WHITEHORSE – The presence of radon in homes and how to detect it continues to be a growing concern for many Yukoners. Last year, it was discovered that certain subdivisions around Whitehorse showed radon levels significantly above Health Canada guidelines.
When asked about what the department is doing to address the high radon levels in these areas of Whitehorse, the Minister claimed that Yukon Housing was providing radon testing kits to residential households free of charge. Despite those claims, Yukoners who contacted Yukon Housing were told that if they lived in Whitehorse – including in the affected subdivisions of Whitehorse Copper, Pine Ridge, Wolf Creek, Spruce Hill and Cowley Creek – they would not be provided radon testing kits.
Further, when asked about the results of radon testing in daycares and day homes around the territory, the Minister was unable to confirm how many of these places tested above the recommended safe levels of radon, how many places required immediate mitigation, and whether the department offered financial assistance for that mitigation.
One year later, while the Minister has confirmed that there is funding available for mitigation, she could not say how much has been provided. Further, she still could not confirm how many child care facilities have tested above safe levels, nor could she indicate whether any have been successfully remediated.
“It seems to us that one year later, the Minister still does not know what is going on in her own department,” said Patti McLeod, Official Opposition Health Critic. “This is an important issue about the health of Yukoners and their children, so it’s concerning for the Minister to not only be unwilling to help Whitehorse residents detect and mitigate radon, but also to not know specifics within her own department with regards to the status of funding and remediation.”
Over 22 months ago, the Official Opposition wrote a letter to the Minister regarding these issues which still has not received a response.