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News Updates: Killing a Northern Town

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June 16, 2000 - Argus claims they're doing just fine - the equipment hasn't moved in weeks, the grass is growing nicely all over the property, but Argus says that they aren't in default of their contract.

May 31, 2000 - Argus Seeks Secrecy - an application by the Yukon News to force the government to release documents related to the mall (under the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act) is meeting with soe opposition.

May 17, 2000 - Wal-mart now says that they are undecided about coming to the Yukon. According to their contract, Argus has 13 days left to get 2 anchor tenants, and the site remains quiet.

May 14, 2000 - buttons with the design on the right are seen a lot around Whitehorse. They are urging people to sign the CCRP petition calling for the city to review support for the mall by insisting on economic and environmental assessments of the project.

May 12, 2000 - Have they given up?? Although the smart money isn't placing bets yet, the Argus property has been pretty much abandoned for a couple of weeks now. And this at a crucial time - they have to start construction by June 1st.
In related news, the Citizens for Responsible Planning and Development incorporated last night, as the Citizens' Coalition for Responsible Planning. A Board of Directors was elected and a constitution approved. The group is now set up for the long haul, to be a constant Council watchdog to prevent any further violations of citizens' rights like we've seen the past few months.

April 6, 2000 - Lot developer hit with stop-work order - the federal Water Board has issued a stop-work order that will halt work on a corner of the property for 2-3 months.

  • City faces second suit over mall - a well-attended meeting of the Citizens for Responsible Planning and Development last night, many issues were discussed, including a report by Brian Edelman on lawsuits being filed or considered.

    April 5, 2000 - Far from getting bored with this fight, the local media seems to be very impressed by the fact that the movement against the mall is rapidly picking up speed, at least partly due to the vast scene of destruction now that the site has been cleared. The erratic nature of my updates here now is merely an indication of now much time I'm spending writing letters, going to meetings and holding up Anti-Mall signs.
    On the 3rd, the public gallery at the Council meeting was again filled - 2 of the 4 Councillors who voted for the mall were not present. Yesterday, over 40 people showed up to demonstrate for an hour in a snowstorm. More legal challenges to Council's right to make decisions like this have been launched, and the legal issue of personal legal responsibility of Councillors is now being discussed.

  • From yesterday's Whitehorse Star, 2 articles, Prove mallís benefits, council told
  • and Argus confirms Wal-Mart talks
  • From the Yukon News, Courageous councillor sought
  • and Yellowknife likes its 'big-box' store

    March 24, 2000 - Grocers brace for Safeway store - from the Whitehorse Star, "...thereís no room for another grocery store in Whitehorse, especially one that isnít playing fair."

    March 24, 2000 - in an interview on CBC Radio this morning, Prince George's Downtown Business Association stressed that community planners all over North America are attempting to re-create the "sense of place" that Whitehorse is about to destroy.

    March 23, 2000 - Strip mall secrecy may end soon - Argus Properties says that the tenants for the Whitehorse strip mall development will reveal their identities within the next week.

    March 22, 2000 - Blueprints circulating - the Whitehorse Star says that the general contractor for the mall project is from Alberta, but the truth about many aspects of the project is still buried.

    March 22, 2000 - This tale of two cities is scary - Sean McNeely of the Yukon News talked to Sue Cohoe of BC's Downtown Vernon Association. She doesn't seem too impressed with Council's plan.
    The Letters to the Editor have 2 for the mall, 3 against it.

    March 21, 2000 - Anti-mall presentations applauded - Stephanie Waddell, who was at the Council meeting, reports for the Whitehorse Star.

    March 20, 2000 - the public gallery at the City Council meeting tonight was packed, and dozens of people were standing. Three speakers presented arguments against the Argus mall development, and/or against a bylaw that Council is considering which would prevent a citizen referendum on any City decision where a contract has been signed. This bylaw would put a stop to the major legal method that residents now have to stop the mall.

  • Notably, Councillor Bernie Phillips asked speaker Norm Easton if people had considered what the ramifications of cancelling the contract with Argus might be. Norm answered that since it is Council's bad decision that is at fault, any monetary penalties are also their fault. Councillor Phillips was one of the three Council members who voted against signing the contract originally.
  • Citizens for Responsible Planning and Development now has 500 members, more than double what it was a week ago.
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