Skip to content

Letter: Mining companies should pay for a proposed Skagway dock

Mining companies should pay for a proposed Skagway dock

Mining companies should pay for a proposed Skagway dock

Here we go again with the Yukon Liberal government planning to invest $44 million of our dollars on an ill-conceived plan. The government’s proposed ore dock plan in Skagway would not be owned by Yukoners and we would not have any control over this facility.

In addition we don’t even know if this plan will meet the needs of the Yukon mining industry, or, as seems probable, this would only be the first installment of costs, on the road of future development.

Secondly, environmental concerns in Skagway mean that all future ore shipments would be in containers, necessitating further infrastructure. Who would pay for this? Given that there are no operating mines in Yukon presently requiring such a facility, investing public money on a long-term hope is akin to risking a considerable sum in a casino. Not a wise decision, especially when social housing and health needs and road infrastructure all require investment here and now.

Moreover, Premier Pillai’s suggestion that any additional infrastructure in Skagway beyond the dock itself would “likely” not be paid for by Yukoners can only add to our misgiving. When dealing in millions of dollars of public money, “likely” is not good enough. Instead, it illustrates just how vague and ill-defined the entire scheme is.

Then there is the issue of the dock itself. Neither the Yukon government nor Yukoners should be subsidizing a facility that would serve primarily to benefit mining companies and/or their shareholders. If mining companies want or need docking facilities in Skagway, they should be paying for them.

Government of Yukon, it’s time now to put a stop to this misallocation of public resources. Call a halt to this project.

We urge Yukoners to write or phone their MLAs to let them know where they stand on this issue.

Public funds should be used to build public infrastructure here in Yukon, to sustain our people and their health, and to protect our water and environment, not to benefit wealthy mining companies.

Donald J Roberts

Chair of Yukoners Concerned

About the Author: Black Press Media Staff

Read more