A placer mine operating within Dawson City limits has been given a second green light.
On Wednesday, city council tossed out an appeal by local residents to stop Darrell Carey from mining on and under the Dome Road.
“They’re making the wrong decision,” said Dawson resident Jim Taggart. “The mining industry has 70 to 80 per cent of the Yukon to work with, why should they be able to devastate the lives of people within communities?”
The decision was rushed and not all impacts and positions were considered, said residents, who feel the winter months could have allowed for more time, since mining won’t start up again until spring.
“Everyone’s voice was heard at the appeal board,” said Jeff Renaud, the town’s chief administrative officer.
In fact, the decision took longer than expected because of the legal complexities and volumes of submissions being considered, he said. As well, there was a massive internal computer network failure at the administration’s offices.
“One-hundred per cent of the submissions said to deny the permit,” said Taggart. “I don’t know where they are getting their direction from.”
The fight is not over, said Taggart, who is now shifting much of his criticism to the Yukon territorial government.
“YTG should look at mining and industrial development within municipalities,” he said. “Right now they’ve been saying it’s a municipalities issue but they are the ones who write the legislation that allows it.”
Dawson residents are now considering court action.
Under the Yukon Human Rights Act, property owners have “the right to peaceful enjoyment and disposition of property.”
The act says no property owner “shall be deprived of that right, except with just compensation.”
It would be the first time this clause was used in court, said Yukon Humans Rights Commission director Heather MacFadgen, who is not able to comment on this case specifically.
Carey’s permit has nine conditions, including that no activity take place within 200 metres of an existing residence without written approval, and that any realignment or destruction of the Dome Road must be approved or remedied.
“Why have a permit with conditions if they can’t enforce it,” said Taggart. “I don’t think they have looked into any implications of their decision on residents’ rights under the (Yukon Human Rights) Act or if residents are eligible for compensation and whether or not they can afford that. At least we’ve been given no reason to believe they have.”
City administration has heard that residents may pursue court action under a human rights violation, said Renaud. But council hasn’t discussed it yet and only will if actually faced with it, he said.
As for compensation, Renaud said he is not at liberty to discuss what happened in the appeals board.
While the winter weather has put an assumed end to any current work on the claims, the issue will be raised again at the next council meeting, said Taggart.
Carey could not be reached for comment.
Contact Roxanne Stasyszyn at