A jogger runs on a trail in Whistle Bend. (Mike Thomas/Yukon News)

Whitehorse city council formally axes trails committee

‘It made the most sense to end it right now’

Happy trails to you.

Whitehorse city council unanimously voted to officially put the Whitehorse Trail and Greenways Committee to rest at the regular council meeting Sept. 11.

The committee was formed in 2013 to make recommendations on the city’s 2007 Trail Plan, which is set to expire this year. Staff had recommended council disband the committee at last week’s standing committee meetings, but the advisory group has been on unofficial hiatus since August.

Coun. Roslyn Woodcock, speaking as chair of the corporate services committee, said in her report to council that the WTCG had “served the purpose for which it was originally formed.”

The decision to disband the committee was met with emotion by members when it was first brought to their attention in late July. Some members, Woodcock had said previously, felt their work was not being given the proper weight by council. Woodcock admitted there were “tensions” between the committee and council.

“It definitely is time to mandate that the committee come to an end.… It made the most sense to end it right now,” she said in an interview.

“We need to look at what worked and what didn’t … to assess the lessons learned and consider how we can make it efficient and not waste people’s time. This is a group of really committed community members and to some degree that committee took a lot on the nose that didn’t belong to them.”

Woodcock was also a non-voting member of the WTGC.

Staff and council have previously said that when the next trail plan is launched in 2019, they will look at having a similar committee.

“I truly believe we will revisit this decision,” said Woodcock.

Councillor Samson Hartland and Mayor Dan Curtis were absent from the meeting.

Contact Lori Garrison at lori.garrison@yukon-news.com