I would like to express my strong support for keeping Mount Sima open and operating into the future. This facility is an important part of sport and recreation infrastructure for Whitehorse. It serves many people who are not necessarily served by other recreational facilities in our city. It adds immeasurably to our active quality of life. It reinforces our appreciation for the beautiful place we choose to live.
Clearly, there is a limit to how many recreation facilities the city can fund. But before the city decides to shut down one type of facility only so that it can keep another one open, it should undertake a comprehensive and objective analysis to determine who is served by the different types of facilities, how many people are served, and how much these facilities cost.
For example, how many hockey rinks are financed by the city? How much do they cost? Which part of our society is served by these hockey rinks? Hockey is popular with some people in our society, but a lot of city taxpayers never use these rinks. They are not attracted to the indoor aspect of hockey, nor its rough physical nature or competitive culture. Many of our taxpaying citizens prefer to pursue winter sports outside, in an atmosphere of fun and cooperation.
In determining which recreation facilities to fund, the city needs to support a diversity of facilities that serves a diversity of people, age groups and interests.
Mount Sima serves many different people and age groups in the city. On the slopes, you often see families, older parents, young kids, teenagers and groups of friends all having healthy, active and noncompetitive fun together, in our great outdoors. Sima also provides opportunities for youth and adults to actively volunteer, and develop skills in community leadership, first aid, safety and teamwork.
How many other recreation facilities in the Yukon can claim these multiple benefits to so many different people?
Mount Sima is the only downhill ski facility we have in Whitehorse. If it is shut down, there are no other options for this activity in the city. The many people who love to downhill ski with their families and friends will be left out.
It is my sincere hope that the City of Whitehorse can find a way to keep this important facility open, so that it can continue to serve its important community function for years to come.