Municipalities welcome infrastructure cash but say more needed

The $30 million for infrastructure investments across Yukon announced April 27 in the territorial budget has more than a few municipalities perking up their ears.

The $30 million for infrastructure investments across Yukon announced April 27 in the territorial budget has more than a few municipalities perking up their ears.

The government also pledged $36 million to repair highways, $6.5 million for repairs to Yukon airports and airstrips and $15 million in bridge repairs, including the Nisutlin Bridge in Teslin.

“When it comes down to the nuts and bolts (of this budget) we’re very pleased,” said Whitehorse Mayor Dan Curtis. “We are very encouraged by the money going into infrastructure.”

The infrastructure money is a plus for communities outside of Whitehorse as well, said Diana Rogerson, a Faro town councillor and president of the Association of Yukon Communities.

“This money is based on projects identified by communities in the past and we are pleased to see the government is following up on that,” she said.

While Rogerson says the money is definitely needed, she called it “just the tip of the iceberg.”

“Most of the communities have aging infrastructure,” she said.

She said aging pipes, water systems and — in particular — solid waste management are major concerns for communities.

“Solid waste management is big priority for AYC,” she said. “It’s a Yukon-wide problem. It’s not just restricted to the municipal boundaries.”

“We are a little concerned that there was nothing in the budget that spoke to this issue.”

Both Rogerson and Curtis said they would like to see increases to the comprehensive municipal grant, which is currently up for review.

The grant allots a chunk of money to Yukon municipal governments based on a formula which considers things like tax base, population size and number of houses.

Curtis said Whitehorse gets about $8 million a year from the grant and that the city hasn’t “had an increase in a long time.”

“I sound like a bit of an ingrate,” he said. “But we still have the day-to-day running of our community and those costs continue to increase.”

Rogerson said municipalities are only mentioned four times in the budget, something she says is worrisome.

“We are a little curious as to what (the Liberal government’s) involvement will be at a municipal level,” she said.

Contact Lori Garrison at lori.garrison@yukon-news.com

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

Just Posted

Two people walk up the stairs past an advance polling sign at the Canda Games Centre on April 4. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
April 12 is polling day: Here’s how to vote

If in doubt, electionsyukon.ca has an address-to-riding tool

Yukon Party leader Currie Dixon addressing media at a press conference on April 8. The territorial election is on April 12. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Getting to know Currie Dixon and the Yukon Party platform

A closer look at the party leader and promises on the campaign trail

Yukon NDP leader Kate White, surrounded by socially distanced candidates, announces her platform in Whitehorse on March 29. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Getting to know Kate White and the Yukon NDP Platform

A detailed look at the NDP platform and Kate White’s leadership campaign this election

Crystal Schick/Yukon News
Sandy Silver announces the territorial election in Whitehorse. Silver is seeking a second term as premier and third term as Klondike MLA. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Getting to know Sandy Silver and the Yukon Liberal platform

Yukon Liberal Leader Sandy Silver is vying for a second term as… Continue reading

Whitehorse City Hall (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
This week at city hall

A look at issues discussed by Whitehorse city council at its April 6 meeting.

Point-in-Time homeless count planned this month

Volunteers will count those in shelters, short-term housing and without shelter in a 24-hour period.

The Yukon’s new ATIPP Act came into effect on April 1. Yukoners can submit ATIPP requests online or at the Legislative Assembly building. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News file)
New ATIPP Act in effect as of April 1

The changes promise increased government transparency

A new conservancy in northern B.C. is adjacent to Mount Edziza Provincial Park. (Courtesy BC Parks)
Ice Mountain Lands near Telegraph Creek, B.C., granted conservancy protection

The conservancy is the first step in a multi-year Tahltan Stewardship Initiative

Yukon RCMP reported a child pornography-related arrest on April 1. (Phil McLachlan/Black Press file)
Whitehorse man arrested on child pornography charges

The 43-year-old was charged with possession of child pornography and making child pornography

Team Yukon athletes wave flags at the 2012 Arctic Winter Games opening ceremony in Whitehorse. The postponed 2022 event in Wood Buffalo, Alta., has been rescheduled for Jan. 29 to Feb. 4, 2023. (Justin Kennedy/Yukon News file)
New dates set for Arctic Winter Games

Wood Buffalo, Alta. will host event Jan. 29 to Feb. 4, 2023

Victoria Gold Corp. has contributed $1 million to the First Nation of Na-cho Nyak Dun after six months of production at the Eagle Gold Mine. (Submitted/Victoria Gold Corp.)
Victoria Gold contributes $1 million to First Nation of Na-cho Nyak Dun

Victoria Gold signed a Comprehensive Cooperation and Benefits Agreement in 2011

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley speaks to media in Whitehorse on October 30, 2020. Hanley is now encouraging Yukon to continue following health regulations, noting it could still be some time before changes to restrictions are made. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
No active COVID cases in Yukon

Hanley highlights concerns over variants, encourages vaccinations

Most Read