games may be a bargain but theyre not free

The Canada Winter Games may have delivered a dose of reality to the Yukon. Nothing is ever free. Yukoners are sometimes tricked into believing…

The Canada Winter Games may have delivered a dose of reality to the Yukon.

Nothing is ever free.

Yukoners are sometimes tricked into believing otherwise.

Sure, Whitehorse has benefited from the Games.

The national sporting jamboree has brought more than $85 million in government investment to Whitehorse.

The city’s public facilities are exceptional.

And, in building them, contractors have profited, workers have been paid, retailers have made money, the territory and city have received more tax revenue.

The city is looking better these days — it was forced to spruce itself up for the visitors.

And, during the Games, the entire community will, for a brief moment, work together for a common goal.

That social networking represents an X-factor that could generate a host of benefits — ideas, entrepreneurship, common understanding, friendships — that are impossible to pin down.

And these benefits will extend well into the city’s future.

Of course, so will the tax increases.

In a moment of candour, councillor Doug Graham suggested city taxes may have to go up five per cent over the next two years to pay for the Games.

That, too, will be its legacy.

Homeowners will have to pony up another $300 a year, give or take. A stiff increase indeed, but property taxes will still be comparable to, or lower than other affluent Canadian towns.

Besides, tens of millions of extra federal transfers flowed into the territory to underwrite this three-week spectacle.

And so, the Games has taught Whitehorse residents that nothing is ever free.

This transfer-payment-addicted territory often thinks otherwise.

The Games have brought benefits at considerable cost.

Anybody who hoped to receive something for nothing was conjuring a fantasy.

The Yukon comes close, but not as close as many once thought. (RM)

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Dawson the dog sits next to the Chariot Patrick Jackson has loaded and rigged up to walk the Dempster Highway from where it begins, off the North Klondike Highway, to the Arctic Circle. (Submitted)
Walking the Dempster

Patrick Jackson gets set for 405-kilometre journey

Liberal leader Sandy Silver speaks outside his campaign headquarters in Dawson City following early poll results on April 12. (Robin Sharp/Yukon News)
BREAKING: Minority government results will wait on tie vote in Vuntut Gwitchin

The Yukon Party and the Liberal Party currently have secured the same amount of seats

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
YUKONOMIST: The Neapolitan election

Do you remember those old bricks of Neapolitan ice cream from birthday… Continue reading

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Exposure notice issued for April 3 Air North flight

Yukon Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley has issued another… Continue reading

Crystal Schick/Yukon News file
Runners in the Yukon Arctic Ultra marathon race down the Yukon River near the Marwell industrial area in Whitehorse on Feb. 3, 2019.
Cold-weather exercise hard on the lungs

Amy Kenny Special to the Yukon News It might make you feel… Continue reading

lwtters
Today’s Mailbox: Rent freezes and the youth vote

Dear Editor, I read the article regarding the recommendations by the Yukon… Continue reading

Point-in-Time homeless count planned this month

Volunteers will count those in shelters, short-term housing and without shelter in a 24-hour period.

The Yukon’s new ATIPP Act came into effect on April 1. Yukoners can submit ATIPP requests online or at the Legislative Assembly building. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News file)
New ATIPP Act in effect as of April 1

The changes promise increased government transparency

A new conservancy in northern B.C. is adjacent to Mount Edziza Provincial Park. (Courtesy BC Parks)
Ice Mountain Lands near Telegraph Creek, B.C., granted conservancy protection

The conservancy is the first step in a multi-year Tahltan Stewardship Initiative

Yukon RCMP reported a child pornography-related arrest on April 1. (Phil McLachlan/Black Press file)
Whitehorse man arrested on child pornography charges

The 43-year-old was charged with possession of child pornography and making child pornography

Team Yukon athletes wave flags at the 2012 Arctic Winter Games opening ceremony in Whitehorse. The postponed 2022 event in Wood Buffalo, Alta., has been rescheduled for Jan. 29 to Feb. 4, 2023. (Justin Kennedy/Yukon News file)
New dates set for Arctic Winter Games

Wood Buffalo, Alta. will host event Jan. 29 to Feb. 4, 2023

Victoria Gold Corp. has contributed $1 million to the First Nation of Na-cho Nyak Dun after six months of production at the Eagle Gold Mine. (Submitted/Victoria Gold Corp.)
Victoria Gold contributes $1 million to First Nation of Na-cho Nyak Dun

Victoria Gold signed a Comprehensive Cooperation and Benefits Agreement in 2011

Most Read