Whitehorse, Yukon Integrated Community Sustainability Plan

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Whitehorse, Canada

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Type: Policy

Status: Draft Plan of August 2007

Source File: Click here


(Note: The full draft is an 120-page document of over 6.0 MB.)

The City of Whitehorse has been practising and adopting the principles of sustainability for a number of years. This report includes many City of Whitehorse previously adopted sustainable practices and policies.

Like many urban communities across Canada, Whitehorse’s existing infrastructure is aging and needs to be replaced. There is not the ability for municipalities across Canada to raise the dollars necessary to repair and replace infrastructure and to manage growth. Municipalities do not have the legislated ability to raise the amount of money necessary to respond to what has been referred to as the “infrastructure deficit”.

In response to the “infrastructure deficit” the Government of Canada established a program called the New Deal for Cities and Communities. This program provides funding from federal gas tax revenues. The Yukon Government and Canada entered into the Gas Tax Agreement in 2005. As part of the agreement all Yukon communities and Yukon First Nations are eligible for gas tax funding for capacity building, planning and infrastructure.

The City of Whitehorse entered into a contribution agreement for planning and capacity building with Yukon Government in 2006 to complete an Integrated Community Sustainability Plan. The Government of Yukon created a Yukon Integrated Community Sustainability Plan (ICSP) Template in cooperation with the Council of Yukon First Nations and the Association of Yukon Communities. This template provides a framework for development of the ICSP’s for communities and first nations and a minimum requirement in which ICSP’s will be reviewed by the Review Committee for approval. If the Review Committee approves this ICSP the City of Whitehorse will be eligible for funding under the Community Works Fund to begin working on infrastructure improvements. This report responds to the Yukon Government ICSP Template.

Phase 2: What’s to Come
The second part of the Sustainability Plan is a Community Sustainability Charrette. The Charrette is set for October 22nd to October 25th 2007. During the Charrette the community will develop a comprehensive sustainability plan and strategic plan. These plans will be more comprehensive in scope and will reach out to the community at large. The charrette will incorporate what was learned from the development of this template and go beyond into all aspects of our community. This plan, as stated in the template, is focused on the development of sustainable city infrastructure that improves air quality, water quality and reduces green house gas emissions. The next phase will include planning and strategies for all sectors in the community. Areas that were considered in the development of this plan and will be further explored in Phase 2 include:

  • Climate change
  • Businesses and economy
  • Health, social and justice issues
  • Aging population
  • Affordable housing
  • Renewable energy
  • Reducing our footprint on the earth’s surface
  • Yukon Carbon Fund

Whitehorse residents will need to come together to respond to the changes and challenges as we develop, grow, sustain and make decisions over the next 50 to 100 years. Keeping in mind the vision:

“Whitehorse will be a well planned self sustaining community that is a leader in energy conservation and innovation that maintains and conserves wilderness spaces for future generations. Whitehorse will continue to strive for a better quality of life that is reflected in its vibrant economy and social life.”

This is the challenge in Phase 2.

You can check out the city's continuing progress toward their goals by visiting an innovative website: http://whitehorse.visiblestrategies.com/