Squatter a no show

A man living illegally near Scout Lake failed to show up to court for the second time on Thursday. On-and-off since at least 2009, Piotr Kijewski has been living with his teenage daughter in a wall-tent beside Scout Lake.

A man living illegally near Scout Lake failed to show up to court for the second time on Thursday.

On-and-off since at least 2009, Piotr Kijewski has been living with his teenage daughter in a wall-tent beside Scout Lake.

In November of that year, a conservation officer informed the territory’s manager of land use that the Kijewskis were living on public land.

In the summer of 2010, with campers and hikers using the area, the Ibex Valley Hamlet Council submitted a complaint, which led to a government-requested inspection.

At that time, it appeared Kijewski, a Polish immigrant who came to Canada eight years ago, had found a loop-hole in government policy.

At least 30 years ago, with Yukon Boy Cubs and Scouts in mind, Scout Lake was set aside as a recreational reserve.

The reserve status allows no more than two people to camp for up to 400 days.

All it would take would be a night in town to restart the 400-day count.

Kijewski was legally able to continue living on what local residents claim is one of the best spots on the lake, living off the fish he caught, heating his one-room, one-bed canvas tent with locally gathered wood and running his daughter’s computer off solar panels, without paying a cent in rent or taxes.

And it would remain legal unless the government either removed the reserve status, or if Kijewski expanded his squatting structures to constitute an occupation of land.

Kijewski never dug an outhouse. Local residents claimed to see plastic bags filled with feces tied to trees near his camp, which “scares the wildlife,” they said Kijewski told them.

But, after another inspection in 2010, Kijewski had built a plywood floor for the wall tent.

The manager of land use concluded Kijewski’s camp was now an illegal occupation of land and “made reasonable efforts to resolve the issue by offering (Kijewski) assistance to find alternate housing.”

But Kijewski wasn’t living out there for financial reasons, he said in an interview with the News in 2010.

He and his daughter had been squatting for the past seven years.

It was better living in the forest than in mouldy homes in Pouce Coupe outside of Dawson Creek, BC, said Kijewski, referencing where they stayed before coming north to the Yukon.

And in 2010, he maintained that he wanted to live in the “fresh air” so his daughter doesn’t have to grow up surrounded by chemicals.

In mid-November 2010, the government gave Kijewski 30 days to vacate voluntarily.

He did not respond.

On January 28, 2011, days after the case was supposed to be heard in court, the government learned Kijewski had received permission to move to a nearby parcel of Kwanlin Dun First Nation land for six months, ending in June.

On July 26, the manager of land use requested another inspection, and found Kijewski was back out at Scout Lake.

Two days later, he was hand-delivered another letter to vacate in two days-time.

An inspection on August 1, found he had again relocated to Kwanlin Dun land, after receiving permission for another two weeks.

On August 22, another inspection showed Kijewski and his daughter were back at Scout Lake.

On August 31, he was served a summons by the sheriff to appear in court on September 7.

Kijewski and his daughter, once again, left Scout Lake.

He did not appear in court.

Now, after his truck was spotted just south of Carcross on September 26, the government believes Kijewski has relocated to that area.

On October 11, both Kijewski and the government were supposed to file their arguments in court.

Kijewski never did.

On Thursday, October 13, both parties were supposed to appear in court.

Kijewski never did.

The case was adjourned “generally” on Thursday, meaning it is over unless either party brings it back up. The issue can still be resolved out of court.

Kijewski and his daughter’s whereabouts has still not been confirmed, according to the court file. But the government believes it is “likely” they will return to Scout Lake. (With files from Vivian Belik)

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

Just Posted

An avalanche warning sigh along the South Klondike Highway. Local avalanche safety instructors say interest in courses has risen during the pandemic as more Yukoners explore socially distanced outdoor activities. (Tom Patrick/Yukon News file)
Backcountry busy: COVID-19 has Yukoners heading for the hills

Stable conditions for avalanches have provided a grace period for backcountry newcomers

Several people enter the COVID-19 vaccination clinic at the Coast High Country Inn Convention Centre in Whitehorse on Jan. 26. The Yukon government announced on Jan. 25 that residents of Whitehorse, Ibex Valley, Marsh Lake and Mount Lorne areas 65 and older can now receive their vaccines. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Vaccine appointments available in Whitehorse for residents 65+

Yukoners 65 and older living in Whitehorse are now eligible to receive… Continue reading

Diane McLeod-McKay, Yukon’s Ombudsman and information and privacy commissioner, filed a petition on Dec. 11 after her office was barred from accessing documents related to a child and family services case. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Yukon government rejects Ombudsman requests for documentation filed to Supreme Court

Diane McLeod-McKay filed a petition on Dec. 11 after requests for documents were barred

Buffalo Sabres center Dylan Cozens, left, celebrates his first NHL goal with defenceman Rasmus Ristolainen during the second period of a game against the Washington Capitals on Jan. 22 in Washington. (Nick Wass/AP)
Cozens notches first NHL goal in loss to Capitals

The Yukoner potted his first tally at 10:43 of the second period on Jan. 22

Rodney and Ekaterina Baker in an undated photo from social media. The couple has been ticketed and charged under the Yukon’s <em>Civil Emergency Measures Act</em> for breaking isolation requirements in order to sneak into a vaccine clinic and receive Moderna vaccine doses in Beaver Creek. (Facebook/Submitted)
Former CEO of Great Canadian Gaming, actress charged after flying to Beaver Creek for COVID-19 vaccine

Rod Baker and Ekaterina Baker were charged with two CEMA violations each

The bus stop at the corner of Industrial and Jasper Road in Whitehorse on Jan. 25. The stop will be moved approximately 80 metres closer to Quartz Road. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
UPDATED: Industrial Road bus stop to be relocated

The city has postponed the move indefinitely

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police detachment in Faro photgraphed in 2016. Faro will receive a new RCMP detachment in 2022, replacing the decades-old building currently accommodating officers. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Faro RCMP tagged for new detachment

Faro will receive a new RCMP detachment in 2022, replacing the decades-old… Continue reading

In a Jan. 18 announcement, the Yukon government said the shingles vaccine is now being publicly funded for Yukoners between age 65 and 70, while the HPV vaccine program has been expanded to all Yukoners up to and including age 26. (1213rf.com)
Changes made to shingles, HPV vaccine programs

Pharmacists in the Yukon can now provide the shingles vaccine and the… Continue reading

Parking attendant Const. Ouellet puts a parking ticket on the windshield of a vehicle in downtown Whitehorse on Dec. 6, 2018. The City of Whitehorse is hoping to write of nearly $300,000 in outstanding fees, bylaw fines and court fees, $20,225 of which is attributed to parking fines issued to non-Yukon license plates. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
City of Whitehorse could write off nearly $300,000

The City of Whitehorse could write off $294,345 in outstanding fees, bylaw… Continue reading

Grants available to address gender-based violence

Organizations could receive up to $200,000

In this illustration, artist-journalist Charles Fripp reveals the human side of tragedy on the Stikine trail to the Klondike in 1898. A man chases his partner around the tent with an axe, while a third man follows, attempting to intervene. (The Daily Graphic/July 27, 1898)
History Hunter: Charles Fripp — gold rush artist

The Alaskan coastal town of Wrangell was ill-equipped for the tide of… Continue reading

A man walks passed the polling place sign at city hall in Whitehorse on Oct. 18, 2018. While Whitehorse Mayor Dan Curtis is now setting his sights on the upcoming territorial election, other members of council are still pondering their election plans for the coming year. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Councillors undecided on election plans

Municipal vote set for Oct. 21

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

A look at decicions made by Whitehorse city council this week.

Most Read