hopes to represent Whitehorse soon, and I'm surely he will be equally passionate in that role.

Up 14 Down 8

Pepper on Oct 3, 2018 at 4:21 pm

Remember Rick Karp tried to lower the minimum wage a few years back. His motto is: "If I could legally pay you less, I would."

He's a one trick pony and only in it for himself.

Up 12 Down 7

I'll never forget on Oct 3, 2018 at 12:28 pm

I'll still never forget that many years ago when Rick owned McDonald's, he actually said right in front of me to an employee "Managers don't get breaks". EVERYONE is entitled to breaks--it's the (labour) law!

Guess who will not be getting my vote.

Up 12 Down 6

sameold on Oct 3, 2018 at 7:52 am

Business is not the problem. We all support business. The problem is Mr Karp's 19th century attitude toward workers. There's a lot of workers employed by the city. The city pays WCB premiums into inferior legislation and an abusive system that Mr Karp helped to create. That is very bad business sense. If you don't look after the workers you end up with a polarized society, and a lack of free flow cash to spend. In other words poverty is the result of Mr Karp's regressive attitude.

Up 4 Down 7

Scott Etches on Oct 1, 2018 at 11:41 pm

“I don’t think anybody knows what to do about housing,” he said.
I do, a Community Land Trust.

Up 17 Down 4

Jay on Oct 1, 2018 at 3:08 pm

Good gracious, folks insinuating that being pro-business and ensuring businesses make a profit is a bad thing is mind-boggling. While I have no intention to vote for Rick Karp I do respect him and applaud his championing business causes and working to help ensure we have a semblance of an economy.

Imagine Whitehorse without these businesses y'all seem to hate. There'd be nothing here for anyone but the trodden few living in the bush.
Imagine a WCB, funded by employers, enacted in legislation, without a voice for employers and left to the whim of others. There'd be no balance in those discussions and things would not improve. So I applaud Rick Karp for doing his job and arguing on behave of businesses to help ensure the demands on them are reasonable.

Up 20 Down 6

MB on Oct 1, 2018 at 1:11 pm

Rick Karp was strongly opposed to raising the minimum wage for Whitehorse's most vulnerable workers: the working poor. Not my kind of person. I have employed so-called 'unskilled workers', and have always paid at least $4 more than the minimum wage.

Up 26 Down 7

Karp for Mayor? on Oct 1, 2018 at 9:02 am

Yes, as sameold says, he's all about business and going to bat for employers at the expense of the regular joe trying to make a living. It's all about the bottom line for businesses with Karp. I wonder if he could put Whitehorse citizens' interests ahead of business; COW will need to rewrite the entire OCP if he gets in so as to allow for business development at ANY cost. And the WCB thing....no surprise there as he would defend employers to the bitter end to ensure they can keep making a profit. (Isn't an audit at WCB way overdue?)

He's a member of the "good old boys club". That alone is enough for me to say NO to Karp.

Up 25 Down 8

sameold on Sep 30, 2018 at 9:20 am

Rick Karp is strictly for business. His bid is to benefit the business community. Rick is the man who a few years ago wanted to prevent residents from going outside to spend their money. As for diplomacy, at the hearings for WCB legislation review he turned a blind eye and a deaf ear to evidence of WCB law breaking, and clear evidence of false and misleading information in the legislation review papers. Whitehorse city council needs a balanced, impartial, and a broader perspective than Mr Karp is capable of.

Up 24 Down 7

Hmmm on Sep 29, 2018 at 10:14 am

Is he implying he actually served? Because the Rangers is all about the lads getting paid to go skidooing.
Who actually uses that designation? Sounds like hubris to me.

Up 14 Down 32

My Opinion on Sep 28, 2018 at 7:48 pm

Rick Carp has my Vote. Good man, very diplomatic.

Up 14 Down 9

marc on Sep 28, 2018 at 5:37 pm

All good except for the comment “I don’t think anybody knows what to do about housing,” which is false. The fact is the people who are experts in housing are not taking part in the conversations because self proclaimed wanna be experts talk too much and waste time trying to figure out what experts already know.

Up 22 Down 18

sameold on Sep 28, 2018 at 4:29 pm

Not much about education for the aspirant, maybe that's not important. Sounds underemployed for a man of titanic ambition to lead the city. Time for change is starting to sound like a broken record, a worn out line that never seems to materialize. A candidate without experience promising change is simply not credible. However Mr Karp is a man who actively worked very hard to ruin WCB for injured workers by helping to create negative legislation. So of these two I would vote for the innocent rather than the dubious clever.

Up 14 Down 4

Whitehorse resident on Sep 28, 2018 at 3:59 pm

CD is a Canadian Forces Decoration, for serving 12 years in the military.

Up 10 Down 3

Curious george on Sep 28, 2018 at 3:49 pm

Can anyone identify the ribbon next to the Canadian forces decoration? Also, was there a reserve unit here before? My understanding is that the rangers just received the reserve designation recently.

Up 7 Down 2

Yukon Watchdog on Sep 28, 2018 at 3:19 pm

What does the C.D. behind the name mean?

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