Lighting a flame for the 2012 Arctic Games

A contract to host the 2012 Arctic Winter Games in Whitehorse caused a ruckus in council chambers this week. Whitehorse won the bid, and that might make it a financial loser, say councillors Florence Roberts and Doug Graham.

A contract to host the 2012 Arctic Winter Games in Whitehorse caused a ruckus in council chambers this week.

Whitehorse won the bid, and that might make it a financial loser, say councillors Florence Roberts and Doug Graham.

Both are concerned about the city’s ability to fund the event for a fourth time.

“Is there a budget prepared and do we have a financial commitment yet from YTG?”

Roberts asked Linda Rapp, director of parks and recreation.

“I’m edgy about committing to funding until I see dollars and cents.”

The city was advised by the Arctic Winter Games International Committee on May 8 that it won the right to host the Games.

The city was pushed into hosting the event, said Graham.

“The city only did it (put the bid forward) because it was pressured into it by the Yukon government,” said an exasperated Graham.

“If donations and funding come from other levels of government then we’ll be OK. But I don’t see the city getting the same kind of funding as it did for the Canada Games.”

Now, with the finances still to be pinned down, Graham is nervous.

“We should just say we’re not interested and let the Yukon government do it,” said Graham. “We can rent out our facilities to them.”

Last fall, Graham received a great deal of flak from other councillors and Arctic Winter Games International Committee president Gerry Thick after he challenged Whitehorse’s decision to host the 2012 Games.

Whitehorse last hosted the event in 2000. That year, it cost Whitehorse $400,000 and the territory chipped in an additional $750,000.

This time around, the Games are expected to cost the city almost $2 million to host.

“We set aside $50,000 in last year’s budget

for the bid,” said Graham.

“But when things got tight in the budget that money disappeared. My guess is we won’t have the money again this year to set aside (for the Games).”

If Mayor Bev Buckway formally signs the contract at next week’s council meeting, the city will be immediately tasked with assembling a “host society.”

The host society will formally oversee Games planning.

“There are some fairly tight timelines in place to ensure adequate planning time including the hiring of key staff by fall of 2009,” said Rapp.

This will be the 22nd winter games. If the contract is signed, the event will take place in March 2012.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Then Old Crow MLA Darius Elias speak’s in the community centre in Old Crow in 2016. Elias died in Whitehorse on Feb. 17. (Maura Forrest/Yukon News file)
Condolences shared for former Vuntut Gwitchin MLA Darius Elias

Elias is remembered as a proud parent, hockey fan and politican

Reita, Dudley and Rodney Morgan at their Whitehorse home in 2002. (P. Gowdie/Courtesy Yukon Hidden Histories Society)
Recognizing Black history in the Yukon

Yukon’s Hidden Histories Society is entering its twentieth year of researching Black… Continue reading

Dahria Beatty and her Canadian teammates are set to begin the FIS World Nordic Ski Championships this week. (John Hopkins-Hill/Yukon News file)
Beatty, Team Canada set for FIS World Nordic Ski Championships

Yukon’s Dahria Beatty was one of 10 skiers named by Nordiq Canada… Continue reading

Yukonomist: The changing Yukon debt landscape

Sometimes you hear people say that the Yukon is a great place… Continue reading

City council meeting in Whitehorse on Feb. 8. Whitehorse city council is concerned over infrastructure funding that has yet to be approved by the Yukon government. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
The Yukon government and the Yukon First Nations Chamber of Commerce have signed a letter of understanding under the territory’s new procurement policy. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
First Nation business registry planned under new procurement system

Letter of understanding signals plans to develop registry, boost procurement opportunities

US Consul General Brent Hardt during a wreath-laying ceremony at Peace Arch State Park in September 2020. Hardt said the two federal governments have been working closely on the issue of appropriate border measures during the pandemic. (John Kageorge photo)
New U.S. consul general says countries working closely on COVID-19 border

“I mean, the goal, obviously, is for both countries to get ahead of this pandemic.”

Legislative assembly on the last day of the fall sitting in Whitehorse on Nov. 22, 2018. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Start of spring sitting announced

The Yukon legislature is set to resume for the spring sitting on… Continue reading

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse City Council this week

History Hunter: Kwanlin Dün — a book of history, hardship and hope

Dǎ Kwǎndur Ghày Ghàkwadîndur: Our Story in Our Words is published by… Continue reading

(File photo)
RCMP arrest Saskatchewan murder suspect

Yukon RCMP have arrested a man suspected of attempted murder from outside… Continue reading

A Faro volunteer fire department truck in 2008. In a virtual press conference on Feb. 15, Yukon MP Larry Bagnell, territorial Community Services Minister John Streicker and Faro Mayor Leonard Fabor announced the Town of Faro will have a new public works and fire hall building in 2022. (Genesee Keevil/Yukon News file)
Fire hall, public works building will be built in Faro

Wildstone Construction Ltd. awarded contract

A train on the White Pass and Yukon Route cuts through the mountains as it approaches Fraser, B.C., on May 19, 2019. (John Hopkins-Hill/Yukon News file)
Summer season for Chilkoot Trail and White Pass railway uncertain

Regulations banning cruises in Canadian waters “puts the season in serious doubt”

Most Read