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WHITEHORSE WEST Tucked behind Granger, the tiny, suburban riding of Whitehorse West is an evacuation nightmare.

WHITEHORSE WEST

Tucked behind Granger, the tiny, suburban riding of Whitehorse West is an evacuation nightmare.

Residents continue to demand a Hamilton Boulevard extension, which would create a second access joining the Alaska Highway near its junction with Robert Service Way.

This would ease the riding’s heavy traffic in the mornings and evenings and would open an egress route.

“I’ve also heard there’s a need to Firesmart the forest behind Copper Ridge,” NDP candidate Rhoda Merkel said on Wednesday.

In a riding where young families rub elbows with the city’s upper crust, there are several concerns that have surfaced during the election campaign.

Another pressing issue is the need for a new school.

So far, it hasn’t been decided what type of school, said Liberal candidate Mike Walton, Tuesday.

“But with the number of students in this riding, there’s recognition that a school is needed.”

Home to a number of retirees, there is also a need for additional seniors’ housing in the riding.

And an evacuation plan should be established for Copper Ridge Place, said Merkel.

But, before any new building can get underway, the whole land-allocation issue has to be worked out.

How decisions are made about access to land has come up numerous times during door-to-door conversations, said Walton.

There needs to be a comprehensive land-use policy, he said.

“Because people are just not sure how it works and how some people seem to have access to land and others don’t.”

Candidates:

Mike Walton, Liberal, manager of resource conservation for Parks Canada, has worked in natural resource management for Environment Canada, member of the Yukon Quest International Council, teaches karate, and has lived on Falcon Drive for five years.

Elaine Taylor, YP, incumbent, minister of Tourism and Culture and the Women’s Directorate, served as deputy premier, lives in Whitehorse West.

Rhoda Merkel, NDP, financial administrator for the Land-Use Planning Council, Blue Feather Music Society volunteer, lives in McIntyre-Takhini.

How Whitehorse West voted in 2002:

Elaine Taylor, YP, 398

Dennis Schneider, Liberal, 319

Rachel Grantham, NDP, 117

Percentage of electors who voted:

75

Did you know?

It takes about 17 minutes to bike from Ecole Emilie Tremblay to Main Street.

But it can take at up to 25 minutes to drive the same distance during the morning rush.

MCINTYRE-TAKHINI

McIntyre-Takhini combines a myriad of backgrounds and some clashing ideals.

The riding is composed of enclaves that bear few similarities to each other: the Kwanlin Dun village of McIntyre, working-class families in trailers in Northland, tree-huggers and students in Takhini North, and eccentric middle classers in Valleyview.

Mac-Tak often sees aboriginal candidates seek territorial office.

In 2002, John Edzerza — then under the Yukon Party banner — beat Liberal candidate Judy Gingell, founder of the Council for Yukon Indians and former Yukon commissioner, as well as Wayne Jim, the former Liberal incumbent who ran in 2002 as an independent.

Edzerza has done a reverse-Dennis Fentie in 2006, going from the Yukon Party to the NDP.

“I’m quite surprised at how many people said to me it was a good move and they’re glad I came to the NDP,” said Edzerza.

Issues in Mac-Tak include the location of the Whitehorse jail and the completion of the children’s act review, he said.

“It really clashes with the traditional ways and doesn’t work for First Nations people,” he said of the act.

An MLA in Mac-Tak needs to treat the riding as distinct neighbourhoods, said Liberal candidate Ed Schultz.

“Geographically, it doesn’t seem like a large riding, but the reality is there’s stark differences from one end to the next,” said Schultz.

Many work in the service industry, are students, or are young families living in trailers as starter homes, he said.

“They’re almost a forgotten element of our society.”

Drugs and other social ills are a concern for Mac-Tak residents, he said.

And Edzerza is on the bubble, added Schultz.

“People are concerned with the missing-in-action MLA they’ve had,” he said.

Mac-Tak’s issues vary by the area, said Yukon Party candidate Vicki Durrant.

“In the trailer parks, the issues are affordable housing, assistance with substance abuse, crime, some senior issues, childcare.

“They’ve got a lot of social issues,” she said.

“In the village it’s the Kwanlin Dun’s waterfront development — the support they need from YTG to continue.”

Takhini North residents worry about the location of the jail and whether a replacement is going to be built elsewhere.

 “It’s going to be built,” said Durrant.

 Candidates:

John Edzerza, NDP, incumbent, Kwanlin Dun First Nation citizen. Former: minister of Justice and Education for the Yukon Party government.

Vicki Durrant, Yukon Party. Former: Member of Youth of Today Society and Blue Feather Youth Centre, consultant on Children’s Act review, corrections and substance abuse.

Ed Schultz, Liberal, Little Salmon/Carmacks First Nation citizen. Former: Yukon vice-chief to the Assembly of First Nations candidate, Liberal Party leadership candidate, grand chief of Council of Yukon First Nations, city councillor.

How McIntyre-Takhini voted in 2002:

John Edzerza, YP, 288

Maureen Stephens, NDP, 270

Judy Gingell, Liberal, 204,

Wayne Jim, Ind, 129

Geoffrey Capp, Ind, 15

Percentage of eligible voters who cast a ballot:

72

(TQ)