It’s all fun and games until the PM drives an ATV through an ecologically sensitive area


It turns out the Prime Minister rode that ATV through an area that is the subject of a debate about ATV access.

“It’s hard to blame Mr. Harper,” said Ken Taylor, head of the lobby group Trails Only Yukon, a group including ATV riders that has pushed for ATV legislation for the past two years. “He comes up here and he doesn’t know Carcross from Carmacks,” said Taylor, referring to two Yukon towns.

But his handlers should have been aware of the territory’s prickly debate over ATVs — especially in a place as unique as the Carcross Desert, he said. “His advisers should give him better advice than put him on an ATV in a place like that,” he said. Before the last territorial election in October, Trails Only Yukon commissioned a poll that found 93 per cent of Yukoners wanted legislation to govern ATV use, said Taylor.

More from the National Post.

The Carcross Desert — which Mr. Harper and his wife, Laureen, spent about 15 minutes exploring on rented ATVs — is home to at least two species of at-risk plant and insect life, conservation officials said. It’s a fragile environment that is “being impacted by the high levels of ATV activity in the area,” said Christina Macdonald, a co-ordinator with the Yukon Conservation Society.

Ryan Leef, Conservative MP for the Yukon, pitched the photo-op idea — which was squeezed between a community barbecue and a visit with puppies destined for the Iditarod sled dog race. “It shows that our prime minister is in touch with the average, common Canadian doing average, common things,” he said. “For us as Yukoners, that location has been sort of a mainstay for dune buggies and ATVs and motor bikes for as long as I can ever remember.”


It’s all fun and games until the PM drives an ATV through an ecologically sensitive area

  1. Harper killing protected mosquitoes!!!.
    Oh! the sanctity of it. David Suzuki will be writing essays about the demise of the Yukon Mosquitoe (Latin: bite-oose itchyoose)
    Muskeg Mike.

    • Perhaps you’ll offer your living room next time?

  2. 1970: Pierre Trudeau canoes from Virginia Falls to Kraus Hotsprings, approximately 100 km. Inspires him to have Nahanni National Park created.
    2012: Stephen Harper spends 15 minutes ATV’ing in a sensitive wilderness, does not even use a Canadian-made ATV (BRP).

  3. Ok it wasn’t Harper;s fault but you must admit it’s highly symbolic.[ it is possible Harper doesn’t give a crap and did it anyway] It may even be possible Leef and the atv crowd sandbagged him? That would be two strikes for Ryan now. Maybe he should be thinking of opting for a career in atv maintenance? His political future looks a little iffy right now.[ more likely the guys having a stretch of dumb luck].

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