Letter to the Editor

It’s about children Open letter to Michele Campbell, Whitehorse city council members, Lori Austin and Dean Tower and the Jarvis Street…

It’s about children

Open letter to Michele Campbell, Whitehorse city council members, Lori Austin and Dean Tower and the Jarvis Street resident petitioners,

In all my years as a Yukoner and Whitehorse resident, I have never written a letter to the editor of this newspaper or any other, but in reading the letters over the past two weeks about the proposed day care of Lori Austin, and the petitioners against re-zoning in the area to allow for it, I feel the time is right.

Firstly, bravo to Michele Campbell, whom I do not know, for your outstanding comments in July 31st’s paper — you are correct in the irony that a proposal for a safe building for young children’s care has caused an uproar in this city, but there was not so much noise when the exact same structure was used to house dope.

Secondly, to the city: As a mother of young children, having spent two out of the past four years on maternity leave, let me tell you first hand the desperate need for childcare options in this city.

I have spent the past 12 months on three different waitlists for care for my two youngest children for this fall, when I return to work.

Day cares and day homes are so full, even signing up one year in advance cannot guarantee you a spot, never mind two, for your children when you have to go back to work.

If you want the best quality of care for your children, it’s even harder to get them in at your first choice spot.

I do not know Austin personally, but let me tell you she is a saint in my eyes for even trying to fight to have this day care opened downtown. I wish her all the best and know that if successful, she will be at maximum capacity before the paint on the walls even dries.

Lastly, to Dean Tower and the rest of the petitioners — you’ve got to be kidding. Your area of downtown already holds a Maryhouse, a bed and breakfast and several small businesses … hello!

We all live here and we all appreciate our neighbourhoods, but I can’t imagine signing a piece of paper, were one to be offered to me, to “ban” a day care from opening in Porter Creek or Riverdale or Granger.

The exception to zoning bylaw should be looked at seriously in the case of Austin’s request to open a much-needed child-care facility in our city.

Believe me, we wouldn’t be sending our children to day care if we didn’t have to. Maternity leave doesn’t last forever, there are a zillion new little ones having been born in Whitehorse over the past few years, and lets hope there are great quality child-care providers that genuinely want to give these kids a place to be, be that in any neighbourhood in our great city.

And to the downtown group: Nobody’s going to park on your precious street space for very long; most moms and dads I know dropping there kids off at day care are in a real big hurry, always, to get to the next stop!

Jennifer Hobbis


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