Tent protest grows outside Yukon legislature
A small protest outside the Yukon legislature has grown over the last few days, with more people pitching tents on the lawn to protest a lack of affordable housing.
Two homeless women launched the protest on Thursday, pitching their tents on the legislative building grounds in Whitehorse.
Now in its fourth night, the protesters have been joined by six other tents, including one belonging to Jannel Robertson, a pre-medicine and engineering student from the University of British Columbia.
"I'm back from university and I couldn't really find anywhere to stay," Robertson told CBC News on Monday.
"I was going to stay in my tent anyways … either [on] a friend's lawn or in the woods somewhere, because Robert Service Campground was even too expensive to pay rent at."
Helen Hollywood, one of the two women who started the tent protest, said she has spent time couch-surfing, living in subsidized housing, and living on the streets.
Hollywood said she parked her tent on the lawn outside the legislature to urge the territorial government to address the lack of housing. She said she will not vacate the premises until something is done.
As of March, the vacancy rate in Whitehorse was just one per cent according to the territory's Economic Development Department.
The department's economic indicators also show that the median rent in Whitehorse was $775 a month in March, and the average selling price of a house was $404,800 in late 2010.