I was born and raised in Whitehorse and am in my second year at Sheridan College in Oakville, Ontario.
Oakville is a part of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). I show my Ontario friends pictures of the Yukon, and they can’t believe it when I say, “That’s a picture of a path just five minutes away from my house.”
They find it hard to believe.
Just behind my apartment building in Oakville there is one small greenbelt built with pavement paths and lamps and railings. It is very small in comparison to McIntyre Creek. I couldn’t believe it when they said this is their nature experience. I am used to greenbelts like the one I grew up beside Ã McIntyre Creek Ã which has nothing more than forest trails. There is no concrete or lamps, just a beautiful view of Whitehorse from the top.
My school friends all want to come up and visit to see this mountainous land I will always call home. Who knew Facebook pictures could be so convincing?
I brag about where I come from and am a very proud Yukoner. But no matter how proud I am, some of the people “in charge” of Whitehorse are making it very hard to say anything good about where the city is headed.
The Yukon is known across Canada as being isolated and full of extraordinary wilderness and animals. Toronto and the GTA is known for having buildings and being a concrete jungle.
Right now the people “in charge” of Whitehorse are trying to make it like the GTA.
I have a simple suggestion for Mayor Bev Buckway and her council. Ask them to live smack dab on Bloor Street, Queen Street or even Oakville for six to eight months. Like me, they should learn to appreciate and understand how lucky we are to live where we do. If they don’t see what’s so bad about that Ã‰ well, I say stay there.
Toronto is a concrete jungle crammed with people who live there and don’t mind it. Whitehorse is not like that, and most of the people who live there like it that way.
When I was on the Green Team in Porter Creek High a few years ago, Buckway came to one of our meetings, supposedly to hear what we students had to suggest on how to make Whitehorse a better place. It didn’t go that well, so since then I’ve paid attention to how the city deals with issues.
Here in my school, we have a student council where we bring up things in a mature manner. They get talked about and often changed or reconsidered. It’s very fair. It’s funny how that doesn’t seem to happen here in our own city.
This fight to protect the wilderness within Whitehorse has been going on for a very long time now and is getting very tedious for all the townspeople who constantly have to fight with our politicians to be heard.
My friends cannot believe it when I tell them protecting land here is an issue, and neither can I.
It would be a big mistake to put roads and houses at McIntyre Creek.
When I return next summer I hope to see the Whitehorse we all love, and not more wasteland like Whistle Bend.