Municipalities push for territory wide 911

Property assessments and an interim 911 service for Yukon communities were the hot topics at the recent annual meeting of the Association of Yukon Communities in Dawson City.

Property assessments and an interim 911 service for Yukon communities were the hot topics at the recent annual meeting of the Association of Yukon Communities in Dawson City.

The 911 debate was renewed last month, when a 19-year-old man was rescued from a house fire in Dawson City by a Good Samaritan, who had been shouting to witnesses to “call 911.”

Currently, dialing 911 in all of the communities outside of Whitehorse results in dead air.

The resolution put forward notes “the urgency of having a permanent 911 solution as soon as possible.”

The proposed resolution would allow those outside 911 range to dial 911 and receive “auto-select” options, such as dialing “1” for police and “2” for the fire department.

John Streicker, a Whitehorse city councillor, said that the Yukon government and NorthwesTel could get this auto-select system in place in a “heartbeat,” but it doesn’t meet the regulations of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission’s definition of basic 911 service, which requires a live operator.

Whitehorse Mayor Dan Curtis said finding a solution on the 911 issue is “a real moving target.”

“We’re blessed in Whitehorse to have the system we have,” he said. “It gets complicated with the CRTC regulations but we’re pushing forward to find a solution.”

Another resolution calls for clarity over property assessments, with “timely communication and cooperation between the property and assessment department with municipalities when dealing with changes to the tax roll properties in municipal boundaries.”

“We’ve got queries about how the assessments are calculated and would like the ability to get some clarity around how it works and what goes into it,” said Streicker. “We know it’s a formula but it’s not always easy to see what’s going on with it.”

Earlier this year, Whitehorse lawyer Graham Lang suggested changes to the system after discovering that some Whitehorse residents pay considerably more in property tax compared to other homes of comparable market value.

“We want to make sure the municipalities are well informed with what’s going on,” said Streicker. “That way we can detect if there’s been a mistake or not.”

Another resolution asks the Yukon government to review and expand the designated material regulations to include special waste and Phase 1 hazardous waste materials.

Earlier this month amendments were made to the Environment Act to enable changes to take place, including the ability to ban hazardous substances and allow inspection on private lands in hopes of reducing risk to human health and the environment.

And municipalities are pushing for the territory to expand the kinds of beverage containers eligible to be covered by recycling programs. A spokesperson for Environment Yukon said the department isn’t yet ready to speak to any forthcoming changes.

Contact Sam Riches at

sam@yukon-news.com

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

Just Posted

Dr. Brendan Hanley, Yukon’s chief medical officer of health, speaks to media at a press conference about COVID-19 in Whitehorse on March 30. The Yukon government announce the first COVID-19 related death in a press conference announcement Friday morning. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
UPDATED: Yukon announces first COVID-19-related death

The person was an older Watson Lake resident with underlying health conditions, officials said

Wyatt's World for Oct. 30.
WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World for Oct. 30

Health Minister Pauline Frost insists no one who shows up at the Whitehorse Emergency Shelter for dinner will go without a meal, despite no drop-in dinner service being offered starting on Nov. 1. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Non-profits concerned as Whitehorse Emergency Shelter ends drop-in dinner service

Minister Pauline Frost insists everyone who needs one ‘will be provided with a meal.’

Housing construction continues in the Whistle Bend subdivision in Whitehorse on Oct. 29. Affordability challenges is being described as being among the most pressing issues facing housing markets throughout the north in a report released Oct. 29 by the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Home, rent prices increasing in Whitehorse, northern housing report says

Affordability continues to be a major challenge, report says

Premier Sandy Silver talks to media in Whitehorse on March 19. According to the premier, who is also the finance minister, the Yukon government ran a $2.6 million deficit in the 2019-2020 fiscal year, instead of the surplus it had originally predicted. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Yukon government ran a $2.6 million deficit in 2019-2020

Deficit attributed to lower-than-expected revenue, higher expenses on health and social side

Catherine Constable, the city’s manager of legislative services, speaks at a council and management roundtable discussion Sept. 26, 2019. During an Oct. 29 meeting, Constable highlighted a number of potential changes to the City of Whitehorse procedures bylaw. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Work on City of Whitehorse procedures bylaw continues

Officials will look at procedures for other municipalities

Premier Sandy Silver, left, and Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley at a COVID-19 press conference in Whitehorse on Aug. 26. Hanley said the source of the outbreak in Watson Lake may not ever be found, but contact tracing in the community continues. (Alistair Maitland Photography)
New Whitehorse COVID-19 case is unrelated to Watson Lake cluster, officials say

Chief medical officer of health says avoid indoor Halloween parties, monitor for symptoms

Joel Krahn/Yukon News file Whitehorse City Hall.
Whitehorse city council, briefly

Updates on matters before city council on Oct. 26

An online fundraising campaign in support of the six-year-old boy, Edgar Colby, who was hit by a car on Range Road Oct. 25 has raised more than $62,000 in a day. (Submitted)
GoFundMe for Whitehorse boy hit by car on Range Road raises more than $62k in a day

The boy’s aunt says the family is “very grateful” for the support they’ve received from the community

A proposed Official Community Plan amendment would designate a 56.3 hectare piece of land in Whistle Bend currently designated as green space, as urban residential use. Whitehorse city council passed first reading on a bylaw for the designation change at its Oct. 26 meeting, prompting an upcoming public hearing on Nov. 23 ahead of second reading on Dec. 7. (Courtesy City of Whitehorse)
Local contractors will be given an advantage on a contract for the design and construction services that will see a new reception building at Robert Service Campground decided city councillors during the Oct. 26 council meeting. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Local firms will get advantage on contract for new Robert Service Campground building

Yukon-based companies competing for contract for new reception building will receive 20 extra points

Fallen trees due to strong winds are seen leaning on to power lines which caused some power outages around the territory on Oct. 26. (Courtesy of ATCO)
Wind knocks out power around the Yukon

High winds on Oct. 26 knocked out power to Faro, parts of Whitehorse and beyond

The Yukon government is asking for all claims in a lawsuit over the Takhini elk herd be struck by the court. (Mike Thomas/Yukon News file)
Yukon government asks for Takhini elk lawsuit to be struck

The Yukon government is asking for all claims in a lawsuit over… Continue reading

Most Read