NDP calls for off road vehicle legislation

The NDP hopes that the Yukon government will bring forward off-road vehicle legislation during this sitting of the legislature. It has been a long time coming, said MLA Kate White.

The NDP hopes that the Yukon government will bring forward off-road vehicle legislation during this sitting of the legislature.

It has been a long time coming, said MLA Kate White.

“I hope that we can come up with legislation that encourages the use of trails, so we’re protecting sensitive areas,” she said. “I hope that we have legislation to address safety. I want to see helmets as mandatory. I spend quite a bit of time out in the woods and I see entire families go past on snow machines without helmets on and I think, well if your small child falls off, or an adult falls off and hits their head at 20 kilometres an hour, that’s pretty damaging.”

She doesn’t know if this is on the Yukon Party’s agenda for the sitting, which begins tomorrow, she said.

“Kind of sadly, the relationship between government and opposition is not communication both ways. So we don’t get told anything typically until after it’s been announced to the media.”

But it will be an issue she will bring up, regardless of the legislative plans of the government.

“I have received an awful lot of mail in the last month and a half, and it’s great,” said White. “And it’s people talking about their vision for the Yukon. And their vision for the Yukon involves them being able to go to alpine areas without the destruction of those sensitive areas. It’s about them being able to hunt without the animals being chased farther and farther away. It’s the idea that we won’t have any more accidents or fatalities with people hitting their heads.”

A select committee on safe operation and use of off-road vehicles delivered 14 recommendations to the legislature a year ago. It recommended developing legislative and regulatory tools to deal with both safety and environmental issues around the use of off-road vehicles.

Since then, a working group has been struck to work on implementing the recommendations.

Brad Cathers, minister of energy, mines and resources, and Currie Dixon, minister of environment, met with members of the Trails Only Yukon Association in December 2012.

Trails Only is an advocacy group dedicated to education and pushing for the regulation of off-road vehicle use in sensitive areas.

In January the ministers followed up with the group by letter, and outlined some of their plans for action.

The safety-related recommendations will be dealt with by the Highways department through the Motor Vehicles Act, according to the letter.

Environmental concerns will likely be dealt with through the Territorial Lands (Yukon) Act and the Summary Convictions Act, it added.

The letter says some good things, but fails to provide clear benchmarks or timelines for action, said White.

“It says not a lot in a whole bunch of words.”

The letter can be found on the Trails Only website.

Cathers and Dixon were not available for comment by press time.

Contact Jacqueline Ronson at


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

Just Posted

Whitehorse and Carcross will be among seven northern communities to have unlimited internet options beginning Dec. 1. (Yukon News file)
Unlimited internet for some available Dec. 1

Whitehorse and Carcross will be among seven northern communities to have unlimited… Continue reading

Willow Brewster, a paramedic helping in the COVID-19 drive-thru testing centre, holds a swab used for the COVID-19 test moments before conducting a test with it on Nov. 24. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
An inside look at the COVID-19 drive-thru testing centre

As the active COVID-19 case count grew last week, so too did… Continue reading

Conservation officers search for a black bear in the Riverdale area in Whitehorse on Sept. 17. The Department of Environment intends to purchase 20 semi-automatic AR-10 rifles, despite the inclusion of the weapons in a recently released ban introduced by the federal government, for peace officers, such as conservation officers. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Environment Minister defends purchase of AR-10 rifles for conservation officers

The federal list of banned firearms includes an exception for peace officers

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: The K-shaped economic recovery and what Yukoners can do about it

It looks like COVID-19 will play the role of Grinch this holiday… Continue reading

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

Colin McDowell, the director of land management for the Yukon government, pulls lottery tickets at random during a Whistle Bend property lottery in Whitehorse on Sept. 9, 2019. A large amount of lots are becoming available via lottery in Whistle Bend as the neighbourhood enters phase five of development. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Lottery for more than 250 new Whistle Bend lots planned for January 2021

Eight commercial lots are being tendered in additional to residential plots

The Government of Yukon Main Administration Building in Whitehorse on Aug. 21. The Canada Border Services Agency announced Nov. 26 that they have laid charges against six people, including one Government of Yukon employee, connected to immigration fraud that involved forged Yukon government documents. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Charges laid in immigration fraud scheme, warrant out for former Yukon government employee

Permanent residency applications were submitted with fake Yukon government documents

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

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

Karen Wenkebach has been appointed as a judge for the Yukon Supreme Court. (Yukon News file)
New justice appointed

Karen Wenckebach has been appointed as a judge for the Supreme Court… Continue reading

Catherine Constable, the city’s manager of legislative services, speaks at a council and senior management (CASM) meeting about CASM policy in Whitehorse on June 13, 2019. Constable highlighted research showing many municipalities require a lengthy notice period before a delegate can be added to the agenda of a council meeting. Under the current Whitehorse procedures bylaw, residents wanting to register as delegates are asked to do so by 11 a.m. on the Friday ahead of the council meeting. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Changes continue to be contemplated for procedures bylaw

Registration deadline may be altered for delegates

Cody Pederson of the CA Storm walks around LJ’s Sabres player Clay Plume during the ‘A’ division final of the 2019 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament. The 2021 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament, scheduled for March 25 to 28 in Whitehorse next year, was officially cancelled on Nov. 24 in a press release from organizers. (John Hopkins-Hill/Yukon News file)
2021 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament cancelled

The 2021 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament, scheduled for March 25 to 28… Continue reading

Lev Dolgachov/123rf
The Yukon’s Information and Privacy Commissioner stressed the need to safeguard personal information while shopping this holiday season in a press release on Nov. 24.
Information and Privacy Commissioner issues reminder about shopping

The Yukon’s Information and Privacy Commissioner Diane McLeod-McKay stressed the need to… Continue reading

Most Read