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Hunters' association to weigh in on Ross River case

Hunters' association to weigh in on Ross River case The Yukon Fish and Game Association will participate in a court case between the Yukon government and the Ross River Dena Council over hunting.

The Yukon Fish and Game Association will participate in a court case between the Yukon government and the Ross River Dena Council over hunting.

A Yukon Supreme Court judge has granted the association intervener status in the case, spurred by a lawsuit the First Nation filed last August. It argues that the government has a duty to consult and accommodate the First Nation prior to issuing big game hunting licences and seals under the Wildlife Act.

The First Nation is asking the court to find that the failure to consult with and accommodate the Ross River Dena Council prior to issuing hunting licences and seals for their territory is inconsistent with the honour of the Crown and is a breach of the government’s duty to consult.

The fish and game association expressed disappointment in the lawsuit after it was announced.

In his decision Thursday, Justice Ron Veale said he was granting the association intervener status because the case deals with “important issues of constitutional law.”

He did place some limits on the role the association will have when the matter comes to court.

They are allowed to make a written submission that is no more than five pages. The association’s position, what ever that ends up being, can’t repeat arguments already being made by the other two sides.

Once the written submission is done, the court will decide if the association gets to make oral arguments.

No trial date has been set yet.

(Ashley Joannou)

Psychiatric assessment

ordered for convicted killer

A psychiatric assessment has been ordered for a Yukon man convicted of manslaughter who is back before the court.

Mark Lange pleaded guilty to assault causing bodily harm after attacking someone outside the Salvation Army last June, kicking him in the head multiple times and giving him a concussion and a swollen and bloody ear.

Now prosecutors are asking for an assessment to be done to see if Lange should be designated either a long-term or dangerous offender.

Either of those labels would impact how long Lange is monitored by corrections officials once he is released from jail.

A long-term offender status means a maximum of 10 years of monitoring. A dangerous offender gets lifetime monitoring.

This is not the first time the Crown considered a label like that for Lange.

The 39-year-old along with Dean Boucher beat Carcross Hotelier Bob Olson to death in 2004.

The pair were originally convicted of second-degree murder but won an appeal and pleaded guilty to manslaughter.

An assessment was completed for a possible long-term offender status, but the Crown decided not to apply for one.

The doctor found Lange was not a high risk to reoffend.

He will be in court next March 20.

(Ashley Joannou)

City sues Dowland

The City of Whitehorse is suing bankrupt contractor Dowland Contracting and an insurance company for $500,000.

The lawsuit is over delays in replacing the Selkirk pump station, part of the city’s water infrastructure.

According to court documents, Dowland was hired as the general contractor in September 2011. The $5 million project was supposed to be done in a year.

A $2.5 million bond was issued by Intact Insurance.

Once the work got started “there were immediate and ongoing problems with Dowland’s performance of its obligations under the contract including deficient and defective work and a failure to complete the work in a timely manner,” the lawsuit says.

No specific details are included in the document and no statement of defence has been filed.

By February 2013, “as a result of Dowland’s failure to pay its subcontractors and suppliers,” the city sent a default notice to Dowland and Intact.

In April of that year Dowland notified the city it no longer had the capacity to complete the project, documents say.

Dowland went into receivership in May 2013. This had a big impact in the Yukon, as Dowland was responsible for building both the Dawson and Watson Lake hospitals.

Both those projects were defaulted on, though they were eventually completed when Intact took them over.

Dowland defaulted on jobs across the country, including a $36-million hospital renovation in Iqaluit, and a massive hydroelectric project in Terrace, B.C.

In these latest court documents, Whitehorse says the pump house wasn’t done until December 2014.

The city is asking the court to award it half a million dollars as payment for the way Dowland acted and the fact that the insurance company did not act promptly to complete the project.

(Ashley Joannou)