Does Progress Have to be Ugly?????

I don’t think I’m a radical at all when it comes to progress – I understand the greys, not just the blacks and whites of issues. But Yukon Electrical seems to have carte blanche to do whatever they want in the Yukon, with no regulatory and/or public input, and that bugs me. When the Mayo-Dawson power line was built a few years ago, a lot of people raised hell about the location of it – right beside a highway that used to have some great views. The result of the complaints – nada.

Now another power line is being built along the South Klondike Highway (and apparently along the North Klondike as well). There is a power line along the South Klondike now, but it’s mostly back in the bush, out of sight. I assume that this is an upgrade to the line. I’ve heard nothing about it – was anybody consulted? Did they go through the YESAP process that everyone else has to go through to do anything related to the land? I’ve haven’t been in touch with Yukon goings-on much for the past few weeks, but the answer to both those questions seems to be “no” (nothing shows up in searches at the News and Star sites). The logical question that follows is “why hasn’t there been any input??”

I understand doing things the easy way, but that doesn’t make it right. Construction of a line along the highway is much easier than building it through the bush. The 3rd photo below shows the current line through the bush on the right, where the new line will hook up to it, right at historic Mile 18 (these photos were shot yesterday). Back in about 1996 when I wanted power into my Carcross cabin, Yukon Electrical engineers and I discussed this exact issue over the course of about a year and a half. I wanted the line to go through the bush so it wouldn’t mess up my view, they wanted it to run alongside the railway tracks where it was easy to build. They initially refused to build it through the bush and I said that if it had to go across my view I’d find another power source. The engineers were great to talk to, and when a site inspection was done by one of the head engineers rather than a lower-end guy, he saw my point – the line now runs through the bush. Those of you who enjoy our (relatively) pristine views should contact your MLA to find our why Yukon Electrical is allowed to continue buggering up those views.

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