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Piers McDonald

Council members quiz chair on CWG implications

Piers McDonald balanced an array of heavy-duty financial proposals with a dose of empathetic candidness when he appeared before members of city council on Tuesday evening.

By Jim Butler on September 21, 2022

Piers McDonald balanced an array of heavy-duty financial proposals with a dose of empathetic candidness when he appeared before members of city council on Tuesday evening.

With athletics being the underlying theme, the chair of the 2027 Canada Winter Games committee fielded volleys of questions as council members prepare to vote next Monday on whether to support the committee’s bid to host the momentous event.

City administration has recommended that council lend its support to the initiative so the bid process can progress.

The proposed operating budget for the Games is $37 million. At least 2,000 athletes would compete in up to 22 sports.

The Yukon government has indicated it would expect the city to contribute about $17 million to the event, council members were told.

An estimated $9 million in upgrades is envisoned for several of the city’s existing recreational facilities excluding the planned new gymnastics facility, which the Yukon government is financing.

“The tradeoffs you have to determine are challenging,” McDonald told the meeting of the city’s standing committees.

“You are in a tough situation, and I feel for you.”

He described the initiative as a “full-body workout. Yes, this is a huge financial and organizational effort. It will require a lot of work and a lot of people to make it work.”

He later added, “Obviously, you can only afford so much.”

The bid proposes a new arena, estimated to cost $115 million, and $60 million to $70 million in accommodations for the athletes that would become affordable housing after the Games.

“These would be long-term community assets,” McDonald said.

“Nobody in their right mind” would spend so many millions of dollars simply to stage a two-week event, he added.

Of all the plans, he said, the construction of the new arena would represent the most enormous challenge. It would have to be finisned by early 2026.

“If construction is not started next year, there would be challenges,” he cautioned.

It would cost the city an estimated $800,000 per year to operate the new arena, for which there’s an assumed 40-year lifespan. That’s double the cost of operting the Takhini Arena, which opened in the mid-1980s.

The committee’s preference is the razing of the Takhini Arena and the construction of two new ice rinks, McDonald said. That way, the rinks could be positioned on the site in the most efficient way that would maximize parking space.

For the estimated 2 1/2 to three years the Takhini Arena would either be gone or would be undergoing extensive renovations, McDonald said, the committee envisions building a covered, outdoor rink for $1 million to $2 million to give users some sort of facility “so there is some ice time when there is decent weather.”

Regardless of what happens at the arena site, the city has no plans to pause the improvements set for the Two Mile Hill-Range Road intersection, council members were told.

The start of construction of the housing could be put off until late 2023, but would “ideally” begin by then, McDonald said. It wouldn’t have to completed until late 2026, he said.

Coun. Dan Boyd said “many buildings are taking about three years to get built.” More contractors had to be called in to finish the athletes’ village housing in time for the 2007 Games, he noted.

“We don’t have a lot of time, the way I see it,” Boyd said.

McDonald replied that “four years is the minimum amount of time you would like to have. Any delays would put us under pressure.”

Mayor Laura Cabott, who participated in the meeting by phone, said the arena and affordable housing “are two legacy pieces we do need and don’t have.” She asked McDonald to discuss some of the economic impacts of hosting the Games.

“Some communities do better at localizing the economic impacts than others,” McDonald said. There are many “multiplier effects,” he added.

The economic benefits of the 2007 Games have been calculated at $120 million, he said.

With a labour shortage affecting many businesses in the territory, deputy mayor Jocelyn Curteanu wondered about the potential to recruit volunteers to help stage the Games.

“I suspect that would be a challenge,” McDonald said.

An estimated 400 to 500 part-time volunteers would be needed during the planning stages, and as many as 5,000 for the actual event.

“Some committees would be meeting every week for a few years,” McDonald conceded. “It is a big time commitment.

“I am hoping this community will rise to the occasion once again and do what it needs to do.”

If the Games are hosted here, he added, the host society would be approaching governments to request the secondments of staff members to help the cause.

“While you are not obligated, there will be requests made to you to help.”

Curteanu also asked about the post-Games demand for such a large arena venue.

Krista Mroz, the city’s community programs supervisor, pointed out that after the Games, the city would be able to host such large events as tournaments and concerts that are beyond the capacity of the current facilities to handle.

Coun. Kirk Cameron called the entire venture “a really big deal ... we are a facing a price tag that is quite significant here.”

While the Yukon government enjoys budgets of roughly $2 billion per year, he said, “We don’t have the luxury to feed something this significant.”

Conversely, Cameron said, the Games afford youth the “incredible opportunity” to compete to the best levels they possibly can. His son has competed in two sets of Games, he added.

Young people can then move forward in ways that are local, national and international in scope, he added. “It’s absolutely infectious.”

He asked McDonald about the degree of private sector interest in taking part financially.

Organizers will “make the pitch,” McDonald said. “You don’t really know what the response will be. We have an ambitious target for the host society.”

Nonetheless, he added, with many other groups competing with a potential mega-event for community resources, “there are limits to what you can do without becoming a community pariah.”

International sponsors will be sought out first, he said.

For the 2007 Games, the city made a $8.4-million capital contribution, while the Yukon government provided $64 million.

Coun. Ted Laking wondered how the city’s participation in the 2027 Games would affect property tax rates.

Valerie Braga, the director of corporate services, said the city would have to examine its array of plans in other areas for the next few years to make specific determinations.

“Our reserves are in a healthy position, but we don’t have a ton of money for many of our projects,”she said.

A one-per-cent rise in property taxes generates another $600,000 in revenue for the city.

Cabott asked McDonald how some Yukon communities would benefit.

“We are looking to substantially increase our outreach to the communities,” McDonald said.

There would be a cultural component to the Games, he said, and a telecasting plan to “showcase” all the sports to Yukon audiences.

Organizers also expect a national TV audience, he added.

McDonald called the Games “a rare opportunity to come together,” with many of the athletes later graduating to world-class competitions.

The event would leave a number of legacies, he said, including the new facilities.

As well, “to compete on home turf for the athletes is life-changing for theselves and their families,” the chair said.

Encouraging people to leave their regular life routines and work with others they would not otherwise have met “I find very healthy ... it is transitional,” he said.

“Hence the desire to do it again” as a follow-up to the 2007 experience, he said.

As to the question of whether this is the right time to take on the Games, he said, “that is a question for the politicians to decide.”

The Canada Games Council will award the Games in November.

No other jurisdiction has offered to host the event.

Comments (44)

Up 4 Down 2

Roy on Sep 28, 2022 at 11:12 am

@ Yukoner61

Oh wow - where to begin?

It's fascinating to watch someone be so confidently incorrect.
Plenty of cities bigger than our tiny one have family doctors running their ER departments.

The medical council wants WGH doctors who work in ER to have their own practice because otherwise they might just go for the easier/more lucrative ER work only - so the medical council is setting rules to INCREASE the number of family doctors running a practice.

Again you know a couple facts and then feel you are an expert - but instead you just double down on making a fool of yourself and getting angry and frustrated in the process. Sad.

I also enjoyed reading your ideas about how we can’t fix the doctor and nursing shortage using money - sure that's not the only thing that will fix it - but it's part of it - but you think because other cities are richer we should just not spend money on this problem? What kind of twisted "logic" is that?

Let’s instead spend that money on a two week party that lines the pockets of a select few and gives kids a cool jacket and gives Yukoner61 a chance for some Monday morning watercooler glory from his kids performance. Go listen to Glory Days instead - save us all the trouble of bailing out this boondoggle.

You only got one thing right in your whole diatribe - you are indeed "taking wild stabs in the dark". Kudos for admitting that.

Maybe it's time to come out of the dark into the light? Join those of use being less selfish.

I want this money spent responsibly to best serve the best priorities of Yukoners - I'm 100% ok if none of it directly benefited me (I'm currently healthy and not homeless). So your stabs in the dark are 100% wrong and no one here is surprised.

Your lack of ability to see the world with anything more complicated than a binary black or white viewpoint - and your inability to grasp the simple concept of spending priorities in a time of financial instability - is embarrassing to witness. I'd expect more critical thinking ability from an adolescent. But it sounds like you're an adult....maybe we should be injecting these millions into fixing whatever educational system you attended.

Up 4 Down 2

Take the Money and Run on Sep 27, 2022 at 9:38 pm

Let's not forget that Dirty Shirt let the Faro mine cash-out the remaining ore they had stockpiled, while leaving their unpaid past-due YE power bill and all other debts, including mine clean-up, for YTG to cover. We the ratepayers continue to pay for that mistake with the "riders" which make-up an increasing portion of every electric bill we get. As well he is a founding member, and currently Chair, of Northern Vision Development, which is focused on residential and property revitalization, commercial real estate, and hospitality services in Yukon. His businesses will benefit as well as his substantial personal gain from conning the LIBgovts into bankrolling this Games Scam.

Up 17 Down 1

Charlie's Aunt on Sep 27, 2022 at 2:21 pm

Not mentioned by Whitehorse Star yet, but CBC N says our civic fathers approved this last night! The only one against was Ted Laking. A deciding factor was that YT guaranteed they would pick up over budget costs. Does no-one understand that regardless of who picks up the excess, it is still public money? Youth who compete will have little spending money, some may bring parents who will spend a bit and a few families may return for one vacation trip later, but is this going to be a huge boost to our economy? As for the athletes housing becoming homes for residents later, why can't COW spend the 17 mill to build that same housing now? Dirty shirt is saying the committee will seek international sponsors; these are Canada Winter Games so what dream world is he living in?

Up 18 Down 4

moe on Sep 27, 2022 at 10:48 am

For those thinking, 'We'll get funding for this from other governments', the money sent to the Yukon could be spent on better priorities. Easy come, easy go is not the right attitude.

Up 15 Down 3

Ura Nobraner on Sep 26, 2022 at 10:28 pm

At Al on Sep 25, 2022 at 12:59 pm:

Well written and thoughtfully laid out - Thanks. I agree with it all.

Not to take away from your insights but I have to wonder about the hypocrisy of declaring a Climate Change Emergency, then whipping the youth into a Foolishly, Frenzied Fear of some World Ending Times, to then commit to such a huge resource consuming enterprise requiring a great big, heavy, carbon footprint…

Wow! Planes, motor vehicles, food supplies, housing capacity etc… Not to mention the recent influx of immigrants adding to that large heavy carbon footprint already… All of this while these leaders talk about the idea of climate change mandates and lockdowns. For example, restricted travel between cities, states, provinces etc.

Show me your papers!

The Liberal's Carbon Footprint is Jackbooted - Orwell knew this when he/she/they wrote, “If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face – forever.”

This was a prescient projection of the future Trudeau governments… The parallels are remarkable… Like WTF eh? Not only that, the people said give me more, and some more please, wait, I can take more… Hurt me… More!

And in my minds eye I can envision the last waltz of the Liberals… La dance macabre… Having committed the great erasure a new world order of shiny, happy, and collectively vapid people arose…

They are the woke enacting a hostile takeover. Lawlessness has ensued and the value of life cheapened. It was now possible to cancel yourself for unremitting mental ill health concerns. Although it’s likely that you are a lower socioeconomic status member because of your ill mental health that arose from those same socioeconomic is circumstances in the first place…

LOL - That’s Liberals helping… FFS!

Power wrote Orwell, “… is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing.”

Just think about what the Trudeau Liberals have done to the country in relatively short order… Unbelievable!

Up 6 Down 6

Yukoner61 on Sep 26, 2022 at 9:39 pm


ha ha you really don't like admitting you are wrong about anything eh?

You list all the things that doctors do up here that they don't do down south then accuse me of being ignorant. Unfortunately, you left out one small fact, none of what you mentioned changes the percentage of people have/don't have a family doctor. On a side note, we really do need ER doctors here but that will never happen so long as the medical mafia known as the Yukon Medical Council remains untouchable. No government has ever been willing to take them on because they threaten that they will all leave and they demand that every doctor here must run a practice. This essentially means no ER doctors allowed even though they are a critical piece of healthcare everywhere else.

As for not understanding why this isn't just a matter of offering more money to nurses and doctors, ask yourself why the richest places in North America with the most generous packages offered to healthcare professionals, are also running desperately short. So thank you for the ad hominem rebuttable but you are incorrect. But just imagine it was a matter of money, do you really think every province and territory should be in a bidding war for healthcare? You really think it is good to have us in a rat race to the bottom?

"And I never said “no money for recreation”. That’s a black and white binary argument. Your parents also failed to teach you the world is not black and white. We can have responsible expenditures for recreation with also a greater focus on health care and the homeless - it’s not all or not."

Ahhhh but of course! Let me take a wild stab in the dark here. We should not spend money on sport/recreational activities that you and your family don't partake in, but we should definitely fund the ones that you do. You sound like a stereotypical libertarian. Cut funding to everything I don't like because it's evil socialism, but fund everything I enjoy or use because it's about personal freedom!

As for the homeless, you may hate to hear it, but there are a TON of programs to help the homeless in Yukon. To get sober, to get an education, to get housing, you name it. The problem is addictions and the people who are unwilling to help themselves. You can offer them all the programs in the world but in the end they have to choose to walk through that door themselves. I've dealt with family members in the grip of addiction and if you had as well, you would know that what I'm saying is true.

Up 14 Down 2

North_of_60 on Sep 26, 2022 at 8:58 pm

The people planning this are only looking at their own rewards and glory. They know it will be over-budget, but they are counting on getting a foot in the door by starting construction and then when the time and money crunch happens six months before the Games, then they will hold the CoW hostage and get the additional funds they knew they would need from the start. We're being played by shysters.
We don't need the Games and we don't need to replace the Takhini Arena with an even bigger money sucking pit.

Up 22 Down 3

Al on Sep 25, 2022 at 12:59 pm

We need a wake up on this endeavour. From a practical matter where are we going to get all these trades people from - never mind a contractor who is capable of building these edifices? I believe we know two things will occur. The first is that whatever trades people and industry that are able to support these construction projects that are available will get sucked up and tied up for 4 years. Hell four years where nothing else gets touched. What that means simply is to forget about the building of homes that we are lagging in. It simply is not likely to happen. The other critical observation is that we will see, yet again, a parade of trades and contractors coming to the Yukon to fill the shortfall or be in place from the outset.

There is no mention of a consultation period with citizens in the area who may have concerns of their own. TA is one thing, but a whopping structure twice it's size is something entirely different.

Our traffic is over the top already, barely keeping pace with the movement of people around and into the city. What on earth is going to be the plan to reduce this overburden on an already critical infrastructure. More construction? When what is going on right now is barely getting completed.

I am not even go on about human resource needs to support the games. Remember 2007 it was a lot different then what is being proposed now. We had no city or territorial debt, we did not have the housing crisis we have now, the mining industry was busy and churning out money, etc. In short we were in a better place to pull it off with little pain. Even Piers is being pragmatic with his observations. Are we able to pull this off - on time - on budget - that benefits the community without leaving a legacy of debt to the citizens of Whitehorse and the Yukon. The pain we will endure from these proposed games will hurt like hell in a whole bunch of sectors. This is especially true now that we are heading into a recession. Ask yourself council and YTG, do you want to be responsible for the failures that will spin off??? I don't.

It is nigh time that the national Canada Games Committee start looking at splitting these games up into more manageable pieces so that smaller communities are able to take part rather than dumping all this onto one community or area.

Seriously - it is simply unfair to put our population through the meat grinder for a two week sports event given our limited capacity to pull it off.

Come on let's not get caught up in the little engine thinking we can, we can, we can, when in fact we simply do not have the resources to say we can.

Up 17 Down 4

Roy on Sep 24, 2022 at 8:49 pm


Nice try. But no.
The Yukon has a high number of family doctors per capita. You are correct.

But that is because family doctors - in the Yukon - do many roles such as acting as ER doctors, delivering babies, working in the jail, helping with surgeries, looking after people in the hospital, traveling out to remote communities etc etc.

So you trying (and failing) to draw a comparison to southern Canada and the number of family doctors per capital is just further evidence of your ignorance. You know a fact but can’t put it into context.

And how would more money available help hire more nurses and doctors?? Did you really type that question and think “yeah - I got ‘em with this question” ?? Ask a child and they’ll explain that simple concept to you.

And I never said “no money for recreation”. That’s a black and white binary argument. Your parents also failed to teach you the world is not black and white. We can have responsible expenditures for recreation with also a greater focus on health care and the homeless - it’s not all or not.

You are not very good at this. You should quit while you are far behind.

Up 5 Down 21

Yukoner61 on Sep 23, 2022 at 11:07 pm


"It's outrageously unacceptable that some Yukoners still can't get a family doctor."

That has nothing to do with building a new arena and a bunch of affordable housing units for the games. There is a doctor shortage across North America so how will cancelling the games mean more doctors? Where is this magical place where we will suddenly find a bunch of Doctors, nurses etc to hire? Yukon has a better ratio of doctors to patients than most places in Canada just so you know.

@123 " There are so many other urgent needs to be addressed". Ok, what needs urgently need to be addressed? This event will help with Housing. It will bring more recreational opportunities for youth who often to turn to drugs and alcohol when little else is available. If we cancel the games, then we should cancel all recreational and sporting events permanently. No more funding for Christmas parades, new year fireworks, rainbow crosswalks, trail upgrades or paving, swimming pools, airshows, Rendezvous stuff, nothing. Because whatever issues you feel are more important than building an arena and housing, must certainly be more important than these things as well, which together add up to a lot of money year after year.

@Roy ha ha "You need to give your head a shake and educate yourself." then you say "We can build a new arena for your kids and build housing without all the huge added expenses of hosting these games." Uhhhh newsflash bud, the vast majority of the money is spent building the new arena and housing. So no, actually you can't just build this stuff much cheaper. Maybe you are the one who should give your head a shake.

"there’s not enough money for everything - therefore we need to prioritize - and your kids memories, while important, pale in comparison to our health care and to the lives of our most vulnerable citizens. Read that all again if you’re struggling with this fact."

Great! I hope you agree with what I wrote earlier that with our limited money, we should not spend any money on any recreational activities. You aren't interested in housing or sports, great. So what are you interested in? If it isn't something ABSOLUTELY necessary for our most vulnerable citizens, then I hope ZERO government money goes to things you might enjoy or support. The knife should cut both ways.

Up 13 Down 1

CJ2 on Sep 23, 2022 at 10:57 pm

A few years after they held the Olympics, Greece ran into all those dire financial problems. Not that I'm saying the two are connected, just that holding the Olympics did not seem to leave something sustainable behind.

I like the idea of choosing one or two locations in the world (or in this case, Canada) to hold these events. Kids can travel to it, I'm sure that would also be a thrill.

Up 27 Down 1

drum on Sep 23, 2022 at 5:45 pm

I do not think in our present financial climate we can afford this. We cannot even afford groceries.

Up 30 Down 5

Roy on Sep 23, 2022 at 2:24 pm


“ I want my kids to remember big exciting events like this that create a buzz throughout town. “
And then you throw out a straw man argument about how people, who want homelessness and our crumbling medical system addressed, should be volunteering to fix those issues?

You need to give your head a shake and educate yourself.
We pay taxes so that the government can use experts to address issues such as housing and medical care. So yeah - every single person here “donates” a lot to those causes.

And we’re pissed at the idea of our tax donations going to a two week party just for your kids to enjoy some “buzz”
Why don't you donate your money to a new rink? Go swing a hammer and help build it too.

I’m going to tell you something your parents obviously failed to teach you: there’s not enough money for everything - therefore we need to prioritize - and your kids memories, while important, pale in comparison to our health care and to the lives of our most vulnerable citizens. Read that all again if you’re struggling with this fact.

Then take some time to reflect on your self righteousness and entitlement. We can build a new arena for your kids and build housing without all the huge added expenses of hosting these games.

It’s called priorities. A cool jacket for your kid is at the bottom of the list sorry.

Up 37 Down 4

123 go on Sep 23, 2022 at 2:19 pm

I am a supporter of sports and active living, and I even think a proposal for an arena that can be used to host big events is a good one. But I cannot stomach the thought of the money required, in very short order, for Whitehorse to host this event! There are so many other urgent needs to be addressed and long term planning required for the facilities required for this event. Shelve the CWG bid now.

Up 9 Down 5

Groucho d'North on Sep 23, 2022 at 1:13 pm

Just thinking out loud here, but why not consider building these new edifices with a dual use potential? For example once all the hockey is finished and the ice is out convert the building into a all year greenhouse that can grow a variety of foods we currently import from afar with the added costs of transportation and the Carbon Tax too of course.
There are controlled agriculture systems available now that will allow tomatoes to be grown in Antarctica and on the surface of the moon, so why not here too?

Up 34 Down 6

North_of_60 on Sep 22, 2022 at 8:24 pm

@Roy, I totally agree with your points. This extravagant and expensive two week sports game boondoggle must be stopped. We have far more urgent needs for our limited tax resources, such as long overdue upgrades to our medical system. It's outrageously unacceptable that some Yukoners still can't get a family doctor. The need for a walk-in clinic has never been greater. ...and then there's the lack of cost-effective low-income housing. That's just the beginning of a long list of infrastructure upgrades that need attention far more than catering to a small group of sports elites and has-been politicians,
Like Josey I'm also encouraged that people on both sides of the political spectrum
can agree to stop this flagrant waste of money to benefit a few with a two week sports party.

Up 42 Down 1

melba on Sep 22, 2022 at 5:38 pm

Fort Nelson is directing $140 million toward a geothermal project which, if successful, will be able to heat 14,000 homes. They are also talking about a hotsprings resort for the million tourists who drive by each year visiting Alaska, and greenhouses.

Whitehorse wants to invest $115 million in ... another hockey rink.
Something is seriously wrong with our priorities and our perspective about what 115 million dollars really is.

Up 32 Down 9

Charlie's Aunt on Sep 22, 2022 at 3:43 pm

Nowhere is it mentioned that regular local athletes are not able to use facilities for the two weeks these games are held. Their regular leagues games or practice sessions are cancelled. A few local chosen ones get to compete while majority of local youth and adults cannot enjoy their sport.

Up 29 Down 3

Josey Wales on Sep 22, 2022 at 12:41 pm

Hey Roy...holy shyite man, I agree with every key stroke in your participation today.
Gawd...does than mean I am now a liberal or almost worse...wrong?
Either way it’s dreadful to pontificate on.
...but had to give you credit for some logic, logic I cannot argue with today.

Up 52 Down 5

Roy on Sep 22, 2022 at 11:59 am

This is the emperor’s new clothes 2022 edition.

It’s insulting to our intelligence that these proponents think we’ll ignore the past and say “well gee I guess this time it’ll be different! You’ve somehow figured out what every Olympic, Commonweal games, and Canada games hosting city couldn’t figure out.

How is it we are so blessed? How come you aren’t operating at the international level to pull off this magic of making something like this not a huge albatross around taxpayers necks? Such a genius to be found only in our tiny city!”

This time it’ll be different they say. Just trust them.
Then by 2025 when it’s blown up we’ll be too committed to do anything but throw more millions at the problem.

I’d rather see 2 million dollars go towards hiring nurses than 200 million be spent on ice rinks.

We should say no.

And in 2027 we should throw an understated pot luck party where we all celebrate not having bankrupted ourselves with this boondoggle.

Up 17 Down 11

Totally real name on Sep 22, 2022 at 11:16 am

Hey look. The same 5 people. Saying the same 5 things with the same 5 ratings.
How about all those coincidences...

Up 17 Down 7

Lost Adventure on Sep 22, 2022 at 10:44 am

No extra Yukon athletes get to participate just because it is here.

Instead of a grand adventure traveling to a Games and staying, visiting in another province, a true growth experience, our youth will be left competing in the same old, same old town and facilities they see every week.

Up 20 Down 10

YUKONER on Sep 22, 2022 at 7:43 am

Were going to get it no matter what we say. You voted for a lawyer for mayor and a lib gov you get what you voted for. Wake up!!

Up 19 Down 18

Far Canal on Sep 22, 2022 at 4:55 am

“Full body workout”, eh…what does this guy know about that? Getting lectured on exercise from this guy, is tantamount to being taught about the truth by Trump.

Up 30 Down 5

Stowaway on Sep 21, 2022 at 10:01 pm

Sure let's host the Canada Games. But why do we need to spend 100's of millions of dollars to do so? We still have all the facilities from 2007. Why do we need a bunch of new facilities? Why not put them on within our means?

Up 11 Down 43

Yukoner61 on Sep 21, 2022 at 9:30 pm

Unlike all the usual debbie downer commenters here who never have anything good to say, I fully support hosting the games and building a new arena and housing.

I want to live in place with good quality recreational opportunities and quality of life. Booking icetime at our current facilities is getting harder every year and last time I checked, Canada is kind of into hockey!! Also, I bet we will still need this housing development in 2027. I hope this city council shows some foresight and vision by approving this bid.

What are the benefits to not going forward? Whitehorse will need to build another arena sooner than later and the costs won't be getting any cheaper. Whitehorse could also use the housing. So why not invest in these things now so that we can also hold the Canada Games in doing so? I want my kids to remember big exciting events like this that create a buzz throughout town. They will always remember such a thing. I somehow doubt they will be thrilled to hear that instead of hosting these exciting events, mommy and daddy get to save 0.7% on their property taxes and Whitehorse gets to keep a fat reserve bank account. I'm sure that will fill them with pride and good memories.

To those who say we shouldn't spend money on sports or rec because we have homeless people or a lack of housing or whatever the hot buzzword social problem of the day is, do you volunteer to help people in these situations? Do you regularly donate money to help them? If not, then ask yourself why you are suddenly so concerned about these issues.

I'm willing to bet that the biggest opponents of this are libertarian loners who simply hate contributing anything to the greater good of the community. Likely with no children and don't give a rat's behind about opportunities for our youth or providing them with experiences to remember for a lifetime.

I hope that council truly sees past all the negativity in these comments. Nobody will remember or praise you for saving a surplus account or lowering taxes by 0.7%. So please don't be a scrooge, penny pinching to make yourselves look good temporarily while denying the opportunity of a lifetime to our youth. A lot of athletes both young and old are watching how you vote!

Up 6 Down 9

drum on Sep 21, 2022 at 8:49 pm

Either way for the future - we would not have our wonderful CGC or our Senior Resdence and Students Residences up at the Yukon Univertsity if it had not been for the last Canada Games. Can we afford another one - I do not know.

Looking into the past we would not have our wonderful CGC or the Senior Resz

Up 20 Down 6

Dallas on Sep 21, 2022 at 8:31 pm

No no no, this city and this territory and this country are so far in debt and with no way to pay it off other than dumping the bill on the taxpayers, that washed up NDP premier and the liberal mayor and territorial government are already headed south with a fat pension,I can’t believe we are actually entertaining this huge financial mess!

Up 7 Down 10

Nathan Living on Sep 21, 2022 at 8:31 pm

Just a thought, why not seriously consider other legacy events

For example a spring or early summer international film festival or a winter celebration of some sort. Something that could happen every second or third year and grow due to its popularity.

Think about it.

Up 21 Down 4

Juniper Jackson on Sep 21, 2022 at 8:30 pm

Just don't do it. Thats how easy it is.

Up 7 Down 11

Ronnie Laguna on Sep 21, 2022 at 7:56 pm

While I think this whole think is ridiculous if they are serious about they’re bid why not throw some cash to the community so maybe they can get a new rink or some benefit out of this. Whitehole isn’t the centre of the universe.

Up 22 Down 4

Norht_of_60 on Sep 21, 2022 at 7:53 pm

The charade to railroad this through carries on; meanwhile there are increasing numbers of comments against it. YTG & CoW will never put it to a referendum, because they know the voting, tax paying public will reject it.

Up 19 Down 4

Adam Smith on Sep 21, 2022 at 7:33 pm

I hope that our politicians think about our tax money.

Up 20 Down 3

Woodcutter on Sep 21, 2022 at 7:15 pm

In a time of increasing inflation, the construction sector working at 110% of capacity, millions being spent by the federal governmrnt for "Afordable Housing" an idea is to spend even more in the short term?

5 to 1 they blow their budget bigly on this one.

Up 15 Down 3

Erwin Glock on Sep 21, 2022 at 6:52 pm

Implications? .... only for the taxpayer !!!

Up 17 Down 2

OM on Sep 21, 2022 at 6:11 pm

Is my understanding that laking is the only councillor who asked about the costs to taxpayers?

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moe on Sep 21, 2022 at 5:56 pm

This crew is proposing to toss 'one or two million' out the window to create, 'some ice time when the weather is right', by purchasing an enormous tent to put a hockey rink in. They can't even narrow down the cost within a factor of 100%, but that doesn't matter because it's just peanuts anyway, one or two million.

And look at what that 2 million will buy: two seasons of 'ice time' for hockey players, November through March. 10 months of 'ice time' for 2 million bucks. $200,000 a month for an outdoor skating rink under a tent. This is all absolutely nuts. The rest of the proposal is just as ridiculous.

Does anyone know what YG paid NVD to rent the convention center for covid shots? As a founding member of that cabal, Piers seems to have gotten very used to government largesse. The rest of us dummies go to work in the morning.

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JC on Sep 21, 2022 at 4:02 pm

As a takhini resident, I will oppose a 3 year project to recreate a larger arena. It's already a bad fit for the neighborhood as is. Why don't they build it a little further down, next to the Postal outlet? Take this opportunity to move a high traffic venue to a less residential area, and then develop that area for housing.

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Charlie's Aunt on Sep 21, 2022 at 4:01 pm

YT expects COW to contribute about 17 million???? I think I want to throw up and probably will if this goes ahead.

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Geoff Capp on Sep 21, 2022 at 3:26 pm

I think they should tell the Games people to give it to some other province for 2027, and that Yukon would like to slot in for 2031 or 2035, at the earliest. Supply chain problems and cost of materials is too volatile right now to count on being ready... presuming, of course, that people are willing to support a games project so soon after 2007. Besides, shouldn't Yellowknife get a chance to bid for an extra-provincial games turn?

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Anie on Sep 21, 2022 at 3:04 pm

Piers McDonald said "Organizers also expect a national TV audience"

Did anyone in Yukon, except athlete's parents, watch the last Canada Winter Games? Did you learn anything about the host city? Do you even remember the name? Did you decide to go there for vacation? Nah, didn't think so. So why should we pay attention to anything he says in support of the bid that no other city in Canada wants. Nobody wants this event. Not a single city, large or small, anywhere in Canada. Dear god doesn't that tell us anything?

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TMYK on Sep 21, 2022 at 3:00 pm

I have zero faith that these buildings won’t become a burden on the city tax payers. I heard a relevant story last week. The Arctic Winter Games bought the arena flooring from Rexal Place to cover the ice at Takhini arena. The idea was that it would be a legacy item for the arena that would allow them to host concerts and events while maintaining the ice. When the games were canceled the City refused to keep the flooring. They didn’t want the use of Takhini arena to be expanded and only wanted it used for hockey. So I don’t for one second buy that an additional rink will be used for anything else either. There are plenty of sports that are able to pay their own way and not burden tax payers.

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Holy F@%k on Sep 21, 2022 at 2:56 pm

How about the "Chair" gets off his chair and jumps on a treadmill...and change your shirt too while you're at it. Geez.

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Jake on Sep 21, 2022 at 2:54 pm

Give it up. The costs just don’t make it feasible when there are so many challenges for so many in the Yukon. Not to mention the state of finances of the Government. Silver is leaving because the red tape pushed him right out of his office.

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