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WHITEHORSE – The Yukon Party Official Opposition is pleased to see the Yukon government get behind a bid for Whitehorse to host the 2026 Arctic Winter Games. (AWG)
Yukon athletes, parents, organizers and volunteers felt great disappointment at the cancellation of the 2020 AWG in Whitehorse. With global events necessitating a change in host country for the 2026 edition of the games, this is a great opportunity to make up for the disappointment of the games’ cancellation in 2020.
However, the Yukon Party would like to caution the Liberal government to take a different approach than it did with Whitehorse’s bid for the 2027 Canada Winter Games. The Minister of Community Services unilaterally cancelled the bid last November without consultation with various partners including the City of Whitehorse. The government must allow the Host Society and City to operate as the lead decision makers over the Games.
Yukon government support should include measures like maximizing its in-kind contributions to offset Games costs and pushing for open applications for the Host Society board of director positions. The government must also commit to respect the City’s request that all of the funds provided to the games are new money and not taken away from other municipal priorities.
“The Yukon Party is thrilled that the Yukon government has decided to take this step supporting the City of Whitehorse,” said Yukon Party Official Opposition Leader Currie Dixon. “If the bid is successful, hosting the games will be a boon to young Yukoners and the sports community, as they will have a chance to compete at home after not hosting events in 2020 and 2027. In addition, there is the notable economic benefit of attracting thousands of athletes and their supporters to the Yukon.”
The Yukon Party will be monitoring the bid’s progress in the months ahead as Whitehorse prepares its application to host this unique circumpolar event.