CYFN declines Canadian Tire building purchase, or not?

MOOSEHIDE The Council of Yukon First Nations has effectively decided not to pursue the old Canadian Tire building in Whitehorse as a new head office.

MOOSEHIDE

The Council of Yukon First Nations has effectively decided not to pursue the old Canadian Tire building in Whitehorse as a new head office.

Delegates at the CYFN general assembly discussed the issue behind closed doors, so details are sparse.

To offset purchase costs, CYFN will need to rent out office space in its new headquarters and the old Canadian Tire building wasn’t an attractive rental property, consultants told the council.

A deal to buy the building is required by September, but an application deadline for federal funding passed this week.

Since financing must be in place before a deal is reached, the building is essentially not an option now, the News was told.

CYFN planned on spending $11 million to purchase and renovate the building and had signed a $100,000 refundable purchase agreement with the building’s owners.

The Kwanlin Dun First Nation, under a land claims agreement, owns the land CYFN’s current head office sits on. CYFN is required to vacate the office by the end of August 2008.

The council is expanding its search for new office space, said Champagne/Aishihik Chief Diane Strand.

Canadian Tire is “off the table for now” and is not an option at this stage, although the search is still in its early stages, she said.

A committee will be struck to look at other options, she added.

Grand Chief Andy Carvill, however, said the Canadian Tire building is still an option.

“You must have been talking to the wrong people,” Carvill said of differing opinions on the issue.

There was no resolution or decision about the building coming from the floor during the in camera session, said Carvill.

Two more people are now working on the file and will be looking at more options at a meeting next week, said Carvill.

“We’ve always been looking at other options,” he added.