Problems a shovel won’t fix

Some problems can't be solved by digging holes in the ground. But try telling that to Ottawa, which is intent to embark on a massive spending splurge on building infrastructure. Meanwhile, funding cuts to art and heritage...

Some problems can’t be solved by digging holes in the ground. But try telling that to Ottawa, which is intent to embark on a massive spending splurge on building infrastructure.

Meanwhile, funding cuts to art and heritage programs remain in place.

As a result, climate-controlled trucks which once rolled up the Alaska Highway to transport prestigious art collections for display at the Yukon Arts Centre will stay parked.

Conversely, it also means Yukon art and museum exhibits won’t be able to tour the rest of Canada.

There’s new money available to build or repair museums. But that’s of little help to the Yukon.

Elaine Taylor, Yukon’s heritage minister, raised the matter with her federal counterpart, James Moore, on Tuesday during a visit to Ottawa.

Talks were positive, she said. But there’s no sign of concrete action on this or other matters she raised during the trip.

Other cuts affect the ability of museums to maintain their collections. The territory has stepped in to replace some of this money, said Taylor. She asked Moore to match Yukon’s money.

Taylor also donned her tourism minister’s hat to try to secure from Diane Ablonczy, the federal tourism minister, to discuss changes that will require Yukoners to produce passports while crossing the Alaska border as of June.

The new rules may hamper tourism, Taylor warned. She also asked for reassurance that aboriginals would be able to cross without passport, as is called for under the Jay treaty.

Indian and Northern Affairs is working on producing a security certificate that could be used by Yukon First Nations residents as an alternative to a passport, said Taylor.

But “there’s no clarity yet,” Taylor said.

Stricter rules at the border wouldn’t be an issue if Yukon had modern drivers licences and identity cards, said Liberal tourism critic Don Inverarity.

The US will accept enhanced drivers’ licenses, used by some provinces, as an alternative to a passport. But “Yukoners will not be able to take advantage of this program because the Yukon has failed to produce such a document,” Inverarity said in a news release.

“We are still stuck with driver’s licences that look like they are made in a high school kid’s basement. They obviously will not meet the new American standards.”

Taylor did receive assurance more federal money will flow towards tourism advertising campaigns, such as the pan-territorial campaign launched in 2007 at a cost of $5 million.

Following the blitz of television and magazine ads, domestic visits to the territory rose 12 per cent, said Taylor. “It was very well received.”

“It would be great to see something like that again,” she said.

Premier Dennis Fentie also hobnobbed with federal ministers in Ottawa this week to push for more money for Yukon First Nations with final agreements and for funds to double the capacity of the Mayo hydro-electric dam.

Contact John Thompson at

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

Just Posted

Fines for contravening the fire ban start at $1,150 and could go as high as $100,000. File photo
Yukon campgrounds will open on May 1 this year. (Black Press file)
Yukon campgrounds to open early

Yukon campgrounds will open on May 1 this year. The early opening… Continue reading

Whitehorse Chamber of Commerce executive director Susan Guatto and program manager Andrei Samson outside the chamber office in downtown Whitehorse Feb. 23. (Stephanie Waddell, Yukon News)
When business models shift

Whitehorse chamber offers digital marketing workshop

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: The aesthetics and economics of highway strips

One of the many cultural experiences you enjoy while driving from Whitehorse… Continue reading

Artwork by Grade 2 student Faith showing her thanks for everyone.
Artwork by Grade 2 student Faith showing her thanks for everyone. (Submitted)
Yukon kids express gratitude for nature, pets and friends in art campaign

More than 50 children submitted artwork featuring things they are grateful for

Team Yukon skip Laura Eby, left, directs her team as Team Northern Ontario skip Krysta Burns looks on at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Calgary on Feb. 22. (Jeff McIntosh/CP)
Team Yukon reports positive experience at Scotties

Team Yukon played their final game at the national championship in Calgary on Thursday afternoon

Tom Ullyett, pictured, is the first Yukoner to receive the Louis St-Laurent Award of Excellence from the Canadian Bar Association for his work as a community builder and mentor in the territory. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News)
Tom Ullyett wins lifetime achievement award from the Canadian Bar Association

Ullyett has worked in the Yukon’s justice ecosystem for 36 years as a public sector lawyer and mentor

The Blood Ties outreach van will now run seven nights a week, thanks to a boost in government funding. Logan Godin, coordinator, and Jesse Whelen, harm reduction counsellor, are seen here on May 12, 2020. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Blood Ties outreach van running seven nights a week with funding boost

The Yukon government is ramping up overdose response, considering safe supply plan

Ranj Pillai speaks to media about business relief programs in Whitehorse on April 1, 2020. The Yukon government announced Feb.25 that it will extend business support programs until September. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Government extends business relief programs to September, launches new loan

“It really gives folks some help with supporting their business with cash flow.”

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
A look at decisions made by Whitehorse City Council this week

Bylaw amendment Whitehorse city council is moving closer with changes to a… Continue reading

Susie Rogan is a veteran musher with 14 years of racing experience and Yukon Journey organizer. (Yukon Journey Facebook)
Yukon Journey mushers begin 255-mile race

Eleven mushers are participating in the race from Pelly Crossing to Whitehorse

Legislative assembly on the last day of the fall sitting in Whitehorse on Nov. 22, 2018. As the legislature prepares to return on March 4, the three parties are continuing to finalize candidates in the territory’s 19 ridings. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Nine new candidates confirmed in Yukon ridings

It has been a busy two weeks as the parties try to firm up candidates

David Malcolm, 40, has been charged with assaulting and attempting to disarm a police officer after an incident in Whitehorse on Feb. 18. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
Man resists arrest, assaults officer

A Whitehorse man has been charged with assaulting and attempting to disarm… Continue reading

Yukon Energy in Whitehorse on Aug. 4, 2020. A site on Robert Service Way near the Alaska Highway has been selected as the future home of Yukon Energy’s energy storage project. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Site selected for Yukon Energy battery project

Planned to be in service by the end of 2022

Most Read