A year and a half ago, MLA John Edzerza was gushing about McIntyre Creek.
He wanted to see permanent protection for the creek corridor, calling it the “most precious of resources.
“This strip of wetlands and uplands, which also runs through the traditional territories of the Kwanlin Dun and Ta’an Kwach’an Council First Nations, has significant wilderness, recreation and heritage value,” he wrote in a letter to the News published in August, 2008.
As an independent MLA, Edzerza was hoping to call the government’s attention to the creek so that it could be protected from future development.
But since Edzerza returned to the Yukon Party and took on its Environment portfolio, he hasn’t mentioned McIntyre Creek – even though the city has suggested creating a housing development and possible roadways in the area.
“It’s important with his new portfolio position that he do something about McIntyre Creek,” said Porter Creek South MLA Don Inverarity.
The issue has been on the minds of residents, he said.
“I had a constituency meeting on March 3rd and it came up at the meeting,” he said.
“It’s a pretty big concern.”
Residents are worried that the Whistle Bend subdivision on the lower Porter Creek bench, expected to house up to 10,000 people in the first two phases of development, will increase traffic in the area and prompt the city to build a roadway through the creek.
The issue surfaced at a public Whistle Bend meeting in January.
That’s when citizens pointed to a city engineering report that said one way to reduce traffic from the subdivision was to extend Pine Street through McIntyre Creek to the Alaska Highway.
“Personally, I don’t think this has been discussed enough through the OCP process and public charettes,” said Inverarity.
“It’s a major connector road and it should be moved somewhere else.”
The McIntyre Creek area is also a major wildlife corridor through the heart of the city and needs to be protected, he said.
“In Alaska there have been several cases where wildlife corridors have been closed off and there’s wild game turning up in people’s backyards.”
Inverarity says he plans to raise the issue when the house reconvenes this spring.
Calls to Edzerza were not returned. (Vivian Belik)