Government shuts tent city

The Yukon government is evicting the tent city protesters who have camped on the legislature lawn since the summer.

The Yukon government is evicting the tent city protesters who have camped on the legislature lawn since the summer.

On Friday morning, the territory gave protesters 48 hours notice to clear out. Given the recent cold snap, Health Minister Doug Graham said in a release it was “in the best interest of the campers.”

“We respect the rights of individuals to protest, but due to ongoing safety concerns and extreme cold weather, it is time for camping at the Main Administration Building to come to an end,” he said.

Graham expressed concerns about heating methods. Helen Hollywood, the site’s de facto mayor, has heated her tent with an open-flame propane heater.

Sanitation is another concern cited by Graham.

The encampment has dwindled to several tents and two trailers, from a peak of about 40 tents during the summer.

The remaining campers have been offered rooms at downtown hotels by the government.

“The Yukon government has a public responsibility to take action at this stage,” said Graham.

Earlier this month, White Pass and Yukon Route evicted campers from their land, which sits adjacent to the legislature. Campers responded by scooting over to the government’s side of the property line.