Letter to the Editor: Dawson Capital Projects

Dear Editor:

Before the sitting began, the Cathers/Pasloski government told Yukoners it had fulfilled many of the commitments it made in the 2011 election.  It certainly left the impression that the government thinks that its work is done. In Dawson there are still outstanding capital projects I ask the Premier to finish before he calls it a day.

In the lead up to the 2011 election, the Yukon Party candidate in the Klondike held a sod-turning ceremony with the former Yukon Party Minister of Community Services to begin construction of a new recreation centre in Dawson. Three years into the government’s mandate, the long-standing Yukon Party commitment to build that rec centre has fallen off the table. Since then no budget has had any money allocated to this project and no active plans have been made. This week we learned that the current Yukon Party government does not recognize sod-turning events as campaign promises and has avoided answering whether it intends to build a new recreation centre in Dawson or fix the current one.

Earlier this year, the Government of Yukon announced it was transferring the ownership of the Dawson waste-water treatment facility to Dawson City. The transfer was supposed to happen mid-March. This didn’t happen. The samples taken at the time failed to pass the required water quality tests. The contractor who built the facility was supposed to operate it for one year and then turn it over to the city. Yukoners are well-aware that the $25-million plant has not operated properly since it has opened. The minister’s response to my question this week on its status was to blame the citizens of Dawson for choosing the treatment centre option over a sewage lagoon. Blaming citizens is not showing leadership. The Dawson City waste-water treatment facility is another in a long line of capital projects that have been a bust.

This government is failing the residents of Dawson. I anticipate the next time this government mentions a new Dawson City recreation centre it will be in the 2016 election campaign, perhaps with a second sod-turning.



Sandy Silver
Leader, Yukon Liberal Party