Whitehorse mayor calls for public consultation on new skate park site

Whitehorse Mayor Dan Curtis wants the Yukon government to hold a public consultation on the future location of the skate park.

Whitehorse Mayor Dan Curtis wants the Yukon government to hold a public consultation on the future location of the skate park.

He says that’s important if the territory wants to avoid repeating the same mistakes made with its controversial plans to build an outdoor sports complex. Those plans are now on ice, after city council denied the needed zoning changes.

Councillors expressed frustration with being out of the loop until those plans were already complete. “That’s what made it difficult for all of us,” said Curtis.

“We didn’t really know how the vast majority of the citizens of Whitehorse felt because there was no process, it was kind of just a request.”

Recently, the Yukon government gave the francophone school board three options to choose from as to where it could build a high school, and the board picked the current location of Riverdale’s skate park.

Education Minister Doug Graham has insisted that a school won’t be built on that parcel of land until a new skate park has been built elsewhere in the city.

Curtis said it’s important to hear from everyone who will be affected by the move.

“We need that information, to be able to digest it and see what’s important to the vast majority of citizens, before we can make a decision,” he said.

“We encourage the Yukon government to utilize that process as well, and reach out and have a public consultation to see what the need and appropriateness is.”

The city has requested to sit down with both Minister Graham and Resources Minister Scott Kent, Curtis said, but no date has been set.

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