Yukon spent $3 million on French school court fight

The Yukon government has spent more than $3 million to fund its legal battle against the territory's French school board.

The Yukon government has spent more than $3 million to fund its legal battle against the territory’s French school board.

That’s according to documents tabled by Education Minister Doug Graham in the legislative assembly last week.

Opposition NDP leader Liz Hanson asked Graham whether he believed the government could have accomplished more with the funds. “Yukoners know that this money could have been spent in better ways,” she said.

Graham said he tabled the expenses in the name of transparency, and that new attempts have been made to resolve the differences with the school board rather than going back to court.

“We believe that the best possible way of settling these differences in our opinion is through negotiations and through settlement of these issues,” he said.

The school board and Yukon government have been mired in a court battle over the plans for a new school since 2009.

In early May, the government announced the school board had picked the Riverdale skate park as a potential site for a new French high school. At the time, Graham said no work would happen on the site until the skate park had been relocated elsewhere in Whitehorse.

Last week, Liberal Leader Sandy Silver asked Graham for details about potential sites. Silver also requested to see conceptual drawings produced for the school. But since it was the end of the day, the House was adjourned before Graham could answer.

A department official declined to comment on the matter.

In August, a settlement committee was created to deal with issues the French school board has been fighting in court for the past six years.

A construction committee, also created in August, has indicated that it would like to see the new school completed by the fall of 2018.