The information provided on this page is intended to help you as a voter make a more informed choice on election day. The Klondike Snowmobile Association does not promote or endorse any specific candidates or parties during elections.
Whitehorse Municipal Election 2018:
Municipal Elections are being held across the Yukon on October 18th, 2018. Out of concern of the future state of motorized recreation in Whitehorse, and snowmobiling specifically, the Klondike Snowmobile Association invited all Whitehorse mayoral and council candidates to indicate whether they agree or disagree with four statements that reflect the concerns of our membership. Respondents were given eight days to reply. The results are presented below for your consideration, in the table are the candidates’ agree/disagree responses, and below that are additional comments some of them have added.
1. Snowmobiling generates $26 billion in economic activity across North America each year. I acknowledge that responsible motorized recreation is a local economic engine so I will promote and support it.
2. I will work to maintain or increase the inventory of trails and areas open to motorized recreation within city limits.
3. I will promote and support a multi-use trail management model because it is the most sustainable model for Whitehorse and it provides the most benefit for the maximum number of users at the lowest cost to tax payers.
4. I will support bylaw amendments that allow children aged twelve years and older to operate motorized recreational vehicles on city trails under the supervision of responsible adults (SeeYellowknife bylaw sample at https://www.yellowknife.ca/bylaws/Bylaw/Details/a492a853-f142-40ac-b5fc-866f6ee622c6).
Statement 1: I would agree that it is a local, past time and hobby and gets people out enjoying the vast trail systems our city has to offer. I was unable to find any specific data on the economic engine beyond the sales of the machines in Whitehorse. That being said I will and do support Responsible Motorized recreation.
Statement 2: As someone who uses the trails, I would like to see the network of trails expanded in certain areas to create loops to ride. while protecting and preserving our green spaces and protected areas.
Statement 3: I am on the fence with this one. I would not make any changes to established multi-use trails but find that there are unnecessary conflicts created by sharing the same trails. I would promote the out and away and snowmobile specific trails just as there are ski trails, fat bike, and walking trails.
Statement 4: Yes, I would support and encourage this.
Statement 1: I agree with question one.
Statement 2: Is not a yes/no answer. What I do support is an open discussion with KSA in order to understand the details of your requests and to engage in a dialogue to confront any issues that may be out there. For example, I have witnessed snowmobiles going way to fast on the trails in Whitehorse and so we must mitigate the responsibility for the safety of those operating the vehicles, and that of others using the trails.
Statement 3: Is also not a yes/no answer. I would support the implementation of a multi-use trail management model, for some of the trails, but not all of them, because it is the most sustainable model for Whitehorse and it would provide the most benefit for the maximum number of users. BUT, we have to discuss, and resolve the concerns / issues raised in question number two, especially the safety issues, and the damage that may be caused to the trails that, for example, cross country skiers use, before we just open the trails as multi-use.
Statement 4: Is not a yes/no answer. I think there are problems with a 12-year-old operating a snowmobile, even under the supervision of responsible adults. I think there has to be, if there is not already, a training program for youth who want to operate a snowmobile and that they should pass that course first and get a certificate, or something that they carry with them when operating the vehicle.
Remarks: I have been a caregiver for my wife for many years and as such have not had the pleasure to even be on a snowmobile … ever. My wife passed away a year ago. I am more than willing, now that I am able, to learn about snowmobiles and to listen to your requests about the trails. I think my responses to the above questions outline my concerns. I am looking forward to discussing this with your group and I would enter those discussions with an open mind.
Remarks: In regards to question #1, I am in full agreement that snowmobiling is a multi-billion dollar industry and a highly valued recreational activity in our community on so many levels.
However, in regards to questions #2, 3 and 4, I’m hesitant to make any blanket statements/decisions on the fly without doing our due diligence to ensure: (1) that the City has the opportunity to consider submissions from our citizens’ perspectives; (2) that appropriate research is done to advise us of the costs and impacts; and (3) that those with local expertise in these matters are consulted. I believe that informed decision-making is fundamental to good governance and I make it a practice to collect and review the facts before committing to anything.
I apologize that I couldn’t give you the straightforward Agree vs Disagree responses you were hoping for but trails are a very important part of our recreational infrastructure, and we need to find some balance in our citizens’ divergent views and uses. Evidence based decisions are very helpful in providing objectivity to often contentious trail issues.
Remarks: Please do not consider these promises. If I become a councillor, I will be obligated to keep an open mind and consider all sides of each issue. However, this a sincere “snapshot” of how I feel generally about these questions. In part, I base this on our very effective relationship with KSA while I was the chair of Whistle Bend Community Association during our recent deliberations over trail use in our new neighbourhood.
Statement 1: Yukoners enjoy a large number of summer and winter recreational activities all of which are economically important across the Yukon.
Statement 2: There is an extensive trail network within the City largely shared by foot and mostly in thanks to the K.S.A. These and future trails should be built and maintained for year round use by all.
Statement 3: The arguments against multi use trails are the disrespectful users: motorized users that are racing and won’t slow down to when approaching walkers or other vehicles; and dog walkers who refuse to control their animals. Some common respect and manors will solve these and make for better trail use and a much more enjoyable time.
Statement 4: Are you suggesting a 12 year old can handle a 1000cc vehicle? I’m all for educating early and properly. Learning how to operate a recreational vehicle must include the responsibilities that come with it such as courtesy for other trail users and responsibility for the environment. I see this as more of a family decision to determine if the individual child is mature enough to handle the responsibility, which is the greatest concern.
Remarks: I agree with all four statements, with a couple of conditions:
1. I would like to see spoilers (noise making devices) banned within city limits. I understand that they are part of high performance racing, but are not needed for recreational purposes.
2. I prefer to see the existing trails being maintained properly, rather than developing more and more trails. Our existing trails are getting ‘trashed’ as usage increases.
3. There should be trails that are reserved for non-motorized use only. But I firmly believe that we can share most trails.
4. I will not promote motorized recreation because that is not the role of a city councillor to promote one form of recreation or another. I will support motorized recreation as a choice that is preferred by a significant part of our population.
5. Whitehorse is a winter city with a long tradition of out and away snowmobile access and so I support shared use of some trails to allow that to continue.
Remarks: As an active Atv and snowmobiler I will continue to support all forms of motorized vehicles now and in the future.
Statement 1: The $26 billion figure contained in the question is very impressive. Thank you for noting it. As a candidate, I don’t think it would be fair for me to support or promote any economic endeavour over another.
Statement 2: I require further study of this matter before I can answer the question. Personally, I would like to see more trails dedicated to walking and skiing only, but I am definitely open to looking at this matter in greater depth.
Statement 3: As I mentioned in Question #2, I am leaning towards more trails being exclusively dedicated to walking and skiing. Nevertheless, I am prepared to view things with an open mind.
Statement 4: My first instinct is to support the proposition contained in this question as it is posed.
Statement 1: I recognize that responsible motorized recreation in allowed areas is an interest for many Whitehorse citizens and so I support it within those confines. I don’t really see my role as a city councillor to “promote” any particular sport or interest but I certainly don’t oppose it and I definitely acknowledge the great work that KSA does in trail maintenance and promoting responsible snowmobile use.
Statement 2: The city undertakes planning around trail development, use, maintenance and designation. I support the work the parks and recreation department does in this area. I cannot make a blanket statement about this as it would be determined on a case by case basis and with advice and information provided to council.
Statement 3: In general I agree with this statement but as noted above exceptions might be determined on a case by case basis. Some trails and areas lend themselves to single use (cycling or walking or motorized), some should not be motorized at all, some should be motorized alone.
Statement 4: I have not read the bylaw example but I have no issue with this idea as long as “under supervision of a responsible adult” is outlined and ensures the adult must be with the child – within view.
Further to question 3: I support a multi-use trail management system which includes some motorized ONLY and some non-motorized ONLY. I recognize that some users want quick access to the hinterland.
Further to question 4: As long as he/she has been issued a Snowmobile Safety Course Certificate (or similar certification) and is under the immediate supervision and control of a person eighteen years of age or older who has been issued: i) a valid Driver’s Licence; or ii) a Snowmobile Safety Course Certificate. And he/she and their supervising adult is subject to all rules of enforcement.
Statement 1: I do agree that snowmobiling is a big part of the winter recreation scene but would like to know how much economic activity is estimated to be generated in the Yukon.
Statement 2: I feel that trails have to be more definitely designated.
Statement 3: I cannot support the multi-use trail management model.
Statement 4: I feel that snowmobilers also have to abide by the Motor Vehicle Act as regards to age.
Remarks: There needs to be a lot more discussion about some of these questions but thanks for the opportunity to have to think about them again.
Statement 1: Agree
Statement 2: Agree
Statement 3: Unsure, need more information
Statement 4: Don’t know / need more information. Agree in principal but would want to have a community discussion.
Remarks: Snowmobile and ATV use is a way of life and important activity for Yukoners. Businesses, hunters, and individuals rely on its continued use. Users should be able to enjoy their use into wilderness areas, that are not high use for other activities. Users must also have access trails to get to areas to enjoy.
Remarks: In principle I agree with your statements, but the simple yes/no does not allow room for nuance and tact in the response, which is required.
I am an avid 4-wheel drive/overland travel enthusiast (2 Toyota Land Cruisers) and on hiatus from snowmobiling – thought I really want to get back on it. I am very pleased to have many areas around the
city to practice my driving and explore, and thank the Association for their efforts generally, and specifically in the areas that I can bring my trucks. Without trails, quality of life in the city would not be anywhere near where it is.
Statement 1: Yes, I agree that motorsports is a large and growing industry. Not only that, it feeds off a deep part of our culture as western Canadians and Northerners.
Statement 2: I believe in maintaining existing access, and clarifying where that access is, so that all of the public understands what we as a community have agreed to in terms of motorized and non-motorized routes. As the city develops and grows, new corridors will be opened, and a clear expectation of how they are to be used is required for community solidarity and cooperation.
Statement 3: The multi-use model is the correct way to go, but there must also be dedicated trails and routes that service specific activities and transport methods. I would be thrilled if one day we had a beautiful trail away from roads that could be used as a commuter route for all kinds of non-automobile transport to all neighbourhoods. Like I say, though, managing all expectations at the outset is key for these programs to be successful.
Statement 4: In principle, supervised riding for young people when under direct supervision is a good idea. Parents and riders would know better than me what the appropriate age would be to begin allowing that – 12 does seem young. I would also look to territorial laws and the influence the city can have on that, in order to better strengthen the bylaw, as well has have to do legal analysis and check in with counterparts in Yellowknife on their experience and places they see room for improvement, so that we get the best laws possible.
Statement 1: I agree, and would love to know what impact snowmobiling has on the Whitehorse economy. I know there are a lot of shops and repair work and imagine you have a pretty sizeable impact.
Statement 2: I agree. Trails continue to be a staple in the Whitehorse community and there is ample space for everyone to take advantage of what mother nature has to offer.
Statement 3: I agree. Its important to protect all trails in the community and ensure that anyone who wants to can do so safely!
Statement 4: I’m not familiar with age restrictions but know that so many kids are exposed to snowmobiling as a family event at the cabin or in the bush. I have some questions but will look into the Yellowknife bylaw and see what best-practices are!
Remarks: Any time I’ve run into a snowmobiler on the trails or around the city, I’m always greeted with a smile and a wave. They always slow down when passing, if not stop altogether. There will always be those who give snowmobilers a bad name but I have yet to meet them and I can’t wait to work with the KSA!