•   
  •   
  •   

CanadaOPINION | Good riddance to the Whitehorse waterfront trolley

17:56  13 may  2019
17:56  13 may  2019 Source:   cbc.ca

Opinion: Derby winner Country House could carry asterisk of all asterisks after Preakness

Opinion: Derby winner Country House could carry asterisk of all asterisks after Preakness Rather than two weeks of celebrating a Derby horse by the name of Country House, we’re left with a question: Can’t we just fast-forward to next year? Country House’s controversial win via the disqualification of Maximum Security in Saturday’s Kentucky Derby — the first time it’s happened in the 145-year history of the race — has set the stage for a Preakness buildup with as much pizzazz as a hay bale.

OPINION | Good riddance to the Whitehorse waterfront trolley © Claudiane Samson/Radio-Canada They've been working on the railroad. The repair work would have continued this year.

Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not necessarily represent the views of MSN or Microsoft.

Thirty dollars.

That's how much money the Yukon government spent to subsidize each rider on the MacBride Waterfront Trolley in Whitehorse.

The recent territorial government decision to cease funding that tourist attraction has left some Yukoners — including the Opposition — fuming. But it makes perfect financial sense to stop tossing taxpayer dollars into a diesel-powered money pit of questionable heritage value.

Meghan Markle’s Baby Sussex Debut Dress Shocked Me as a Fellow New Mom: Opinion

Meghan Markle’s Baby Sussex Debut Dress Shocked Me as a Fellow New Mom: Opinion That white! So bold!

The trolley — which was originally part of the Copperbelt Mining Museum, which the MacBride Museum absorbed in 2017 — first ran in Whitehorse in 2000. Documents provided by Yukon cabinet spokesperson Lisa Bucher show the territory has dropped $5.5 million on the trolley since then, including $305,000 to purchase the trolley, $691,000 to fix up the tracks on which to run it, $420,000 for a passenger train, and $610,000 on the building where the train is housed.

Over the last 10 years, the average government contribution per year has been about $218,000, including $107,000 a year in core funding for the little-trolley-that-could (get you from one end of the waterfront to the other — very slowly, and even then, only some of the time).

OPINION | Good riddance to the Whitehorse waterfront trolley © Elyn Jones/CBC The little waterfront trolley has been in operation since 2000, but the Yukon government says it's doesn't make sense to keep putting money into it.

Moreover, it's not as if all the money already spent on the trolley has put it in a place where its needs can be maintained by its core funding; both the trolley and the track it runs on are old and need specialized care, upkeep and repairs.

Flood watch continues in Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue

Flood watch continues in Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue Floodwaters from the Lake of Two Mountains have been slowly rising following heavy rains last week.

The trolley's claim to Yukon heritage is a stretch.

The trolley is supposed to take riders from Rotary Peace Park to Spook Creek — where you can enjoy a breathtaking view of the Walmart parking lot across the street — but since the trolley closed down for repairs in 2017, it's just been shuffling back and forth from its headquarters at the Roundhouse to the edge of Rotary Park. That's a stretch of ground that a healthy adult could cover, walking, in about 15 minutes.

MacBride Museum asked for $514,000 — $196,000 in 2019 and another $159,000 in 2020 and 2021 — to repair 350 metres of track and to run the train for three years, says Sunny Patch, communications director for the cabinet office.

The estimated cost to fix the track all the way to Spook Creek is $1 million.

What heritage value?

Yukoners are attached to things we deem to have "history." The trolley's claim to Yukon heritage, however, is a stretch; it's a restored streetcar originally used in Lisbon, Portugal, in 1925 and later sold to a railway museum in Duluth, Minn., which owned the vehicle until it was purchased by Yukon in 1999.

This summer is shaping up to be the best beach year yet

This summer is shaping up to be the best beach year yet Craving an amazing summer to hit-up some beaches?

The attraction's only tangible link to Yukon history is the track, which was part of the White Pass and Yukon Route. The trolley itself is just a prop, akin to buying and maintaining a 1945 Ford pick-up just to drive it up and down a length of the Canol Road.

OPINION | Good riddance to the Whitehorse waterfront trolley © Claudiane Samson/Radio-Canada The government has spent millions to operate the trolley, and maintain the tracks and roundhouse where the vehicle is kept.

Even if you ignore the trolley's dubious historical value and allow for it to be a fun-if-quirky tourist attraction, $5.5 million is a wild amount of money for the government to spend on what's basically a slow golf cart ride.

This is not to say cultural projects like museums and the arts are without value; they have a social and cultural benefit that goes beyond their price tag. However, the $107,000 in core funding could be spent elsewhere; it would also cover two-thirds of the $154,000 in city taxes cash-strapped MacBride Museum has said it's unable to pay on its fancy new expansion.

Some people have expressed disappointment and surprise at the government's decision to terminate funding for the trolley now, when so much money has already been poured into repairing the attraction. But anyone who has ever bought a used car and found it to be a lemon knows there is a point where you just have to cut your losses.

While the trolley might be fun and cute and educational, that's what it ultimately is: a taxpayer-funded lemon.

This column is part of CBC's Opinion section. For more information about this section, please read this editor's blog and our FAQ.

Read more

Smoke from Alberta wildfire reaches into Yukon.
Officials say smoke from a wildfire near High Level, Alta., could linger over the territory for at least the next few days.

usr: 3
This is interesting!