Whitehorse City Hall (Yukon News file)

Whitehorse City Hall (Yukon News file)

City news, briefly

A look at issues discussed by Whitehorse city council at its Oct. 4 meeting

A look at issues discussed by Whitehorse city council at its Oct. 4 meeting and other city matters.

Break-ins discussed

Coun. Laura Cabott suggested the city’s bylaw department should look at the possibility of stepping up patrols downtown.

The comment came during Whitehorse city council’s Oct. 4 meeting, when Cabott brought up the recent thefts and break-ins that have been happening around town.

“There’s something significant happening in our community,” she said.

In an Oct. 7 statement, Whitehorse RCMP said there had been 27 break and enters and several thefts in Whitehorse between Sept. 1 and Oct. 3.

Investigations on some of the incidents have resulted in arrests of four individuals, it was noted.

At the council meeting before the RCMP statement was made, Cabott noted the impact on residents in Whitehorse.

“People are concerned, people are upset,” she said, going on to ask bylaw manager Doug Spencer whether the city has reached out to the RCMP on the matter.

Spencer noted the city is in regular communication with the RCMP, but the bylaw department does not have the mandate to deal with break-ins and thefts such as these. He did note that when bylaw officers are conducting patrols, if they observe a crime they — as uniformed peace officers — would be the first to report it and assist RCMP.

Cabott then noted that it could be a chance for bylaw to step up patrols, noting if there is something the city can do to help address the issue she would be in favour of it.

Concerns over retrofit program highlighted

Whitehorse city councillor Samson Hartland is expressing concern over the potential impact the Yukon government’s proposed better building retrofit program could have on the city and other municipalities in the territory.

At council’s Oct. 4 meeting, Hartland brought up the matter noting the Association of Yukon Communities has also highlighted concerns.

Hartland explained in an interview following the meeting that he has no issue with the program itself, as it would provide funding to businesses and individuals looking to retrofit their buildings for greater efficiency.

He said the concern is that the program is potentially being rolled in the midst of a municipal election with little information provided to municipalities on how the administration of the program will happen — specifically if municipalities will be required to administer the program.

“This is a significant undertaking,” he said.

He noted during council discussion on it that the territory should take a step back and only after the Oct. 21 municipal elections happen, approach AYC about the program and how it will be delivered.

Coun. Dan Boyd said while it is likely a good program overall for those looking to make retrofits to their buildings, it seems to be off to a rough start with “a lot of unknowns.”

As Coun. Jocelyn Curteanu put it: “The reality is there’s a lot of factors that could add to the cost.”

Wood stove and chimney safety reviewed

Whitehorse Fire and Protective Services is reminding residents of the importance of inspecting and cleaning their wood stove chimneys.

“The onset of winter can bring a fluctuation in temperatures,” it was noted in an Oct. 7 statement. “These conditions can create an excess buildup of creosote, which can lead to chimney fires.”

Residents are encouraged to have a qualified professional inspect their wood stove and chimney annually. Appropriate clearances from any wood or insulation materials should be in place along with proper heat shields.

Regular chimney sweeping is an important part of wood stove maintenance. It was noted routine maintenance along with the use of well-seasoned wood provides maximum efficiency, and will reduce air quality concerns and the risk of chimney fire.

Further wood burning tips can be found at whitehorse.ca/woodburning.

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

Whitehorse city council