Whitehorse's garbage truck Santa gets new wheels, elf

Whitehorse’s garbage truck Santa will be back next month but with new wheels and a sidekick.

For 20 years, a city employee decorated an older-style garbage truck with Christmas lights and a jolly old fellow, looking a lot like Santa Claus, drove it around the city.

Council debated two separate motions on it Monday night. The first would have seen Santa driving a garbage truck similar to the old one. Coun. Kirk Cameron introduced it and Coun. Betty Irwin was in favour of keeping with that tradition.

Instead, council voted to provide Santa with an elf and a one-ton retrofitted truck, for safety reasons.

Irwin said she was okay with forgoing tradition in favour of safety.

“Administration really, really worked to try and find something that would substitute and hopefully look as good,” she said. “So I'm happy with the outcome. Not totally, but I'm content with the outcome.”

Cameron said another set of eyes is always a good thing.

“If all that works out well, we'll have a truck driving around with Santa, with a qualified elf driving the vehicle, which increases the safety factor,” he said. “That was a principle that I know a lot of people had issues and concerns with, so this looks like it's a really good compromise.”

The Motor Vehicle Branch will need to approve the Santa truck and it will need to pass the city's safety inspection.

It will be on the road from Dec. 18 to 20.

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