New jail, old location

The jail isn’t moving. After scouting a few sites, including a parcel of Kwanlin Dun land in the Industrial Area, the Yukon government will…

The jail isn’t moving.

After scouting a few sites, including a parcel of Kwanlin Dun land in the Industrial Area, the Yukon government will build a new correctional centre in the same spot as the old one.

“It allows the work to begin without delay and is the most effective choice,” Justice Minister Marian Horne told reporters Friday morning.

The new facility will use the footprint laid down in front of the current centre. That saves more than $1.3 million in site-preparation work.

Officials would not estimate the cost of a new facility.

“Everything is changing,” said assistant deputy minister Bob Riches. “The construction market is changing as we speak with the volatile labour market and all of those things.”

Though the national trend is to build correctional centres away from residential areas, the chosen site sits beside Takhini Elementary School, Yukon College, the Yukon Arts Centre, the softball complex, and is surrounded by Takhini North, East and West.

“The correctional centre has been there for 40 years and we think it’s been a good neighbour,” said Riches.

“The correctional centre provides a good source of employment and it’s a clean industry.

“It will be secure and won’t cause concern for the neighbours.”

The existing jail is 40 years old and was built to house 36 inmates. It currently holds up to 80.

“It’s basically a group of dorms surrounding a library,” said Riches.

The new centre will have 72 cells, which can be amended to double-bunk inmates.

It will have special facilities to house inmates with mental health issues and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder.

“We are adamant that this is not a jail — it is not there for punishment,” said Horne.

“The new facility will offer security but it will also offer offenders a chance to heal and take responsibility for their actions.”

Aboriginal people make up 75 per cent of Yukon’s inmate population.

First Nations leaders have been involved in the planning process.

“I think it’s very exciting news and to me it’s an example of how we can get things done if we work on a government-to-government basis,” said Council of Yukon First Nations chief Andy Carvill after the announcement.

Site preparation is slated to begin in 2007 and construction in 2008. The goal is to open in 2011.

(LC)

Fentie won’t devolve education

A co-chair of the education reform project is challenging Premier Dennis Fentie’s assertion the government “will never devolve public jurisdiction,” of the education system.

“The premier can’t have it both ways,” said Kaska project representative Liard McMillan in a release Friday.

“He is being inconsistent with Yukoners. Premier Fentie should not be taking a position on anything the education reform project is considering until their work is finished and the public is informed.”

McMillan, along with Education Minister Patrick Rouble and Council of Yukon First Nations representative Joe Linklater comprise the project’s executive.

The public system is failing Liard First Nation, and it must consider all solutions, said McMillan’s release.

That may affect how the system is managed and governed.

The government has rejected shared governance with First Nations.

Governance is the key issue being raised by people who stand to be most affected by reforms, said Liberal education critic Eric Fairclough on Thursday.

“Why can’t the premier be straightforward with Yukoners?,” Fairclough said in the legislature. “If he does not want to give Yukoners a direct say in how their children are educated, then he should at least stand up and say so.”

Fentie took the bait.

“Let’s put this on the record for clarity,” he said. “If the official opposition in this house wants to devolve or dilute public jurisdiction to another order of government, stand up and say so.

“A Yukon Party government will never devolve public jurisdiction, and that’s our position.” (TQ)

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

Just Posted

Kwanlin Dün First Nation chief Doris Bill holds up a signed copy of the KDFN <em>Lands Act</em> agreement during an announcement at the Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre in Whitehorse on Oct. 20. Under the new act, called Nan kay sháwthän Däk’anúta ch’e (We all look after our land) in Southern Tutchone, KDFN will be able to allot citizens land to build their own houses on, for example, or to use for traditional activities. The First Nation will also be able to enforce laws around things like land access and littering. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Kwanlin Dün First Nation’s Lands Act comes into force

The act gives the First Nation the authority to manage, protect and enforce laws on its settlement lands

Two doctors in Watson Lake say they are at risk of losing their housing due to a Yukon Housing Corporation policy that only allows one pet per family. (Wikimedia Commons)
Healthcare workers in Watson Lake say housing pet policy could force them to leave

The Yukon Housing Corporation has threatened evictions for having more than one pet

The Many Rivers Counselling and Support Services building in Whitehorse on March 28, 2019. Three people who sat on Many Rivers’ board immediately before it closed for good say they were relieved to hear that the Yukon RCMP has undertaken a forensic audit into the now-defunct NGO’s financial affairs. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Former Many Rivers board members relieved to hear about forensic audit, wonder what took so long

Three people who sat on Many Rivers’ board immediately before it closed… Continue reading

Whitehorse General Hospital in Whitehorse on Feb. 14, 2019. The Yukon Employees’ Union and Yukon Hospital Corporation are at odds over whether there’s a critical staffing shortage at the territory’s hospitals. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
YEU, Yukon Hospital Corp. at odds over whether hospitals are understaffed

YEU says four nurses quit within 12 hours last week, a claim the YHC says is “inaccurate”

Two former Whitehorse Correctional Centre inmates, Ray Hartling and Mark Lange, have filed a class action against the jail, corrections officials and Yukon government on behalf of everyone who’s been placed in two restrictive units over the past six years. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Class action filed against Whitehorse Correctional Centre over use of segregation

Two former Whitehorse Correctional Centre inmates have filed a class action against… Continue reading

Smartphone showing various applications to social media services and Google. (Pixabay photo)
National media calling for level playing field with Google, Facebook

In Canada, Google and Facebook control 80 per cent of all online advertising revenues

Education Minister Tracy-Anne McPhee, right, before question period at the Yukon legislative assembly in Whitehorse on March 7, 2019. The Yukon government announced Oct. 19 it has increased the honoraria rates for school council members. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Honoraria increased for school council members

Members of school councils throughout the territory could soon receive an increased… Continue reading

Triple J’s Canna Space in Whitehorse on April 17, 2019, opens their first container of product. Two years after Canada legalized the sale of cannabis, Yukon leads the country in per capita legal sales. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Yukon leads Canadian cannabis sales two years after legalization

Private retailers still asking for changes that would allow online sales

A sign greets guests near the entrance of the Canada Games Centre in Whitehorse on June 11. The city announced Oct. 16 it was moving into the next part of its phased reopening plan with spectator seating areas open at a reduced capacity to allow for physical distancing. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
CGC reopening continues

Limited spectator seating now available

During Whitehorse city council’s Oct. 19 meeting, planning manager Mélodie Simard brought forward a recommendation that a proposed Official Community Plan amendment move forward that would designate a 56.3 hectare piece of land in Whistle Bend, currently designated as green space, as urban residential use. (Courtesy City of Whitehorse)
More development in Whistle Bend contemplated

OCP change would be the first of several steps to develop future area

asdf
EDITORIAL: Don’t let the City of Whitehorse distract you

A little over two weeks after Whitehorse city council voted to give… Continue reading

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

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

Northwestel has released the proposed prices for its unlimited plans. Unlimited internet in Whitehorse and Carcross could cost users between $160.95 and $249.95 per month depending on their choice of package. (Yukon News file)
Unlimited internet options outlined

Will require CRTC approval before Northwestel makes them available

Most Read