At YkOnline.ca, we’re trying to keep you informed and connected to the people who would like to have a hand in the building and operation of Yellowknife but in a light-hearted way. We sent around the following questions to each of the candidates for mayor and council asking for a written or video response. As each candidate responds we’ll post their answers. You can follow all the 2012 Municipal Election posts with the tag “yzfelec2012“.
After losing my Mom to lung cancer in 2003 I have dedicated a lot of time to many cancer charities but in particular the Canadian Cancer Society’s annual Relay for Life. I feel its my way to continue the fight my Mom had faced. I am pleased to announce that the “type” of lung cancer that took my Mom’s life is going through final stages for “cure approval”…yeah!
I have also volunteered time to the boards of both the Habitat for Humanity and Skills Canada-NWT. These are two associations, among many, that play a critical role in our society. One supports affordable, adequate and suitable housing for families that need a little support to get into homeownership. And the other is dedicated to promoting skilled trades and technology careers to northern youth.
My newest volunteer endeavour is on the Board of Directors for the new and awesome Long John Jamboree…and why, because it ROCKS!!
What is the most embarrassing thing you’ve done in public?
I was about 13. I was sent to the store to grab a few things. I was standing in line at Roy’s Confectionary (Oldtime Yellowknifers will remember Roy’s) and was about 3rd or 4th away from the cashier when all of a sudden I let out a BIG FART…and STINKY too! Everyone in the line clears out and there I am at the front of the line all of sudden. With the cashier wincing, I reach into my basket and the very first thing I set out on the counter to pay for is a can of Pork & Beans. He says” your kidding right?” I said, “they’re not mine!”…embarrassing for sure!
How will you communicate with residents, how will that be better than what is available now?
In this day and age, innovation through social media has redefined communication (don’t ask me for the definition). There is no excuse for anyone to not be “in the know”. Whether it’s a City Councillor, an employer, a non-profit or a large corporation…we must become more engaged in social media..why?…because that’s where the conversations are being had. If you are not engaged in social media, then you are not engaged, which means you are not communicating. So, although I am old school and will always encourage people to send me an email or text (does anyone “call me!” anymore?) when they need to talk city business, I will make sure that I’m Facebooking and Tweeting so that I am staying engaged in the conversation.
What do you have in your fridge?
Do you mean my regular fridge or the beer fridge…cause the beer fridge is self-explanatory. In the regular fridge I have all the stuff that counters the beer fridge, i.e.: fixings for salads, yogurt, skim milk, CHEESE (don’t tell anyone but I have an addiction to fine cheese…haha), olives. I eat a lot of pasta, chicken and chopped vegetables like peppers, mushrooms and onions…and on occasion, Dad’s Oatmeal Cookies!
How do people know you around town?
After receiving an associate degree in business I jumped into the golf industry for about 8 years. I spent 3 of those years at the Yellowknife Golf Course before heading to Calgary for the other 5 years. So during the time I was at the YKGC in the mid 90’s I was known as the “golf guy” and it carried on for a couple of years after I returned to YK in 2003. Now, after being elected to City Council in 2009, most people associate me with being a Councillor….and I don’t mind saying I enjoy the role VERY MUCH (hint)!!
Where can you be found most often during the endless days in the summer?
I know I should be doing more yard work but I am a die-hard golfer! Typically I will play golf 2 or 3 rounds a week which equals around 40 to 50 rounds a year. Usually a couple of friends and I will end the summer season with a golf trip to some “golf mecca” place where we take in about 10 rounds of golf in 10 days type thing. This year has been significantly less due to some studying I have been doing for professional development and increased client work load. Someone told me if I started my own consulting business I would be able to take clients out to the golf course and do business out there…sadly, I can report it hasn’t worked out that way. But without doubt my home away from home in the summer months is the Yellowknife Golf Course.
Describe what the Harbour Plan is in plain english and why it is, or isn’t important.
We are a city located on one of Canada’s largest lakes, the Great Slave Lake, and we have very little means to access it and take in all that it has to offer. Yellowknifers have long requested that waterfront lands be made available and accessible for the enjoyment of all and not just a few. The goal of the Harbour Plan is to do just that, find ways to make waterfront lands more accessible and then be sure that there is proper stewardship and management of those lands. We succeed in doing this by inclusive consultation with all stakeholders and working collaboratively toward reaching those goals. Without question, the harbour plan is a good thing!
Have you worked with any of the other councilor candidates before?
As an incumbent candidate I have worked closely over the past three years with Mark and Paul, who are both seeking the Mayor’s seat and I have worked closely with Bob, Lydia and Amanda as well. In addition to the current councillors I have had the opportunity to work with my good friend Adrian Bell on the board of Directors for the new Long John Jamboree. If Adrian bings half the vision, enthusiasm and hard work to Council that he brings to the LJJ Board, then Yellowknife will be a better place. (You owe me BIG TIME for that Ade!)
What is your favourite winter activity?
As I described earlier, the golf course is my summer venue, well during the winter months I essentially live at the Yellowknife Curling Centre. I am addicted to the game and am fascinated by the strategies that take place in order to be successful at playing it. My team and I have made every attempt possible to make it to the Brier over the past few seasons but some guy named Koo or Coey or Koe, something like that, seems to get in the way. But not this year…this year I Vote VANTHUYNE FOR BRIER!!
Are you a first generation Yellowknifer?
Yes! Both my parents (Mom, hairdresser from Saskatchewan and Dad, miner from Ireland) moved here in the 60’s and met here in YK. They moved to Inuvik in the late 60’s. I was born in Inuvik in 1970 and we moved back to Yellowknife in 1972. I have resided in Yellowknife for 37 years and in Calgary for 5 and I plan on being here for a long time yet. I am proud to call Yellowknife my hometown!
Have you worked on councils or committee before?
You bet…I am a current City Councillor and I sit on the Smart Growth Implementation Committee (we try to be “smart” in managing growth), the Yellowknife Policing Advisory Committee (we put RCMP on bikes!) and the City of Yellowknife Audit Committee (we YAWN a lot!).
For more information on how to follow each of the candidates visit our Election 2012 Page.