Not enough nominees to fill local advisory council positions

·2 min read

Yukon’s local advisory councils (LACs) are a different kettle of fish from municipalities, though they are governed by the same legislation, and elect representatives at the same time as their more structured counterparts.

They are not akin to British Columbia’s Local Improvement Districts and do not provide community services, and operate only as an advisory function for their ‘unincorporated’ community status.

The five LACs are Marsh Lake, Mount Lorne, Ibex Valley, Tagish and the South Klondike (which has recommended a name change to be called Carcross). They each have a five-member council, some with wards and some without.

The LACs hire a returning officer to receive nominations. It is relatively rare that an election is required as most members are acclaimed. Often, there are not enough nominees for all the positions so the deadlines are extended another six days for a little neighbourly arm-bending. If that fails to entice people, the Minister of Community Services will kick in to appoint people to ensure quorum and fill positions.

This year proved not that much different from years past. Marsh Lake will acclaim (once a 2-day waiting period has passed) a full slate of ward-attached council members: Blair Corley (Judas Creek); Erik Pinkerton (New Constabulary); Walter Latour (Old Constabulary/M’Clintock Place); Lisa Vollans-Leduc (Army Beach/South M’Clintock) and Joanne J. Johnson (North M’Clintock).

The other LACs fell a little short. Mount Lorne had three nominations for five ward positions: Etienne Tardif (Annie Lake); Kevin Kennedy (Robinson) and Ivy Rudell (Kookasoon).

Tagish had three nominees for their five council positions: Bonnitta Ritchie; Gina Slevinsky and Cheryl Goulet.

The South Klondike or Carcross received only two nominations: Marg Blewett and Keith Seaboyer.

For the Ibex Valley LAC, Sheila Dodd, Lee Johnson, and Tracey Andrew have been nominated so far.

People step up to community service at different times in their lives. Ivy Rudell, one of the last people to drop off her nomination at the Mount Lorne Community Centre, put her name forward after 48 years of living in the area. When asked about why she’s putting her name forward for council now, she said that after years of getting up at 5:30 in the morning to keep books for her husband’s business, feed kids, teach kids, volunteer for different organizations and build a house, she said simply, “It’s time.”

It’s also time for a little neighbourly encouragement to shift into gear. The six-day extension for nominations provides the opportunity for people who may be on the fence to put their names forward to their LACs in Tagish, Mount Lorne, Carcross and the Ibex Valley.

Deadlines are extended for those LACs with unfilled positions. Nomination papers are available from Community Services or the returning officers and require 10 signatures. Forms will need to be submitted to each LAC’s returning officer by noon on September 29.

Lawrie Crawford, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Yukon News

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