FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE April 26, 2023
WHITEHORSE – The Yukon Party Official Opposition is again calling on the Liberal government to reconsider the location of a replacement École Whitehorse Elementary School (EWES) and meaningfully consult with Yukoners on the new location. The renewed request follows a letter to the territorial Liberals from Softball Yukon and Sport Yukon who objected to the consultation process and raised serious concerns about the impacts on sport programs and sport tourism.
In a letter dated March 29, 2023, the sports organizations jointly wrote:
“Sport Yukon and Softball Yukon object to the consultation process surrounding the proposed building of a new elementary school in Takhini.”
“The issues surrounding the specific school infrastructure needs are complex, but our primary concern is the absence of any communication and consultation with the sport community about the potential impact of the development of the Takhini educational land reserve, which is currently home to three high-use softball fields currently leased to and maintained by Softball Yukon.”
Earlier in the spring sitting, the Yukon Party requested the Liberal government revisit the location and meaningfully consult following concerns from the Takhini Elementary School and EWES communities, as well as downtown residents.
When questioned following the concerns from Softball Yukon and Sport Yukon, the Minister of Education replied, “The education of our young people is absolutely paramount here and this is what I would think NIMBYism is at its finest — not in my backyard.”
In March, the Minister of Community Services said, “If I was looking at committing to a school or committing to some ball diamonds – as much as I like Softball Yukon – I will take the school over the diamonds any time.”
The Yukon Party believes both can be accomplished with proper leadership instead of pitting Yukoners against each other.
“With proper consultation and leadership, the Liberal government could have found a path that met the needs of all stakeholders,” said Yukon Party Leader Currie Dixon. “Instead, they have chosen to vilify stakeholders opposed to their replacement plan by saying it is one or the other. We are again asking the government to properly consult Yukoners about the location of the replacement for École Whitehorse Elementary School.”