ARCHIVED - Building for Prosperity: Public Infrastructure in Yukon

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Minister's Message from Minister Lebel

Photo of the Honorable Denis Lebel

The Honorable Denis Lebel,
P.C., M.P.

Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities and Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Region of Quebec

Safe, modern and efficient public infrastructure is key to Canada's economic growth and long-term prosperity. Knowing how important infrastructure is to our country as a whole, and to the quality of life of every Canadian, I am proud to be leading the development of a long-term plan for public infrastructure that extends beyond the expiry of the Building Canada Plan. A new long-term infrastructure plan will position our nation to meet the challenges and opportunities of the coming decades.

Through Canada's Economic Action Plan and our infrastructure programs, our government has maintained an open dialogue with partners and stakeholders about the best way to support national and local priorities through infrastructure investments. Moving forward we will continue to work closely on infrastructure projects that make a difference for communities large and small. From initiatives that connect communities across the territory to projects that help smaller communities build local expertise to plan and build the infrastructure they need, together, we are making Canada a better place in which to live, work and do business.

As the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, I am very proud of the achievements that have been made possible through partnerships with Yukon and its communities. Looking ahead, these strong ties will form the foundation of our next long-term infrastructure plan and ensure Canadian communities continue to grow and prosper.

Working together, we will accomplish more and ensure Canada remains well-positioned for the future.

Minister's Message from Minister Taylor

Photo of the Honorable Elaine Taylor

The Honorable Elaine Taylor
Deputy Premier
Minister of Community Services
Minister of Public Service Commission
Minister of French Language Services Directorate
Minister of Women's Directorate

Yukon is pleased to play a key role in the nation-wide effort to develop a new long-term infrastructure plan for Canada and one that meets the unique needs of the North.

Predictable and sustainable long-term infrastructure support is essential for Canada's northern territories, including Yukon. We share similar challenges when it comes to developing and maintaining community-based infrastructure in remote communities spread across a vast landscape. In the past, initiatives like Building Canada and the Gas Tax Fund have helped to overcome some of these challenges through investments that meet the national program objectives and the needs of our northern communities.

The partnership between Canada and Yukon has had significant positive impacts and we will continue to build on past successes as we look toward the future. Together with our northern counterparts, we look forward to working with the Government of Canada on a long-term sustainable plan that supports local decision-making and achieves the greatest possible benefits for Yukon municipalities, First Nations and unincorporated communities.

Sustainable and predictable infrastructure funding enables strategic investment that maximizes economic benefits, creates new and lasting jobs in our communities, increases competitiveness, and improves critical services for Yukoners and their families.

Yukon has experienced significant economic prosperity over the past several years and it is essential that we continue to build momentum into the future.

Success Through Partnership

Working Together to Accomplish More

Since 2007, under the Building Canada Plan, federal, territorial and municipal governments have committed over $265 million* to core infrastructure needs in Yukon.

More recently, Canada's Economic Action Plan accelerated existing infrastructure programs and delivered new funding to create jobs and growth.

In Yukon, green infrastructure has been a key priority. Under the Building Canada Plan, solid waste management is improving across the territory with the addition of recycling capacity and waste diversion programs. Important investments are also being made in local roads, highway infrastructure and energy transmission lines.

  • transportation:
    25 initiatives worth more than $85 million
  • green infrastructure:
    22 initiatives worth more than $124 million
  • drinking water:
    19 initiatives worth more than $42 million
  • other:
    10 initiatives worth more than $12 million

Infrastructure Funding by Category

Infrastructure Funding by Category

*based on total eligible costs

Funding under the Building Canada Plan is flexible and supports additional priorities for Yukon's unique infrastructure needs, such as municipal service buildings. Over $22 million of the investments under Building Canada has been directed to local priorities, which have a direct and positive impact on the daily lives of Yukoners.

In addition, Canada's Economic Action Plan funded another 16 infrastructure projects worth close to $150 million to help drive employment and boost the economy in Yukon.

Partnership in Action

Working together to build infrastructure achieves local and regional priorities while supporting national objectives. The Infrastructure Stimulus Fund, the cornerstone of Canada's Economic Action Plan, has demonstrated what strong partnerships can accomplish. During the global economic downturn, all orders of government responded quickly and effectively to identify shovel-ready projects, drive employment and boost the economy, through infrastructure investments worth more than $7 million. These projects provided lasting benefits to communities across Yukon.

Canada's Gas Tax Fund at Work in Yukon:

Local Projects Long-term Results

Logo for Gas Tax Fund in Yukon

Each year, Canada's Gas Tax Fund is delivered to municipalities across the country to support local infrastructure initiatives and encourage economic growth. Increased to $2 billion per year nationally in 2009 and made permanent in 2011, the Gas Tax Fund supports municipal infrastructure projects that create jobs and help to protect the environment - contributing to cleaner air, cleaner water, and reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.

Gas Tax Allocations by Category
2005-06 to 2008-09

Gas Tax Allocations by Category 2005-06 to 2008-09

Between 2005 and 2014 Yukon will receive a total of $97.5 million from the Gas Tax Fund for local infrastructure priorities. To date, over 100 environmental infrastructure projects have been approved across the territory.

Recycling in Mayo

Crowd in front of recycling centre

The Village of Mayo replaced a dilapidated and underused recycling depot with an energy-efficient, accessible and more effective central facility.

Features of the new facility include a hazardous waste collection point and a "free store" where people can drop off household items and clothing for re-use. As a result of the project, recycling in Mayo has increased and more waste is being diverted from landfills.

Capacity Building and Planning

Small, remote communities in Yukon do not always have the local resources to plan and build the infrastructure they need. That is why funding is available through the Gas Tax Fund – to help communities build the local expertise needed to plan and execute infrastructure projects.

Yukon's Solid Waste Action Plan:

The Yukon government has a vision of a modern and sustainable solid waste management system suited to the North

The fundamental goal of Yukon's Solid Waste Action Plan is to modernize Yukon's waste management system by bringing it in line with current environmental practices and sustainability objectives. The Plan sets the stage for the Yukon government to implement key improvements and work with communities, municipalities, industry and stakeholders to explore innovative, long-term approaches to improve waste recycling, diversion, reduction and handling.

Yukon's Solid Waste Action Plan is a modern approach to waste management that includes improved infrastructure, enhanced user-friendly services, the formation of Yukon-wide partnerships, and innovative, long-term solutions consistent with sustainable energy and land-use objectives. Funding from the Gas Tax Fund and Building Canada has supported numerous solid waste management initiatives across the territory. Working together, the goals of the Action Plan are becoming a reality.

Progress is being made across the territory

Some measures of success include:

  • open burning of domestic waste ended in 2012 at 20 unincorporated solid waste facilities;
  • refocused operations toward diversion rather than disposal;
  • improved site management and key facility improvements;
  • the installation of groundwater monitoring wells at all 16 of Yukon's facilities;
  • the establishment of transfer stations and waste circuits at all regional sites;
  • the establishment of a Yukon Solid Waste Advisory Committee; and,
  • a completed Yukon-wide recycling review.


solid-waste burning

From old burning vessels…


industrial-sized garbage receptacles

…to modern waste-sorting.

Did you know…

Waste management practices are evolving rapidly in Yukon. Composting pilot projects in Whitehorse and Dawson City, and recycling initiatives in a number of communities, are demonstrating Yukoners' desire to invest in and use more modern and sustainable waste programs to reduce, reuse, recycle, and ultimately, divert more waste from landfills.

Connecting Communities in Yukon

map of Yukon

Safe, reliable roadways and bridges are essential to the ongoing growth of Yukon's economy. Given the challenges of Yukon's expansive land mass, small population and extreme climate, building and maintaining sustainable transportation infrastructure requires a proactive approach and creative problem-solving. Through joint federalterritorial investment under the Building Canada Plan, the department of Highways and Public Works has undertaken several important road and bridge initiatives to help Yukoners get to where they need to go.

Campbell Highway

Truck driving along road under constructionJoint federal-territorial funding significantly accelerated the reconstruction of a portion of the Campbell Highway in southeast Yukon, from a gravel surface to a modern highway that meets current major highway standards. This reconstruction means that heavy mine-site hauling — which is critical to the economy — and regular public traffic can safely share the road. As well, this major road improvement will help encourage development in the region.

Atlin Road

Construction equipment upgrading roadway from gravel to hard surface

Atlin Road is an important tourist route and the only land access to the community of Atlin, British Columbia. The reconstruction of this important roadway in southwest Yukon involved upgrading it from gravel to a hard surface. The result is a safer highway for the travelling public and lower maintenance costs. The reconstruction work was completed by the Carcross/ Tagish First Nation and employed a number of local First Nations people.

Pelly River Bridge

Newly painted Pelly River BridgeThe Pelly River Bridge connects the community of Pelly Crossing to the North Klondike Highway and Dawson City. Originally built in 1959 and last upgraded in 1992, it has recently been rehabilitated with painting of the bridge's superstructure. In addition to cosmetic benefits, this will also prevent corrosion of the steel structure and lengthen its lifespan.

Water Infrastructure Receives Much-Needed Attention Across the Territory

In 2009, the Department of Community Services met with all municipalities, First Nations governments and local advisory councils and held public meetings in every community. The discussions highlighted that stable access to clean water was a clear priority for Yukoners. It is also evident when you look at where funding has been invested: there are more water-related infrastructure projects than any other category.

Access to infrastructure funding has meant important water infrastructure upgrades across the territory. Simply put, these upgrades mean Yukoners will have clean water for decades to come.

The purity of drinking water managed by the Yukon government now meets or exceeds national standards in every category. Every aspect of water purity, from source to glass, has received attention in recent years. Improvements include upgrades to water delivery and the treatment facility system, measures to protect well heads, treatment systems to remove arsenic, new fill stations, pipe replacements, and monitoring well installation at solid waste sites. These combined efforts help to improve the quality and access to clean drinking water in communities across Yukon.

Examples of initiatives include:

Arsenic treatment equipment – Tagish

Arsenic treatment equipment – Tagish

  • well head protection in Burwash Landing and Beaver Creek;
  • fill point upgrades in six communities;
  • water treatment and arsenic treatment upgrades in seven communities, including Old Crow, Ross River, Haines Junction, Faro and Mendenhall;
  • wastewater treatment facilities in six communities: Carmacks, Dawson City, Destruction Bay, Mayo, Teslin, and Whitehorse;
  • a fill station for Little Salmon/Carmacks First Nation; and,
  • piped water system upgrades in eight communities.

Haines Junction Water Treatment Upgrades

With the support of all three orders of government, the local water system at Haines Junction was upgraded to meet or exceed national standards for arsenic treatment.

Future upgrades to Haines Junction's overall water system will also improve distribution, circulation and increase the size of the local water reservoir to accommodate community growth and ensure there is ample supply in the event of a fire.

Overall, Haines Junction's water infrastructure will be brought to a higher standard, increasing public health and safety and serving the community for years to come.

Yukon Moving Forward

Moving forward together means the Yukon government will continue to focus on four pillars: a better quality of life, environment, economy and good governance. At the same time, our efforts will be designed to manage prosperity - to meet the challenges that a growing, prospering economy brings.

Over the past several years, Yukon has partnered with Canada on 60 infrastructure projects to help address core infrastructure priorities. These projects have supported economic growth and helped to provide real benefits to communities across the territory.

Working together in partnership with Canada, municipal governments and First Nations, the Yukon government has supported important improvements to community infrastructure in the key areas of drinking water, wastewater and solid waste management, local roads and green energy.

As the territory continues to grow, the Yukon government is committed to ensuring that infrastructure investments support vibrant, healthy and sustainable communities and improve the quality of life for all Yukoners.

Our continuing partnership with Canada, municipalities and First Nations is helping ensure that Yukon can continue to provide infrastructure that supports our economic growth and helps us build vibrant, healthy and sustainable communities.

Moving Forward Together

Continuing Partnerships

Achieving our goals as a nation means that all orders of government and other partners must work together. We all know that public infrastructure plays a key role in our lives and in our economic well-being. Canada's long-term prosperity relies on the strength of our communities and the basic services that support them.

Through Canada's Economic Action Plan, and infrastructure initiatives such as the Building Canada Fund, the Gas Tax Fund, and the Infrastructure Stimulus Fund, great things have been built in Yukon. People across the territory have safer roads, cleaner water and improved sport, recreation and cultural infrastructure. The tangible benefits of our infrastructure investments increase every day as more and more projects are completed.

The Government of Canada is committed to continuing a partnership approach to national, regional and local infrastructure priorities. Strong partnerships mean that every dollar invested in public infrastructure will meet today's needs and sustain future economic growth and development.

A New Long-Term Plan

On November 30, 2011, the Government of Canada launched a process to engage partners from across the country on the development of a new long-term public infrastructure plan. Building a new long-term infrastructure plan means working with provinces, territories, municipalities, key stakeholders, as well as with technical experts, to build knowledge around five broad themes:

  • infrastructure and the economy;
  • infrastructure and the environment;
  • infrastructure and stronger communities;
  • financing infrastructure; and
  • asset planning and sustainability.

In the lead up to the new long-term infrastructure plan, we will undertake a constructive dialogue that focuses on the broad principles, priorities and future directions for public infrastructure in Canada. Working together will ensure that Canada has a strong public infrastructure foundation for sustained growth and economic prosperity - now and for years to come.

Government of Yukon logo
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