We received some wonderful news today that we want to share with you. The federal government announced that it is providing up to $71 million for our Mayo B project and for the completion of the Carmacks-Stewart transmission line. These are the first projects to be funded anywhere in the country under Ottawa's new $1 billion Green Infrastructure Fund.
Yukon Energy is extremely grateful to the federal government, and to the Yukon government that went to bat for us and lobbied for federal funding.
You may not be aware that Yukon Energy's facilities include the Whitehorse Rapids Fishladder and Fish Hatchery. Each year, female and male Chinook salmon are removed from the fishladder, eggs and sperm are collected and mixed, and the fertilized eggs are incubated over the winter at the hatchery, which is located in the Riverdale area of Whitehorse.
In the spring, the fry are released into the Yukon River system. They will stay in small tributaries for a year or two, and then head out to the Bering Sea, where they live and grow for about five years, after which time they will return to their natal grounds to spawn.
This Sunday (May 31), you and your family will have a chance to take part in the fry release at Wolf Creek just south of Whitehorse. This annual event is always popular with children. Not only will they have a chance to release fry into the creek, but there will be hot dogs, cake and refreshments. The release takes place between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. We hope to see you there! Photo credit: www.archbould.com
The Whitehorse Rapids Fishladder opens a week from today (June 1).
Since the ladder is marking its 50th birthday this year, it will be a summer of celebration.
Come join us to:
- See the Chinook salmon and local freshwater fish travel through the ladder
- Get up close and personal with the fish in our aquariums
- Enjoy our colourful new exhibit that tell the history of the fishladder
- Use our high powered microscope to see fish like you’ve never seen them before
- Check out our underwater camera system and our ‘salmon cam’ that allows viewing of the fish from a home computer
- Listen to elders’ stories in our First Nations tent (twice a week starting in July)
- Participate in Environment Yukon’s fish talks (starting in July)
- Watch for a new commemorative public art piece (unveiling in late July/early August)
- Join us for a birthday celebration in August
Entrance by donation (suggested $3 per person) or we sell a $10 season pass that will give you and your entire family entrance to the fishladder all summer!
Hours of Operation:
9 a.m. – 5 p.m. in June (Mon. to Fri.)
9 a.m. – 9 p.m. in July/August (seven days a week)
9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Labour Day week-end
It's a special year for us here at Yukon Energy. We're celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Whitehorse Rapids Fishladder.
The ladder was completed in June 1959 as a way of helping the migrating Chinook salmon get around the newly built Whitehorse dam. As the old saying goes, "You've come a long way baby!" The fishladder has grown over the years into one of the most popular visitor attractions in Yukon.
Since the fishladder holds a special place in a lot of people's hearts, we decided to do something special to mark its 50th birthday. We've hired local artist/snow carver Donald Watt to coordinate a public art piece for the ladder.
Donald's concept involves creating a school of salmon, each one-of-a-kind fish having been painted by members of the public. If you're interested in taking part in this project, all you need to do is call Donald at 332-3669 and arrange to pick up a life-sized wooden cut-out of a salmon. You can paint the salmon any way you wish, as long as you use weatherproof paints. You then return the salmon to Donald by mid-June. He'll assemble the fish at a location within the fishladder compound and the art piece will be unveiled in late July or early August.
There are some other ways we're marking the fishway's 50th birthday too. We've had a podcast produced that outlines the history and significance of the fishladder. It can be heard by scrolling to the bottom of this web page. We're also planning a public celebration in August. Watch this blog for details.
If you have any stories or memories about your own visits to the fishladder, we'd love to hear them! If we publish your story on this blog we'll send you a beautiful salmon art poster, based on the carving "Salmon's Journey" by Yukon artist Eugene Alfred. The poster can be viewed here.
The carving itself is on display at the fishladder, which re-opens for the season on June 1.
A couple of months ago, we provided some information on this blog about bill changes you've experienced over the last several months and what you might expect to see in the future. Since that time, there have been some new developments that have changed the numbers. We wanted you to be aware of these changes.
As we did in the original blog posting, we'll use the example of a homeowner who uses 1,000 kilowatt hours of electricity each month (the average usage in Yukon is about 750 kilowatt hours per month).
Last July, this person’s bill would have been $132.80, including GST.
The Yukon Electrical Company Ltd. asked the Yukon Utilities Board to approve an 11 percent increase in rates. While the YUB considered the request, it approved on an interim basis an increase of five percent, starting on August 1 of last year.
Assuming our sample homeowner used the same amount of power in August as in July, their bill increased to $138.60.
Then Yukon Energy asked for a rate decrease of 17.8 percent for residential customers using 1,000 kilowatt hours or less a month. While the YUB considered our request, it approved an interim decrease of 3.48 percent, starting December 1, 2008.
As a result, our homeowner’s bill decreased to $134.56 starting in December. Again, this is based on 1,000 kilowatt hours of electricity used.
Are you still with us? There’s more!
Early this year, the two utilities announced that the Fuel Adjustment Rider (Rider F) had been reduced to zero for bills starting March 1, 2009, and continuing until the YUB determines Yukon Electrical Company Ltd.‘s final rates. This will save our sample homeowner $19.53 per month during this period, decreasing his or her monthly bill to $115.03. With this change, power bills are lower today than at any time since at least January 2006. And they may go even lower soon.
We are still waiting to learn the final amount that the Yukon Electrical Company Ltd. will be allowed to charge its customers. But based on a recent ruling from the Yukon Utilities Board, the Yukon Electrical Company Ltd. will not receive the full 11 percent increase it asked for. Instead, the revised rate changes that have been proposed would see the homeowner's bill dropping to $114.05 a month.
There's one more piece to this puzzle. The Rate Stabilization Program is a Yukon government subsidy you will notice on your power bill. The program is scheduled to end in July of this year. If that happens in combination with Yukon Energy’s request for a 17.8 percent decrease and all other expected rate changes, the monthly bill for a residential customer using 100 kilowatt hours of power in a billing period would be $115.44.
The bottom line for Yukon Energy is that we're doing everything within our power to keep your electric bills as low as possible.
This is a reminder that Tuesday to Thursday of this week (May 5 - 7) the Yukon Utilities Board is holding hearings into our general rate application. The hearings start each day at 9 a.m. and will be held at the High Country Inn in Whitehorse. You are welcome to sit in on any or all of the proceedings.