Mount Sima slammed for funding request

Whitehorse city council has denied Mount Sima money to improve bike trails at the resort. Calling the request "arrogant," Coun.

Whitehorse city council has denied Mount Sima money to improve bike trails at the resort.

Calling the request “arrogant,” Coun. Betty Irwin, long an opponent of the city funding the ski resort, tabled a motion to deny the recreation grant Monday night.

“What’s another $23,000 between friends?’” she asked. “I still believe that we have given too much money to Mount Sima and I certainly cannot in all conscience vote to give them even another small amount.”

Last June, the city kicked in $1.6 million to help pay for the new chairlift at the ski hill.

Then, in April of this year, the Great Northern Ski Society, which operates the resort, came back to council asking for another $1.3 million to help take care of its operating deficit.

To pay for that, the city used federal funds that were originally earmarked for road-building projects.

Irwin was the lone voice of opposition to both funding requests, but this time her motion to deny the grant drew support from both Coun. Kirk Cameron and Dave Stockdale

“I’m not prepared to give any more money to it,” said Cameron. “$1.3 million, I don’t care how you cut it, is a lot of money.”

Council isn’t getting any argument from the ski society.

The city has already given the society more than enough money, said Craig Hougen, president of the ski society.

Applying for the recreation grant is something that the society does every year, but with the amount of money that the city gave to the ski hill this year, it should have been withdrawn, he said.

“I find it embarrassing,” said Hougen. “It was really an error on our part.”

Hougen didn’t even know that the application was still in process until he heard it on the news, he said.

The ski society applied for the recreation grant well before the city approved the latest $1.3-million cash infusion, he said.

“We don’t require any further funding,” said Hougen, who spent Tuesday morning calling city councillors to apologize. “It just slipped through the cracks.”

Thanks in part to the money the city has invested in the resort, Mount Sima will now operate year-round, which should allow it to finally turn a profit.

The Alpine Adventure Park, which includes zip lines, mountain biking and a ropes course through the trees, opens to the public this week.

It’s something that couldn’t have been done without the help of the city, said Hougen.

“I want to thank the city council again for their generous contributions,” he said. “We really do appreciate it.”

Contact Josh Kerr at joshk@yukon-news.com

Just Posted

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley has announced 30 new COVID-19 cases on June 21 for a total of 100 active cases. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Yukon experiencing community spread among unvaccinated: Hanley

Territory logs 30 new cases on June 21, for a total of 68 new cases this weekend

Lorraine Kuhn is seen with one of the many volleyball teams she coached. (Photo submitted by Sport Yukon)
The Yukon Sports Hall of Fame inducts the late Lorraine Kuhn

Lorraine Kuhn became the newest member of the Yukon Sports Hall of Fame for her work in growing volleyball amongst other sports

File Photo
A Yukon judge approved dangerous offender status for a man guilty of a string of assaults in 2020.
Yukon judge sentences dangerous offender to indefinite prison term

Herman Peter Thorn, 51, was given the sentence for 2020 assaults, history of violence

Crystal Schick/ Yukon News A former residential school in the Kaska Dena community of Lower Post will be demolished on June 21. Crystal Schick/ Yukon News
Lower Post residential school demolition postponed

On June 21, the old residential school in Lower Post will be demolished and new ground on a multi-cultural centre will be broken

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley announced 29 new COVID-19 cases on June 19 and community transmission among unvaccinated individuals. (Yukon News file)
Yukon logs record-high 29 new COVID-19 cases

F.H. Collins prom attendees and some Porter Creek Grade 9 students are instructed to self-isolate as community transmission sweeps through unvaccinated populations

Whitehorse City Hall (Yukon News file)
City news, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council at its June 14 meeting

Murray Arsenault sits in the drivers seat of his 1975 Bricklin SV1 in Whitehorse on June 16. (Stephanie Waddell/Yukon News)
Bringing the 1975 Bricklin north

Murray Arsenault remembers his dad’s Bricklin, while now driving his own

A presumptive COVID case was found at Seabridge Gold’s 3 Aces project. (file photo)
Presumptive COVID-19 case reported at mine in southeast Yukon

A rapid antigen rest found a presumptive COVID case on an incoming individual arriving at the 3Aces project

Jonathan Antoine/Cabin Radio
Flooding in Fort Simpson on May 8.
Fort Simpson asked for military help. Two people showed up.

FORT SIMPSON—Residents of a flooded Northwest Territories village expected a helping hand… Continue reading

A woman was rescued from the Pioneer Ridge Trail in Alaska on June 16. (Photo courtesy/AllTrails)
Alaska hiker chased off trail by bears flags down help

ANCHORAGE (AP)—An Alaska hiker who reported needing help following bear encounters on… Continue reading

Two participants cross the finish line at the City of Whitehorse Kids Triathlon on June 12 with Mayor Dan Curtis on hand to present medals. (Stephanie Waddell/Yukon News)
2021 Kids’ Triathlon draws 76 young athletes

Youth ages five to 14 swim, run and bike their way to finish line

NDP MP Mumilaaq Qaqqaq rises in the House of Commons, in Ottawa on May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
‘Unacceptable’ that Inuk MP felt unsafe in House of Commons, Miller says

OTTAWA—It’s a “sad reflection” on Canada that an Inuk MP feels she’s… Continue reading

Lily Witten performs her Canadian Nationals beam routine on June 14. John Tonin/Yukon News
Three Yukon gymnasts break 20-year Nationals absence

Bianca Berko-Malvasio, Maude Molgat and Lily Witten competed at the Canadian Nationals – the first time in 20 years the Yukon’s been represented at the meet

Most Read