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With dozens of vacancies, city being ‘creative’ to maintain services

Yellowknife's City Hall
Yellowknife's City Hall. Ollie Williams/Cabin Radio

The City of Yellowknife says it’s working to find “creative solutions” to keep offering services as it faces staff shortages.

In an email, spokesperson Abby Schelew said there are currently 36 vacancies at the city, which has budgeted this year for the equivalent of 250 full-time positions.

Combined with staff taking holidays, those vacancies have sometimes affected service levels.

Yellowknife’s solid waste facility, for example, was closed on July 9 due to reduced staffing.

“The city aims to find the most creative and least disruptive solutions when faced with staffing shortages, taking into account resident needs and patterns of use,” Schelew wrote.



“Amidst a very challenging hiring market, city staff are working hard to ensure programs and operations continue to run smoothly. “

She said reducing hours at the dump this summer is one of those solutions. As of July 2, the dump has been open to the public from 11am to 4:15pm from Tuesday to Sunday.

Schelew did not say how many of the 35 vacancies are related to the solid waste facility, but the city began advertising an attendant position in May.

The city is also currently looking to hire an equipment operator, financial analyst, heavy duty mechanic, firefighter, life guard, and municipal engineer, among other jobs.

The territory’s employment rate in June was 70.8 percent, the highest in Canada and the second-highest in the territory for the month in the past decade.

High employment rates often mean most people looking for work are finding it easily, meaning employers can struggle to recruit with few candidates available.