Liberals Misled Yukoners on Land Expropriation

WHITEHORSE – Today the Yukon News confirmed that Minister Mostyn misled Yukoners about the government’s plans to expropriate the Salvation Army’s Adult Resource Centre (ARC) in Hillcrest.

On November 13th and November 27th, the Minister of Highways and Public Works was asked whether or not the government was in discussions to take over the Salvation Army’s property along the Alaska Highway where the ARC is located.

After ignoring the initial questions on November 13th, he finally responded to follow-up questions on November 27th, stating that the government was only looking to obtain the Airport Chalet.

However, on January 2nd the Liberal Government submitted a proposal to YESAB stating that it is currently in discussions with the Salvation Army to take over ownership of the land. This document specifically states that the government has been in discussion with a number of groups, Salvation Army included, about this project since February 2019.

A February 5th article in the Yukon News reported that the ARC may close down as soon as March 31st as a result of the Liberal government’s plans.

“In November, the government held an open house at the Transportation Museum to discuss this project and at the time we heard they were in discussions to expropriate the Salvation Army’s land in Hillcrest,” said Scott Kent, Official Opposition House Leader. “We asked the Minister about this proposal twice and he denied it was the case. At this point we are left wondering whether he intentionally misled Yukoners or if he’s just not on top of his files. In any case, the Minister needs to issue an apology to Yukoners and commit to share exactly what the Liberal government’s plans are for this piece of property.”

Quotes from Question Period - November 27th, 2019.

Question re: Alaska Highway corridor upgrades

Ms. Van Bibber: Earlier this Sitting, we asked the government about their plans for expropriation along the Alaska Highway. At the government’s open house on November 12, we were told that the government is in negotiations to purchase the Salvation Army’s property where the Adult Resource Centre is located. The current plans do not show any planned roads or through roads going through this property, so it would seem strange that the government is looking at this property. Can the minister confirm that the government is looking at purchasing this property and, if so, for what purpose? Is the government looking at creating a quarry or a gravel pit?

Hon. Mr. Mostyn: I can tell the member that the government has done extensive assessment and planning work along the Alaska Highway through Whitehorse, and we’re focusing on intersection safety improvements and considering all users, from large trucks and personal vehicles to cyclists and pedestrians. We have prioritized segments of the highway for improvements.

Mr. Speaker, we do know that there are some obstructions on the highway right-of-way through the section of highway right in front of Hillcrest. I have asked the department about this. They are currently speaking with the owners of the Airport Chalet, but that’s the only site that, I’ve been told, we are actually working on to obtain to make the highway right-of way wider.

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Madison Pearson
(867) 393-7026