Sad excuse for a public consultation

Sad excuse for a public consultation I am writing to you today on behalf of the Trails Only Yukon Association to highlight a serious concern. Officials in the Department of Energy, Mines, and Resources are undertaking a "consultation" on regulations fo

I am writing to you today on behalf of the Trails Only Yukon Association to highlight a serious concern. Officials in the Department of Energy, Mines, and Resources are undertaking a “consultation” on regulations for offroad vehicle use in the Yukon at the direction of the minister. The approach that has been chosen is ill advised for several reasons:

1. This is not a public consultation by any reasonable standard of practice in this jurisdiction. This is more a private solicitation for private input to a departmental employee that will then be summarized in a document.

2. The timelines are inappropriate for two reasons – 60 days is not enough time for Yukon people to respond fully, and late spring and summer is a time when people are often otherwise occupied. If the government is truly interested in a full and considered response, this is not the way to get it.

3. The discussion paper is woefully lacking in terms of its content. It guides the reader to some poorly defined suggestion of a process involving the Yukon Fish and Wildlife Management Board or renewable resource councils. It falsely suggests that the issue of registration of ATVs has been dealt with – it has not. It absolves the government of any real part in the process of managing offroad vehicles in the wilderness and passes it off to others.

We respectfully suggest that the minister provide new direction to the department officials who are responsible for this process with the following in mind:

1. A full and open consultation should to be undertaken including a series of public meetings in Whitehorse and the communities and a much longer timeline. We suggest that it take place in the late fall. Also, a much more user-friendly process to access and return the consultation document should be implemented.

2. A more appropriate consultation document should be developed that emphasizes the broad range of values that Yukon people, including most ATV users, place on the land. It should address more directly the core issue of whether management of ATVs should be complaints-driven (the government’s preferred plan) which would only see action taken after damage has been done, or a proactive approach that would see ATVs properly managed to avoid damage in the first place.

Also, the issue of registration of ATVs needs to have public discussion. Enforcement is dependent on identification and this has not been adequately addressed.

This issue has needed serious consideration and action for 35 years, and has been a very public concern for the last five years. The government made a good first step by amending the Lands Act, but the ball has been dropped with this inadequate consultation on the regulations – which is where the real issues must be addressed.

We ask that the government do the right thing. Move immediately and make the effort required to have a successful consultation and resolution of longstanding issues around certainty for offroad vehicle owners and also protection of Yukon’s beautiful wilderness.

Vern Peters, Tony Grabowski, Peter Harms, Ken Taylor, Ellen Johnson, Manfred Hoefs

TOYA Steering Committee

Just Posted

No vacancy: Whitehorse family spends five months seeking housing

‘I didn’t think it would be this hard’

Bedbug situation in Whitehorse building becoming intolerable, resident says

Gabriel Smarch said he’s been dealing with bedbugs since he moved into his apartment 15 years ago

Yukon government transfers responsibility for Native Language Centre to CYFN

‘At the end of the day the importance is that First Nations have control of the language’

New operator applies for licence at shuttered Whitehorse daycare

Application has listed a proposed program start date of Feb. 1.

The week in Yukon mining

Goldcorp re-submits Coffee plans, Mount Nansen sale looms, Kudz Ze Kayah comments open

Ice, ice, baby: scaling a frozen Yukon waterfall

‘There’s a really transformative affect with adventure’

Yukon history is picture post card perfect

The most interesting gift I received at Christmas this year was the… Continue reading

Contentious Whitehorse quarry proposal raises city hackles

‘We’ve had concerns from the get-go on this one’

Whitehorse time machine

Yukon’s capital added 10,000 people over the last three decades, no YESAB application needed

How to make sure your car starts in the cold

It’s about more than just making sure your plug works

Whitehorse fuel delivery company fined $1,100 for Rancheria crash

The Crown stayed two other charges against the company related to the Aug. 7, 2017, crash

Most Read