ELECTION 2006 RIDING PROFILE
Oh, give me a home…
The sprawling Lake Laberge riding, where elk and bison roam, is home to most of the territory’s agriculture.
It also sustains hundreds of sled dogs, various businesses, a growing number of subdivisions and the traditional territory of four Yukon First Nations.
With the largest population of Yukoners living outside a municipality, more than 900 in a riding of roughly 1,200, there’s little regional government representation.
So, the riding’s MLA has plenty of direct contact with the constituents, said incumbent Yukon Party MLA Brad Cathers.
And in a riding that stretches east to include the Hamlet of Ibex Valley, north past Braeburn halfway to Carmacks, encompassing the Takhini Hot Springs Road area and the Whitehorse subdivisions of MacPherson, Hidden Valley and Forest View, this riding has plenty of issues.
The Ibex Valley Advisory Committee bemoans government’s sluggish response to its local area plan review and the lack of cellphone coverage in a hamlet nestled on the city boundary.
The Takhini Road and Pilot Mountain residents confront water problems and new lot development issues.
At Shallow Bay, the Ta’an Kwach’an Council is butting heads with farmers hoping to expand their land-use leases, while Grizzly Valley residents face infrastructure challenges as new subdivisions pop up and the population expands.
Throw in business concerns, tourism opportunities, a big lake and a few artists and musicians and the MLA’s work is diverse.
“There are different needs and different interests in different areas,” said NDP candidate Nina Sutherland.
“Although there are a few consistent concerns, like land availability and affordability.”
“There are lots of comments about land,” said Liberal candidate Jon Breen.
Brad Cathers, Yukon Party cabinet minister and a former wilderness guide who still lives on the lake.
Jon Breen, Liberal Party, Yukon government workplace diversity manager, has lived on the Old Alaska Highway since ’91.
Nina Sutherland, NDP, is a mixed media artists and mother of two who has lived in the Pilot Mountain area for the past 17 years.
How Lake Laberge voted in 2002:
Brad Cathers, YP, 466 votes
Pam Buckway, Liberals, 218 votes
Bill Commins, NDP, 150 votes
Percentage of electors who voted:
Did you know?
Lake Laberge is home to a burrowing fish called Burbot, a freshwater cousin to Pacific Cod.
The Burbot burrows tunnels roughly one metre deep and two-metres in diameter.
They were first discovered in March, 1998, when divers, searching for an aircraft lost in the lake more than 60 years ago, saw unusual excavations on the lake’s bottom.
Excavations and tunnels of this type had not been previously documented in Canadian waters. (GK)