Peel plan heads into the home stretch

The Peel Watershed Recommended Land-Use Plan is now under public consultation, but the power to interpret citizens' remarks remains with the Yukon cabinet and First Nations chiefs.

The Peel Watershed Recommended Land-Use Plan is now under public consultation, but the power to interpret citizens’ remarks remains with the Yukon cabinet and First Nations chiefs.

The Peel land-use plan was dogged by scandal last year after Premier Dennis Fentie broke his own chain of command and interfered with the committee developing the plan.

But the breakdown in governance hasn’t resulted in clearer responsibilities and roles.

Instead, the Yukon government has decided to keep the power structure flexible, said John Spicer, director of corporate policy and planning in the Energy, Mines and Resources Department.

“When you’re dealing in a collaborative process, it’s really not just sort of one group or one person,” said Spicer.

On paper, the results of the public consultation will be considered by the senior liaison committee, which includes representatives from four First Nation governments and the Yukon government.

But the flexible approach in governance allows several situations to arise.

The members of the senior liaison committee have to report public input to their respective leaders.

However, the leaders don’t have to report to the other governments through the committee – they can just call each other up, essentially going around the committee structure.

“They can go both ways,” said Spicer.

While Fentie’s interference last May caused headaches for the commission, the Yukon government has decided to leave the final decision to him and his ministers.

“It’s the government’s leadership that makes the final decision and that’s known as a cabinet,” said Spicer.

The Yukon government announced public meetings and a new website for people to mull over the plan, released in December, and is granting people more than two months to submit remarks before the final plan is written.

The website, www.peelconsultation.ca, allows people to browse the work of the Peel Watershed Planning Commission, which took five years to gather scientific, cultural and economic data on the 67,000-square-kilometre region.

Its recommended plan called for the protection of more than 80 per cent of the Peel. The region currently has no protected zones, but is virtually roadless. Outfitters, tourism operators and conservationists argue it’s one of the most accessible yet pristine regions on Earth. Mining companies argue protection will hurt the Yukon economy.

But the government has decided not to enlist the services of the commission’s members in the home stretch of the final plan.

“The commission is expected to be present at the various community meetings and would no doubt be asked to say a few words with respect to the plan preparation,” said Spicer.

“But the responsibility for reviewing the plan rests with the parties.”

The senior liaison committee consists of Albert Peter from the Na-cho Nyak Dun First Nation, Hugh Monaghan from the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation, Tim Gerberding from the Tr’ondek Hwech’in, Wilbert Firth from the Gwich’in Tribal Council and Angus Robertson with Yukon government.

Contact James Munson at

jamesm@yukon-news.com

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

Just Posted

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley gives a COVID-19 update during a press conference in Whitehorse on May 26. The Yukon government announced two new cases of COVID-19 in the territory with a press release on Oct. 19. (Alistair Maitland Photography)
Two new cases of COVID-19 announced in Yukon

Contact tracing is complete and YG says there is no increased risk to the public

Yukon Energy in Whitehorse on April 8. Yukon Energy faced a potential “critical” fuel shortage in January due to an avalanche blocking a shipping route from Skagway to the Yukon, according to an email obtained by the Yukon Party and questioned in the legislature on Oct. 14. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Yukon Energy faced ‘critical’ fuel shortage last January due to avalanche

An email obtained by the Yukon Party showed energy officials were concerned

Jeanie McLean (formerly Dendys), the minister responsible for the Women’s Directorate speaks during legislative assembly in Whitehorse on Nov. 27, 2017. “Our government is proud to be supporting Yukon’s grassroots organizations and First Nation governments in this critical work,” said McLean of the $175,000 from the Yukon government awarded to four community-based projects aimed at preventing violence against Indigenous women. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Yukon government gives $175k to projects aimed at preventing violence against Indigenous women

Four projects were supported via the Prevention of Violence against Aboriginal Women Fund

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: You don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone

When I was a kid, CP Air had a monopoly on flights… Continue reading

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

Legislative assembly on the last day of the fall sitting in Whitehorse. Yukon’s territorial government will sit for 45 days this sitting instead of 30 days to make up for lost time caused by COVID-19 in the spring. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Legislative assembly sitting extended

Yukon’s territorial government will sit for 45 days this sitting. The extension… Continue reading

asdf
Today’s mailbox: Mad about MAD

Letters to the editor published Oct. 16, 2020

Alkan Air hangar in Whitehorse. Alkan Air has filed its response to a lawsuit over a 2019 plane crash that killed a Vancouver geologist on board, denying that there was any negligence on its part or the pilot’s. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Alkan Air responds to lawsuit over 2019 crash denying negligence, liability

Airline filed statement of defence Oct. 7 to lawsuit by spouse of geologist killed in crash

Whitehorse city council members voted Oct. 13 to decline an increase to their base salaries that was set to be made on Jan. 1. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Council declines increased wages for 2021

Members will not have wages adjusted for CPI

A vehicle is seen along Mount Sima Road in Whitehorse on May 12. At its Oct. 13 meeting, Whitehorse city council approved the third reading for two separate bylaws that will allow the land sale and transfer agreements of city-owned land — a 127-square-metre piece next to 75 Ortona Ave. and 1.02 hectares of property behind three lots on Mount Sima Road. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Whitehorse properties could soon expand

Land sale agreements approved by council

Most Read