Residents deserve an explanation

Residents deserve an explanation Open letter to Whitehorse mayor and council re CBC transmitter: If I understand John Agnew's letter to the editor correctly, Whitehorse had a large role in helping create the problem for the CBC that will require that th

Open letter to Whitehorse mayor and council re CBC transmitter:

If I understand John Agnew’s letter to the editor correctly, Whitehorse had a large role in helping create the problem for the CBC that will require that they transmit their signal through FM, which has limited availability to Yukon communities outside of Whitehorse.

Agnew says that in the past several years the CBC has presented several proposals with regard to the 3.2 hectares where the transmitter is located, but all were turned down as the land in question, which the CBC has occupied since 1958, is required for residential development.

This is something that probably would have been very relevant to people during the recent Official Community Plan public consultation.

Have we really reached the point where mayor and council have to be educated about the importance of the CBC to the North?

Whitehorse enjoys an exalted status as a capital city, including financial benefits, that far outstrip the size of our population.

That special status comes with certain obligations to the rest of the Yukon, which doesn’t get to share in all those benefits. If Whitehorse has been established as a hub for the region, it should go without saying that accommodating communications is part of our responsibility.

This is a case of something that’s working, that Whitehorse is prepared to sacrifice at others’ expense, no doubt with the support of a whole lot of planners’ rhetoric.

That planners and architects here continually lobby to create the conditions they want, instead of accepting any constraints, is one of the tragic flaws of community planning in this city.

Three hectares? You can’t be serious. Superstore has set aside at least that much for parking that’s never used.

To add to the irony, there was recently a story about the city’s mock emergency event that made no mention of the CBC, which I have always understood to be the communications centre for any emergency. Instead, it now seems to fall to the RCMP to go knocking door to door in an emergency.

Why not add a town crier?

I believe mayor and council owe the citizens of Whitehorse, and all the communities in the Yukon, an explanation of their position on this matter.

Marianne Darragh

Whitehorse