NDP: Breaking a new tourism trail

There is more to the Yukon than just the Klondike, says NDP Leader Liz Hanson. “What we need to do is help diversify the focus of tourism in this territory.”

There is more to the Yukon than just the Klondike, says NDP Leader Liz Hanson.

“What we need to do is help diversify the focus of tourism in this territory,” she said after the party released its tourism platform on Friday.

“I love the Klondike and I love the history of that, but I look at the Southern Lakes region, I look at the whole southeast – which has an amazing geography and history, I look at the Kluane National Park.

“The tourism potential is untapped. We need to take a more regional focus in terms of how we develop the tourism opportunities that are out there.

“We need more partners and we need to enhance the local partners.”

RELATED:Read all of our election coverage.

The approach is not meant to be a replacement or a competitor with Holland-America’s hold on the industry in the territory, she said.

“They’ve invested a significant amount of money over the years,” said Hanson. “I really don’t see them as being a negative force.”

But for many, including the Tr’ondek Hwech’in First Nation in Dawson City, Holland America’s Yukon Queen II is a problem.

The tour boat, which docks at Dawson City and passes by the traditional village of Moosehide, was first launched in 1999. Since then, there’s been an ongoing battle between the tour company, the First

Nation and other parties, including the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.

The boat’s size and wake is affecting the environment, most notably causing faster and more severe erosion of the riverbank and killing thousands of young salmon every year, according to the First Nation and federal Fisheries officials.

But the boat is integral to selling Dawson City tours. Without it, Yukon would be a much harder to sell to visitors, counters the company.

The fight eventually wound up before the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Board in 2008.

After an eight-month review, the environmental assessment board decided a more comprehensive review must be done.

In 2010, Holland-America submitted a project proposal to the board.

It is still being reviewed and processed by the board’s executive council.

All the while, the boat is still running.

It is unprecedented for the environmental board to receive and review a project that is already running. There has been no decision to stop the boat from running while the review is underway.

“I’d have to review it,” Hanson said about the Yukon Queen II issue. “I haven’t actually seen the YESAB submission. Like any other industry, environmental concerns and habitat protection needs to be taken seriously. It’s not something we will ignore.

“Any industry does not trump our protection and stewardship of our environment.”

Among other things, the New Democrats’ tourism platform includes making sure transportation and communication infrastructure meets the needs of the industry, giving specific support to small businesses and increase training to help with labour shortages.

Contact Roxanne Stasyszyn at roxannes@yukon-news.com

Just Posted

Whether the dust jacket of this historical novel is the Canadian version (left) or the American (right), the readable content within is the same. (Michael Gates)
History Hunter: New novel a gripping account of the gold rush

Stampede: Gold Fever and Disaster in the Klondike is an ‘enjoyable and readable’ account of history

XX
WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World for May 14, 2021.… Continue reading

Copies of the revised 2021-22 budget documents tabled in the legislature on May 14. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Liberals introduce new budget with universal dental and safe supply funding

The new items were added to secure the support of the NDP.

Community Services Minister Richard Mostyn speaks to reporters on May 13. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Cap on rent increases will take effect May 15

The rollout of the policy is creating ‘chaos,’ says opposition

Yukon News file
A 21-year-old man is in custody after a stabbing in Porter Creek on May 14.
One man in hospital, another in custody, after alleged stabbing in Porter Creek

A police dog was used to track the suspect who was later arrested in a wooded area.

Safe at home office in Whitehorse on May 10, 2021. (John Tonin/Yukon News)
Federal government provides $1.6 million for Yukon anti-homelessness work

Projects including five mobile homes for small communities received funding.

Drilling at Northern Tiger’s 3Ace gold project in 2011. Randi Newton argues that mining in the territory can be reshaped. (Yukon government/file)
Editorial: There’s momentum for mining reform

CPAWS’ Randi Newton argues that the territory’s mining legislations need a substantial overhaul

At its May 10 meeting, Whitehorse city council approved the subdivision for the Kwanlin Dün First Nation’s business park planned in Marwell. (Submitted)
KDFN business park subdivision approved

Will mean more commercial industrial land available in Whitehorse

Main Street in Whitehorse on May 4. Whitehorse city council has passed the first two readings of a bylaw to allow pop-up patios in city parking spaces. Third reading will come forward later in May. (Stephanie Waddell/Yukon News)
Whitehorse council pursuing restaurant patio possibilities

Council passes first two readings for new patio bylaw

Neil Hartling, the Tourism Industry Association of the Yukon president, left, said the new self-isolation guidelines for the Yukon are a ‘ray of hope’ for tourism operators. (Ian Stewart/Yukon News file)
Yukon tourism operators prepared for ‘very poor summer’ even with relaxed border rules

Toursim industry responds to new guidelines allowing fully vaccinated individuals to skip mandatory self-isolation.

A lawsuit has been filed detailing the resignation of a former Yukon government mine engineer. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
A year after resigning, former chief mine engineer sues Yukon government

Paul Christman alleges a hostile work environment and circumvention of his authority led him to quit

Former Liberal MLA Pauline Frost speaks to reporters outside the courthouse on April 19. One of the voters accused of casting an invalid vote has been granted intervenor status in the lawsuit Frost filed last month. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Voters named in Pauline Frost election lawsuit ask to join court proceedings

The judge granted Christopher Schafer intervenor status

Most Read