Whitehorse City Hall (Yukon News file)

Whitehorse City Hall (Yukon News file)

City news, briefly

A look at decisions made at Whitehorse city council’s Oct. 17 meeting.

Planning for 2023

The City of Whitehorse is getting ready for the coming year.

At Whitehorse city council’s Oct. 17 meeting, members were presented with a proposed meeting schedule for 2023 as well as an outline of when each councillor would take their turn serving as deputy mayor.

The proposed meeting schedule would begin Jan. 9 with meetings happening each Monday for the first four weeks of the month, with the exception of holidays, in which case the Monday meeting would be moved to Tuesday. In months where there is five Monday’s in a month, there would be no meeting on the fifth Monday.

Meetings would follow that weekly schedule until the summer recess, which would begin after the July 10 meeting.

Council would have its next meeting on Aug. 7 and would continue to follow the weekly schedule until Dec. 11 when the winter recess would begin and continue until early January 2024.

Members would also continue to each take a two month stint serving as deputy mayor, beginning with Coun. Mellisa Murray on Nov. 1 and continuing until Dec. 31. Councillors Dan Boyd, Michelle Friesen, Ted Laking, Kirk Cameron and Jocelyn Curteanu would follow until Oct. 31, 2023.

While the administrative report shows Boyd and Friesen each taking a turn as deputy reserve mayor, council members questioned the dates which are typically for a six month period during which the serving councillor would not be in a deputy mayor role. Valerie Braga, the city’s director of corporate services, said she would look at the matter over the coming week and get back to council about it.

The report also outlines committee roles for council over the coming year with Friesen and Murray proposed to represent the city on the Association of Yukon Communities; Curteanu to serve on Crime Stoppers; Cameron on the Whitehorse Chamber of Commerce; and Mayor Laura Cabott on the Coalition of Capital Cities.

Council will vote on the schedule and appointments at its Oct. 24 meeting.

(Stephanie Waddell)

Recreation grants proposed

Seven local groups could receive more than $40,000 for their recreation programs through the city’s fall recreation grants.

Kerri Rutherford, the city’s acting manager of recreation, brought forward the proposed fall recreation grants at Whitehorse city council’s Oct. 17 meeting.

The grants are awarded twice a year to organizations providing programming in Whitehorse.

The largest of the grants would be four grants, each worth $7,000, going to Gwaandak Theatre Society for The Crows Youth Tour; the Yukon Arts Society for its arts and crafts programs; Yukon Film Society for its Yukon Theatre Cabin Fever Screenings; and the Yukon Theatre for Young People for its production of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.

The skating club and art society would also each receive another $1,000 grant for operations with the theatre group to receive another $900 for operations.

The smallest of the program grants would be $1,300 for the Whitehorse Curling Club’s Curlability program.

In the middle would be the Arctic Edge Skating Club receiving $5,570 for its Gold Nugget Championships and the Whitehorse Community Choir at $5,200 for development of the choral program as well as training and workshops.

Council will vote on the grants at its Oct. 24 meeting.

Festivals and events funding comes forward

The City of Whitehorse could soon dole out more than $40,000 for events set to happen in the city over the next year in the form of the annual festivals and special events grants.

Along with the more than $40,000 in cash contributions would be in-kind support for four of the 11 events proposed to receive funding.

The grants came forward to Whitehorse city council at its Oct. 17 meeting.

The largest of the cash grants would be for $7,500 each to the Yukon First Nations Culture and Tourism Association for its annual Adaka Cultural Festival and to the Yukon Film Society for its Available Light Film Festival. Each is also proposed to receive in-kind support valued at $7,280 for Adaka and $3,975 for the film festival.

The smallest of the grants would see $1,000 go to the All City Band Society for its Music for a Winter’s Eve performance.

The Society of Something Shows would receive $2,000 in cash for its Wonderhorse Emerging Arts & Music Festival.

Funding of $3,000 in cash is proposed for the Association franco-yukonnaise for its Solstice Saint-Jean event; Gwaandak Theatre Society for its Awaken Festival; and the Yukon Quest sled dog race, with the Quest also proposed to receive in-kind support valued at $6,656.

Two organizations are proposed to receive $5,000: the Kwanlin Dün Cultural Society for its National Indigenous People’s Day event and the Nakai Theatre Ensemble for its Pivot Festival.

Finally, the Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous Society would receive $6,000 in cash and further in-kind support valued at $22,531 for its annual Yukon Rendezvous Festival.

Council will vote on the grants Oct. 24.

Trail plans comes forward

A trail plan for the north part of Whitehorse could soon be in place.

Landon Kulych, the city’s manager of parks for the City of Whitehorse, put forward the proposed Whitehorse North Trail Plan at Whitehorse city council’s Oct. 17 meeting.

The plan deals with trails in the areas around MacPherson, Forest View and Hidden Valley and comes after a series of public meetings and input opportunities.

“The Whitehorse North trail plan will provide residents with clarity on how trails should be used and lays out a connected network of designated trails that will see an improved level of service,” Kulych said.

Upgrades to trails in the area could include a regrading of steep or eroding trail sections, clearing of overhanging vegetation or hazardous trees; removing and replacing unsafe structures where appropriate; trail head improvements; putting boardwalks and bridges in place; and the installation of benches and signage.

The plan also aims to provide clarity around trail designations; access to loop trails; greater connectivity to the Trans Canada Trail; and clarity around motorized multi-use and non-motorized trails.

Keith Lay of Active Trails Whitehorse took issue with the city’s designation for the trails, which allows for snowmobiles to make use of a number of non-motorized trails through the winter. Under the city’s snowmobile bylaw only trails that are clearly listed in the bylaw cannot be used by snowmobiles.

Lay argued the situation does not make for an equitable trail system and that changes should be made to ensure that some trails are not for motorized use at all.

“Of course, if city council really wanted to bring clarity and equity to our trail system, end the confusion associated with so-called non-motorized trails, improve safety and trail protection, and reduce costs, then it would amend the snowmobile bylaw to reflect the ATV bylaw, and prohibit snowmobile operators from using non-motorized multiple use trails, greenbelts, and open spaces, and restrict snowmobile operation to motorized multiple use trails that are designed and designated for their use, and which are featured on the city’s new motorized multi-use trails map,” he said.

Council will vote on the trail plan Oct. 24.

Addressing recycling

Raven Recycling is calling on the City of Whitehorse to consider changes in how it deals with recyclable waste.

In a presentation to Whitehorse city council at its Oct. 17 meeting, Raven’s executive director Heather Ashthorn updated council on Raven’s work. She highlighted the recent installation of solar panels on Raven’s building in Marwell and noted continued efforts to educate Yukoners through Zero Waste Yukon as well as deal with ferrous metals it has in its yard.

At the same time, she also continued Raven’s call for the city to remove caps it has on diversion credits for recyclers. The credits provide recyclers with funding for keeping waste out of the city landfill.

She also encouraged the city to consider a number of areas that she argued could make a difference in dealing with waste in the city including greater enforcement at the city landfill; working with Raven to keep metals out of the landfill, reconsidering a blue bin program for the city’s waste collection schedule (there is a currently a private operator running a system for those who sign on to it); and looking at extended producer responsibility regulations in the city.

Ashthorn noted that as the city grows, more material is coming to Raven and efforts should be made in looking at how to deal with waste.

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

Whitehorse city council