Whitehorse Daily Star

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Paolo Gallina

Liberals would protect McIntyre Creek region

The Yukon Liberals want to turn this territorial election into a walk in the park. McIntyre Park, to be precise.

By Tim Giilck on April 1, 2021

The Yukon Liberals want to turn this territorial election into a walk in the park. McIntyre Park, to be precise.

The party announced Wednesday afternoon it wants to permanently protect the McIntyre Creek area – which is already a regional park.

The announcement was made more as a vision statement than a plan with details by incumbent Porter Creek candidate Ranj Pillai during a streamed news conference.

Pillai referred a number of reporters’ questions to a 2020 study on the area. Those questions included the extent of land under consideration, which Pillai didn’t know.

The report pegged the land at roughly 4,600 hectares.

“Most people know where this land is,” Pillai said, noting it runs from Fish Lake down to the Yukon River in the Porter Creek and Takhini areas.

Pillai also couldn’t say what type of park the party had in mind – untouched or having a trail network people could enjoy.

Those key details would only come after extensive consultations with other levels of government, he said.

“As part of our plan to protect the Yukon’s environment, a re-elected Yukon Liberal government will create McIntyre Creek Park,” Pillai said, reading from a prepared statement that was also part of a news release.

“Working together with Yukoners, the City of Whitehorse, Kwanlin Dün First Nation, Ta’an Kwäch’an Council, and Yukon University, a Yukon Liberal government will set aside land to permanently protect McIntyre Creek for present and future generations of Yukoners. 

“The creation of McIntyre Creek Park will benefit all Yukoners. This area has tremendous historical, cultural, and academic importance for the residents of Whitehorse and they have been asking for protection for decades.

“McIntyre Creek and its surrounding lands include significant wildlife areas and unique wetlands that support biodiversity in our territory.”

Paolo Gallina, the Liberal incumbent/candidate for Porter Creek Centre, also commented.

“McIntyre Creek is an important recreation area for Yukoners to connect with nature. Establishing a park in this area will provide a permanent place to enjoy nature within the city and protect important habitats that support a variety of plants and animals, including rare and threatened species,” Gallina said.

The release stated the “creation of McIntyre Creek Park will help slow biodiversity loss in the Yukon by protecting important wildlife areas.

“The park will also provide a permanent outdoor recreation space that people of all ages and abilities can access by walking, cycling, public transportation and other means.”

No figures were provided as to how much it would cost to create the park.

The release also promised a re-elected Yukon Liberal government would continue to take action by developing both species at risk and animal protection legislation to ensure that the Yukon’s wildlife and animal populations are adequately protected.

“The Yukon Liberal Party is committed to protecting Yukon’s environment and taking real action on the climate crisis,” the party said.

“By taking real action, the Liberals will make sure fragile ecosystems are protected, the land planning process continues to move forward, and Yukoners can enjoy our pristine wilderness safely and respectfully.”

The discussion of the park came on top of some discussion about the Liberals’ climate change policies.

“Climate change is one of the most important issues facing our world today, and the Yukon is front and centre when it comes to the impacts of a changing climate,” Gallina said.

“Our Liberal team is committed to continuing our work to mitigate and adapt to climate change. These are also concrete steps to protect the Yukon’s environment,” Gallina said.

A re-elected Yukon Liberal government would:

• continue to take action by developing both species at risk and animal protection legislation to ensure that the Yukon’s wildlife and animal populations are adequately protected;

• continue the fracking ban in the Yukon;

• work with Yukon University to consider the development of a building science program tailored to northern climates;

• partner with the City of Whitehorse to improve public transit;

• create recreation infrastructure across the Yukon in an ecologically sensitive way for both motorized and non-motorized vehicles;

• complete the wetlands strategy within the first year of a renewed mandate;

• include carbon intensity targets for mines and large industrial projects; and

• introduce legislation for the development of geothermal projects.

Comments (19)

Up 18 Down 1

Anie on Apr 5, 2021 at 3:26 pm

@nuce - have you ever read even one placer water use licence, or one placer mining land use operating plan ? Are you aware of a single reclamation plan that must be submitted and approved before any work, or that reclamation must progress with disturbance? Do you know if any permits that allow instream work? I think you may be making an awful lot of assumptions and you could put your mind at ease by doing some research.

Up 7 Down 0

Resident on Apr 5, 2021 at 1:52 pm

Depending in the level of protection, the whole area could be under the fish cops instead of bylaw. One of the main reasons this idea didn't fly in the mid 2000s was too many concerns about overlapping jurisdictions. Do city bylaws apply in a territorial park?

Up 9 Down 4

Ignominious Bastards on Apr 5, 2021 at 1:32 pm

Excellent... The Liberals finally have a viable plan to help society the best way that they can. Give them clothing appropriate for the weather. Take away their communication devices and let them stand guard on location. We will let you know when you are done protecting McIntyre Creek... And we will come see you if we want/need anything...

Up 5 Down 1

Jayne W on Apr 5, 2021 at 9:28 am


Up 6 Down 16

nice, but.. on Apr 4, 2021 at 1:46 pm

Well that is lovely.

How about all the creeks that the placer miners are ripping up? Out of sight, out of mind.

Up 4 Down 14

Lennie on Apr 3, 2021 at 12:52 pm

Obviously there will be no residential lots or business lots developed in the McIntyre creek area. Neither Libs or YP are interested in this. Last I heard Burger King is looking for property to compete with DQ. Why do you suppose the second Ave lot on the corner is fenced off??

Up 33 Down 19

Wilf Carter on Apr 3, 2021 at 11:35 am

How do you like the $1.40 Liter for gasoline in Whitehorse? Several months ago it was $1.20 per liter. That a 20 cent increase. How much carbon tax is our liberal governments collecting now plus 5% GST on top of that? That comes out to 17% increase in fuel cost to drive your car to work, get food, go see a doctor or a family member. Add 5% GST on top that equals 22% increase in fuel cost in Yukon altogether. Wow, Yukoners who buy furnace oil you just got your Easter gift from father liberals in Ottawa and Yukon.

Did any one in government or in private sector get a 22% increase in wages to cover the cost of living increase?
Every time you go to the grocery store watch how much our food has gone up to feed our families.

Larry why are you not standing up for Yukoners? Oh yes, you got your $194,000 a year salary from tax payers is that correct? Mr. Bagnell why don't you stand up for Yukoners interest not just your back pocket?

Yukoners, you have your own future in your hands either to choose to continue going ahead as a liberal state or change actions to something we need to help our future. Especially our kids and grand kids. Choice is yours!!!

Up 25 Down 18

Wilf Carter on Apr 2, 2021 at 2:51 pm

Just looking at the public support that is shown through this and other media outlets and on Facebook liberals are only at 22% support. Yukoners not in favor of liberals to continuing to manage our government is at 78%.

Up 23 Down 18

Wilf Carter on Apr 2, 2021 at 2:49 pm

When did Ranj Pillai become leader of liberals at the debate? He did not know what he was talking about in a lot of cases. He knows nothing about land development, housing, business incentives, economic development, infrastructure, community development, social domestic or economic develop as the three key things Yukon needs.

Up 19 Down 13

Nathan Living on Apr 2, 2021 at 11:24 am

The city did well with the Chadburn Lake park but they cannot be trusted to protect environmentally sensitive areas.

GY sees the big picture while the city supports a few favoured clubs.

Up 33 Down 9

Groucho d'North on Apr 2, 2021 at 9:58 am

This very same dillema vexed the Duncan Liberals back in 2001. Porter Creek D was a housing development proposal that would have been located in the area bordering MacIntyre Creek. You may recall there was a great noise about needing more building lots but a large portion of the local community also wanted the area to be designated a park of some kind. There were consultations and studys galore about the pros and cons of making such an investment. Would it be a COW or YG park? Should the OCP be amended to protect this area? Who would pay to maintain the new park?
Here we are 21 years later and the same issues appear. The land along the creek is still filled with litter and dog waste and the cost of land has gone up a very large amount. Google for the previous plans and reports that were created. How great is the need for residential land today compared to removing it from development as a park? The campaign promise of creating 1000 new lots within the next five years begs the question: Where will these new lots be developed?

Up 43 Down 12

Mad Trapper of Riverdale on Apr 1, 2021 at 9:48 pm

The area is already a park and popular recreation area and I've never heard anyone say there was a desire to develop it.

This is just a feel good fluff piece from used car salesman politicians, trying to score points on a non issue. Typical to see Poalo just show up at election time after spending the last four and a half years snoozing on the back bench, never mentioning this issue until now.

Up 47 Down 15

bonanzajoe on Apr 1, 2021 at 8:15 pm

When the Libs should be focusing on jobs and getting the Yukon kicked started, they want to create parks. Nice going Libs, will that help pay off the massive debt and deficit you created? Good luck with that dudes and dudesses.

Up 11 Down 44

Undecided on Apr 1, 2021 at 6:12 pm

These guys seem to be in tune with issues that really matter. It looks like they've done their homework.

Up 17 Down 12

Snowball II on Apr 1, 2021 at 4:52 pm

Why do they need to build a park to protect McIntyre creek?? More people go around that area the garbage you will see there can't keep it a natural area. I hope KDFN and TA'AN say no to this. How about fixing up ear lake ?? And the area with all the gun shells laying around.

Up 43 Down 26

Wilf Carter on Apr 1, 2021 at 4:06 pm

Is revenues coming from the new increase in carbon tax plus the GST on the carbon tax? Tax on tax who would thought of that?
Or, is the new taxes on liquor?

Up 59 Down 20

Crunch on Apr 1, 2021 at 4:05 pm

Really Ranj? When was the last time you took a walk in the McIntyre Creek area? The COW has other plans so if the mayor ever figures out what he's doing maybe you two could have a chat. They have already extended the water & sewer from MVD into the McIntyre Creek area and the sprawl is not going to stop there. Nice try though but we'd be fools to buy into this!!

Up 55 Down 18

oh the paradox on Apr 1, 2021 at 3:57 pm

Nothing against the stance

But what are we supposed to do?
a) build on the outskirts of the city causing an increase in commuting and cost of infrastructure + services
b) infill the city limits that are closer to central services and hope that commuting pushes to a public transport style OR walking/biking

But by saying "we're protecting wilderness" that is surrounded by urban living, you're essentially forcing people to develop in "pristine" wilderness.

I'd argue a better stance is to say "we will develop it with a condition that the waterway is not effected." From a political standpoint, the stance of "protect mcintyre creek" is great. From a logical/practical/logistical one, not so much. Eventually you're going to have to explain to people why we're increasing the cost of commuting, building in pristine areas, and leaving prime real estate in developed areas untouched.

Up 63 Down 27

Mike on Apr 1, 2021 at 3:29 pm

Biggest failures and story teller's in Yukon history. This party is only capable of protecting themselves they've done nothing for Whitehorse or the communities in keeping them safe.

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