Minister of Community Services Richard Mostyn announced today the Government of Yukon will provide $2 million in funding to the City of Whitehorse to offset costs resulting from their response to the 2022 escarpment slide on Robert Service Way.
In the spring of 2022, a landslide occurred on the escarpment along Robert Service Way and the Yukon River. The slide forced the closure of the roadway as well as the Millennium and Airport trails for approximately six weeks, as tension cracks were observed and slides occurred elsewhere along the escarpment.
The City of Whitehorse estimates the cost to respond to the escarpment slides is approximately $2.3 million. Engineering analysis and assessment of the overall escarpment stability is ongoing, which will inform interim and future long-term solutions as well as the associated costs.
The Government of Yukon is working with the Government of Canada’s Disaster Financial Assistance Arrangements (DFAA) program to recover a portion of the costs associated with last year’s flooding and high snow pack disasters.
The Yukon government and the City of Whitehorse are longstanding partners and we are pleased to respond to the request for support as the City dealt with a series of major challenges related to last year’s high snow pack, including the escarpment slide on Robert Service Way. Our assurance of support and backing at the time allowed the City to minimize the unexpected financial impacts to the community and municipal taxpayers. I would like to acknowledge the hard work of crews and staff from the City of Whitehorse who responded to the escarpment slide and were able to ensure the safety of Yukoners while minimizing damage to a crucial roadway.
Minister of Community Services Richard Mostyn
These types of unpredictable emergencies can be extremely costly for municipalities. We are fortunate for the support the Government of the Yukon has provided to help minimize the impact on residents. As our climate continues to change, we need to look at how we can adapt, mitigate, and respond to these emergencies in the future and we look forward to continuing those discussions with our government partners.
Mayor of the City of Whitehorse Laura Cabott
In the event of a large-scale natural disaster, the Government of Canada provides financial assistance to provincial and territorial governments through the Disaster Financial Assistance Arrangements (DFAA), administered by Public Safety Canada.
Response costs for the City of Whitehorse include ongoing escarpment inspections; fencing and barricades; 24-hour security during the closure of Robert Service Way; engineering work; material for building the piling wall and cleaning up debris; and the construction of the bypass for the sewer line.