Friday, October 9, 2015

Who I'm voting for in 2015 Municipal Election and Why

Historically I always felt voting was a "private" matter.  But this year, I've become more engaged in the Whitehorse municipal election, primary through the Whitehorse Urban Cycling Coalition (  So I thought I'd share my thoughts on this election.

What I'm looking for primary is candidates that will work towards a sustainable future for Whitehorse.  Something we can afford and creates a high quality of life.  What we do know is that the automobile is a killing us financially, socially and of course, environmentally.  The car is a dead-end.  Yes, I own and operate not just one, but several automobiles.  And yes, we will never be "car-free." But what we need to do is work really hard to build a community where we can minimize the usage automobiles so we can afford the future we want.

We see that when we have people-oriented development, it is a much lovely town, as opposed to car-centric development.  I've traveled and explored communities that are moving away from the car, and they are so much richer places to be.  Unfortunately, in Whitehorse we've inherited a town that has been built for the car.  We need to deal with that sad reality.

The WUCC put together eight questions for the candidates and to date we've gotten an amazing 15 complete written responses from the 25 mayor and councilor candidates running  (you can see the questions and answers on the WUCC website).  If you look at the question, there is a lot more going on there than just "give us more bike lanes".  In fact, what I find is that the candidates responses are are pretty good proxy for how well they share my vision for a sustainable community.

So, based on this, my councilor picks will be (as of today):

  • Helen GEISLER - quite cycle supportive and what I thought were some smart measured answers to some questions.
  • Betty IRWIN  - She did not benefit from participating in cycling as part of her generation, but seems open minded and supportive of sustainable transportation and has practical experience with council. 
  • Roslyn WOODCOCK - downtowner and totally supportive of sustainable transportation.
  • Jocelyn CURTEANU - good positive commitment to cycling, but probably needs more information about the importance of good, contiguous cycle infrastructure to open doors for more of the community.  
 Yes, just 4 I guess.  The point was well made that you don't need to vote for all six positions.  If you don't know them (or are only voting based on name recognition), then don't vote for them!  Really, you are stealing votes from yourself for the candidates you DO want in.

Now, who NOT to vote for.  Well, based on the WUCC feedback, there are a few candidates who, in my mind, are clearly "yikes, not friends of bikes:

  • George ARCAND
  • Dan BOYD
And the zeros (candidates who did not respond to WUCC's queries in any form) are:
  • Mike TRAVILL
  • Garth BROWN
Remember, voting is sexy!