We need more than a quick fix to the Slinky mine spat

We need more than a quick fix to the Slinky mine spat There has been an ongoing situation on the Dome in Dawson City for a number of years. We have a placer mine in a residential neighbourhood and on lands set aside for further housing. Despite repeated

There has been an ongoing situation on the Dome in Dawson City for a number of years.

We have a placer mine in a residential neighbourhood and on lands set aside for further housing. Despite repeated requests and appeals from residents, neither government has shown any real desire to deal with the issues.

So you can imagine residents’ surprise when Yukon government’s Department of Highways and Public Works suddenly submitted a proposal to relocate sections of the Dome Road and Mary McLeod Road covered by the placer claim blocks.

The territory intends to carry out this work at taxpayers’ expense. Costs have not been made known at this time but are likely to be between $1-2 million.

This decision was made with undue haste and without consultation with residents. The Yukon government noted land may become available for housing development in the future, but didn’t specify which areas this entails or when the land will available.

The Yukon government did not discount the possibility of mining continuing in the area, even after subdivision development.

As a public safety matter, the territory’s proposal leave a lot to be desired. Even if you accept that Dome Road urgently needs to be relocated in this manner, the proposals make little sense.

An adjoining section of highway, one actually in need of repair, isn’t even included in the proposals. The plans for the intersection of the Dome Road and Mary McLeod endanger public safety equally, if not more, than the current junction does. The “safety” aspects are no more than an afterthought to a proposal that focuses on allowing maximum access for mining. It is disappointing that these plans were considered to be adequate.

If this is an attempt at expediency, then it is expensive, time consuming and unnecessary. The Slinky mining approvals expire on May 17, 2015.

The Yukon government could simply let the permits lapse, and acknowledge a residential subdivision is a better use for the land than an inappropriate placer mine. This would require no expenditure, saving potential millions and the community could move forward after years of being held at ransom.

The territory must reconsider and withdraw its proposal. This plan does not resolve the issues of mining in communities nor clarify the rights and powers of a municipality to govern its affairs. The current circumstances on the Dome Road present an ideal opportunity to finally resolve the issues.

It seems the Yukon government has chosen a highly expensive and totally inadequate quick fix rather than pursue the matter for the long-term benefit of residents.

Glenda Bolt and Jim Taggart

Dawson City

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

d
Wyatt’s World

Wyatt’s World for March 5, 2021.

g
Yukonomist: School competition ramps up in the Yukon

It’s common to see an upstart automaker trying to grab share from… Continue reading

The Yukon government responded to a petition calling the SCAN Act “draconian” on Feb. 19. (Yukon News file)
Yukon government accuses SCAN petitioner of mischaracterizing her eviction

A response to the Jan. 7 petition was filed to court on Feb. 19

City councillor Samson Hartland in Whitehorse on Dec. 3, 2018. Hartland has announced his plans to run for mayor in the Oct. 21 municipal election. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Councillor sets sights on mayor’s chair

Hartland declares election plans

Whitehorse RCMP will provide internet safety training due to an uptick of child luring offences. (iStock photo)
RCMP hosting internet safety webinars for parents and caregivers

The webinars will take place on March 23 and 25

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley receives his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine from Public Health Nurse Angie Bartelen at the Yukon Convention Centre Clinic in Whitehorse on March 3. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
State of emergency extended for another 90 days

“Now we’re in a situation where we see the finish line.”

The Yukon government says it is working towards finding a solution for Dawson area miners who may be impacted by City of Dawson plans and regulations. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Miner expresses frustration over town plan

Designation of claims changed to future planning

Team Yukon athletes wave flags at the 2012 Arctic Winter Games opening ceremony in Whitehorse. The 2022 event in Wood Buffalo, Alta., has been postponed indefinitely. (Justin Kennedy/Yukon News file)
2022 Arctic Winter Games postponed indefinitely

Wood Buffalo, Alta., Host Society committed to rescheduling at a later date

Crews work to clear the South Klondike Highway after an avalanche earlier this week. (Submitted)
South Klondike Highway remains closed due to avalanches

Yukon Avalanche Association recommending backcountry recreators remain vigilant

RCMP Online Crime Reporting website in Whitehorse on March 5. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Whitehorse RCMP launch online crime reporting

Both a website and Whitehorse RCMP app are now available

A man walks passed the polling place sign at city hall in Whitehorse on Oct. 18, 2018. The City of Whitehorse is preparing for a pandemic-era election this October with a number of measures proposed to address COVID-19 restrictions. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
City gets set for Oct. 21 municipal election

Elections procedures bylaw comes forward

A rendering of the Normandy Manor seniors housing facility. (Photo courtesy KBC Developments)
Work on seniors housing project moves forward

Funding announced for Normandy Manor

Tom Ullyett, pictured, is the first Yukoner to receive the Louis St-Laurent Award of Excellence from the Canadian Bar Association for his work as a community builder and mentor in the territory. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News)
Tom Ullyett wins lifetime achievement award from the Canadian Bar Association

Ullyett has worked in the Yukon’s justice ecosystem for 36 years as a public sector lawyer and mentor

Most Read