Lang avoids municipal dogfight

As Community Services Minister, Archie Lang has "presided over the decay of local democracy," according to the NDP's Steve Cardiff.

As Community Services Minister, Archie Lang has “presided over the decay of local democracy,” according to the NDP’s Steve Cardiff.

Cardiff offered these harsh words on October 27 while asking Lang why he hadn’t intervened in spats between residents and municipal governments that turned into lengthy, expensive court battles.

The best-known case is Marriane Darragh’s failed campaign to turn McLean Lake into a protected park to stop a proposed concrete batch plant.

Darragh collected more than 2,500 signatures with the aim to trigger a municipal referendum on the matter. But the city of Whitehorse fought the petition through the courts, and eventually won. The BC Court of Appeal ruled that referenda can’t overrule planning matters spelled out in the city’s Official Community Plan, which is changed through another public process.

As minister, Lang could have called on the Yukon Municipal Board to help resolve the dispute, said Cardiff. Or Lang could have asked the territory’s ombudsman for help.

Instead, “He sat on the sidelines,” said Cardiff.

Lang supports the court decision. “They made a decision and the government stands by that decision,” said Lang.

“Everyone has a right to go to court,” Lang added. “I’m not going to pick winners or losers in that.”

That didn’t impress Cardiff. “If the courts ordered (Lang) to jump off a cliff, he might even do it,” he said.

Just Posted

Tagish dog rescue owner says she’s euthanized 10 dogs

Shelley Cuthbert said she put down 10 dogs after surrendering them to the animal health unit Feb. 15

Capstone prepares to sell Yukon’s Minto mine

‘We’re not buying this thing to close it down’

Broken hydrant floods Quartz Road

Leak might not be repaired until Feb. 19

Yukon’s alcohol label study back on but without a cancer warning

The Yukon government halted the program last year after concerns from industry

The North’s way of life is no match for social media’s prudish algorithms

Northerners now find their cultures under a new kind of puritan scrutiny

Most Canadians believe journalism plays critical role in democracy: poll

Survey suggests 94 per cent of Canadians feel journalism plays ‘important’ part

Team Yukon has strong showing at Whistler Super Youth and Timber Tour

‘Anwyn absolutely destroyed the competition’

Yukon skier turns in personal best at Junior World Championships

‘It was another great international racing experience’

Yukon child care deal to fund grandparents, courses for caregivers

‘How this is completely going to look, we’re still working on’

Full house for annual Native Bonspiel in Haines Junction

The 36th annual Yukon Native Bonspiel from Feb. 2 to 4 saw… Continue reading

Everything you need to know about wind chill

An Environment Canada warning preparedness meteorologist breaks down the winter value

The Fortymile was a dangerous river

Many miners died trying to traverse dangerous currents

Does the colour of your vehicle say something about your personality?

Red is flashy, black is sophisticated, blue is for wallflowers. Or so the thinking goes

Most Read