Letter to the Editor: Whitehorse Sport Complex - May 6, 2015

Dear Editor:

The recent failure of the Government of Yukon to work with the City of Whitehorse on a new soccer facility is a familiar sight to anyone who has watched the Pasloski government for any amount of time.  Its inability or unwillingness to get along with other levels of government is well known; just ask the First Nation governments who are in court right now with the Yukon Party.

It was just over a month ago that Calgary mayor Naheed Nenshi was in Whitehorse encouraging politicians from different levels of government to work together. It’s clear that message was lost on the Premier and his new Community Services minister.   The concerns raised by the city are familiar; a lack of consultation, a lack of trust and a command and control approach from the Yukon Party.  The willingness to work together highlighted by Nenshi is certainly missing from the ham-fisted style of this government.

It has been very disappointing to see the public criticism of the city from the senior level of government as this project has hit some speed bumps.  The Premier’s suggestion on a local radio station that he would simply wait until a new council was elected in the fall was an example of the ‘my way or the highway’ approach that has landed this government in trouble time and time again.   Instead of rolling up their sleeves and trying to salvage the project we have seen the Minister resort to attacking the credibility and character of the mayor.

The Premier has already had to fire one community services minister for his inability to get along with municipal governments.

On the eve of the annual meeting of the Association of Yukon Municipalities I urge the Minister to drop the personal attacks and work to find a compromise on this issue and others.  I am also encouraging the Premier to apologize to Mayor Curtis and council for his comments suggesting a new council is needed before he would work with the city again on this issue.  This kind of disrespect is uncalled for and insulting.  Our municipalities deserve nothing less. 


Sandy Silver
Leader, Yukon Liberal Party