City council meeting in Whitehorse on Feb. 8. The City of Whitehorse is unable to move ahead on tendering for a number of planned infrastructure projects until the territorial government has its 2021 budget in place. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)

City council meeting in Whitehorse on Feb. 8. The City of Whitehorse is unable to move ahead on tendering for a number of planned infrastructure projects until the territorial government has its 2021 budget in place. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)

City awaits YG budget to determine project plans

Would normally begin procuring for projects in January, February

The City of Whitehorse is unable to move ahead on tendering for a number of planned infrastructure projects until the territorial government has its 2021 budget in place.

At Whitehorse city council’s Feb. 15 meeting, Coun. Dan Boyd questioned city staff about delays in upcoming infrastructure projects that were planned to be funded through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP).

Under the program, approved projects receive 75 per cent of the funding from the federal government and 25 per cent from the territory.

City manager Linda Rapp confirmed the city would normally begin procuring for these projects in January or February, which is typically the best time of year to get more submissions and better pricing.

Procurement cannot begin until the projects have been approved.

That means a territorial budget needs to be in place. In previous years, the anticipated amounts for infrastructure programs are known in the fall with municipalities able to move forward with ICIP approvals for the coming year and release tender documents in January/February.

In this case, Whitehorse staff said Yukon government staff have advised the budget is needed before they can advise whether the applications have been approved. It’s now expected the applications would not be approved until April when it may be too late for construction to happen this year on some projects.

In an interview following the Feb. 15 council meeting, Rapp said it’s an issue of budget timing with the territory’s budget not anticipated until the spring.

“We haven’t run into this before,” she said.

The situation has the city looking at what projects it can prioritize with a decision made to move forward with one that was planned for ICIP funding — the Range Road lift station — now being funded from reserves and gas tax funding.

Answering Boyd earlier in the meeting, Rapp said upgrades to the waste management facility are also a priority as well as energy upgrades to the Mount McIntyre Recreation Centre, which was a multi-year initiative.

Rapp noted with the Yukon potentially being considered for hosting the 2027 Canada Winter Games, if the games go ahead the Mount McIntyre Recreation Centre would likely be used as a venue. Upgrades would need to be completed well ahead of the games, with trial events happening in the year leading up to the games as well as site visits ahead of those.

Boyd also cited the Hillcrest reconstruction project as “long overdue” and wondered what impact a potential territorial election in the spring might have on the ICIP funding.

Rapp responded by noting that would largely depend on what stage the process is at when an election is called.

While it appears the city will have to wait until the territorial budget is confirmed to move forward, Coun. Samson Hartland voiced his support for “anything that would provide certainty.”

Mayor Dan Curtis, who has already stated his intention to seek the Liberal nomination in the Whitehorse Centre riding for the territorial election when it is called, questioned whether the Yukon government would be willing to consider a two-year window for projects to begin once approved as that would allow the city to go to tender for some in January/February of the following year. He asked administration to look into the possibility, noting there are a number of “absolutely critical” projects that could use the funding.

The News reached out to the territory’s Department of Finance, but officials were unable to provide information by press time.

Contact Stephanie Waddell at stephanie.waddell@yukon-news.com

budgetWhitehorse city councilYukon government

Just Posted

Lorraine Kuhn is seen with one of the many volleyball teams she coached. (Photo submitted by Sport Yukon)
The Yukon Sports Hall of Fame inducts the late Lorraine Kuhn

Lorraine Kuhn became the newest member of the Yukon Sports Hall of Fame for her work in growing volleyball amongst other sports

File Photo
A Yukon judge approved dangerous offender status for a man guilty of a string of assaults in 2020.
Yukon judge sentences dangerous offender to indefinite prison term

Herman Peter Thorn, 51, was given the sentence for 2020 assaults, history of violence

Crystal Schick/ Yukon News A former residential school in the Kaska Dena community of Lower Post will be demolished on June 21. Crystal Schick/ Yukon News
Lower Post residential school demolition postponed

On June 21, the old residential school in Lower Post will be demolished and new ground on a multi-cultural centre will be broken

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley announced 29 new COVID-19 cases on June 19 and community transmission among unvaccinated individuals. (Yukon News file)
Yukon logs record-high 29 new COVID-19 cases

F.H. Collins prom attendees and some Porter Creek Grade 9 students are instructed to self-isolate as community transmission sweeps through unvaccinated populations

Willow Brewster, a paramedic helping in the COVID-19 drive-thru testing centre, holds a swab used for the COVID-19 test moments before using it on Nov. 24. The Yukon government is reopening the drive-thru option on June 18. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Drive-up COVID-19 testing opening June 18 in Whitehorse

The drive-up testing will be open from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. everyday and increase testing capacity by 33 spots

Whitehorse City Hall (Yukon News file)
City news, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council at its June 14 meeting

Murray Arsenault sits in the drivers seat of his 1975 Bricklin SV1 in Whitehorse on June 16. (Stephanie Waddell/Yukon News)
Bringing the 1975 Bricklin north

Murray Arsenault remembers his dad’s Bricklin, while now driving his own

A presumptive COVID case was found at Seabridge Gold’s 3 Aces project. (file photo)
Presumptive COVID-19 case reported at mine in southeast Yukon

A rapid antigen rest found a presumptive COVID case on an incoming individual arriving at the 3Aces project

Jonathan Antoine/Cabin Radio
Flooding in Fort Simpson on May 8.
Fort Simpson asked for military help. Two people showed up.

FORT SIMPSON—Residents of a flooded Northwest Territories village expected a helping hand… Continue reading

A woman was rescued from the Pioneer Ridge Trail in Alaska on June 16. (Photo courtesy/AllTrails)
Alaska hiker chased off trail by bears flags down help

ANCHORAGE (AP)—An Alaska hiker who reported needing help following bear encounters on… Continue reading

Two participants cross the finish line at the City of Whitehorse Kids Triathlon on June 12 with Mayor Dan Curtis on hand to present medals. (Stephanie Waddell/Yukon News)
2021 Kids’ Triathlon draws 76 young athletes

Youth ages five to 14 swim, run and bike their way to finish line

NDP MP Mumilaaq Qaqqaq rises in the House of Commons, in Ottawa on May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
‘Unacceptable’ that Inuk MP felt unsafe in House of Commons, Miller says

OTTAWA—It’s a “sad reflection” on Canada that an Inuk MP feels she’s… Continue reading

Lily Witten performs her Canadian Nationals beam routine on June 14. John Tonin/Yukon News
Three Yukon gymnasts break 20-year Nationals absence

Bianca Berko-Malvasio, Maude Molgat and Lily Witten competed at the Canadian Nationals – the first time in 20 years the Yukon’s been represented at the meet

Most Read