Letter to the Editor

Get Canadian troops out of Afghanistan  We are told that Canada is in Afghanistan to contribute to the establishment of stability and…

Get Canadian troops

out of Afghanistan

 We are told that Canada is in Afghanistan to contribute to the establishment of stability and security, but after five years the security situation in Afghanistan is crumbling and the number of civilian casualties is mounting.

We are told that Canada is in Afghanistan to extend the authority of a democratically elected central government, but the election was marred by pervasive intimidation and the Afghan Parliament is predominantly made up of the representatives of war lords and opium barons.

We are told that Canada is in Afghanistan to help lay the basis for a society that respects human rights, but the US Army and its local allies practice systematic torture and it is “our” Afghan allies, the drug lords, who are responsible for the largest number of human rights abuses, including the continued subjugation of women.

We are told that Canada is in Afghanistan to help its reconstruction and assist its development, but there can’t realistically be any worthwhile reconstruction or development when war is number one on the agenda and when military expenditures are 10 times greater than the so-called “aid.”

We aren’t fooled.

In Afghanistan, what’s taking place is war and military occupation, control and destruction.

This war is being fought first and foremost along the strategic and economic interests of the United States and its allies, including Canada — interests that have nothing to do with the well-being of the Afghan population.

Our first responsibility towards the Afghan people is to cease all association with the logic of war that dominates the foreign intervention in Afghanistan.

We therefore call for the immediate withdrawal of Canadian troops from Afghanistan.

Given the urgent and grave needs of Afghan society, but also in light of the insecurity and destruction for which Canada is in part responsible, we also have a responsibility to offer assistance and reparations.

However, this responsibility must be fulfilled outside of the current logic of war, with a genuine respect for the self-determination of the Afghan people and in response to the demands that they will express themselves.

 

David Parker

Whitehorse

Civil servants

lack discipline

Re: Rewarding the bullies

If, as a public servant, you have felt afraid in the past and are afraid of the future, you must be one of the unaccountable government employees who refuse to take direction.

If I read you correctly, you would sooner be playing on your computer than working.

I really don’t think any political party in the end would put up with this type of behaviour, nor should your immediate supervisor.

You are right, the Yukon is in big trouble unless the government either gets rid of all its unaccountable employees or makes them take direction.

They are bosses for five more years.

As for having to deal with the bureaucratic system, you always beat up and bully the public whenever possible.

I will put my name on this letter. Hopefully, if we meet in the bureaucratic system in the future, you will try to help me instead of bully me.

My other suggestion is that if you don’t like your job and employer, maybe you should hit the road, and when applying for your next job your resume should read “ex-government employee who refused to take direction.”

Mike Blumenschein

Whitehorse

Land claims aren’t

a total blessing

I am a First Nations person, who has seen how things were before the land claims and after land claims.

I am frustrated with the whole scenario!

There is no truth to the logo “Together today for our Children Tomorrow” — a vision of Elijah Smith that land claims were the answer and will bring good tidings!

Before land claims, our First Nations families were tight-knit families, eager to help each other.

All Indian and Northern Affairs programs before land claims did not discriminate against anyone for what they were or what they are; if they needed help they received assistance.

They were not told to get help from your mother or told any derogatory degrading comments.

Now, after land claims, it’s who you are related to that determines whether or not you are eligible for assistance.

People related to the social programs directors have no problem in getting social assistance; in some cases they are on social assistance all year without any problems.

Who is able to live on social assistance of $250 a month?

“Our First Nations adults are living in poverty!”

Poverty, what is poverty? Just check the soup line up at the Salvation Army soup kitchen daily.

Take a survey of how many First Nations people eat at Salvation Army, and how many times a day.

There are social problems in each community, whether it may be drugs, alcohol and mental and physical abuse. No success stories and no proud people to pat on the back!

Why are the Yukon’s First Nations not helping Salvation Army put food on the table?

Today, our children are living in poverty! We have many parents as well as single parents in need of our First Nations’ help.

Students are working after school instead of doing their homework at home and getting a good night’s rest for full days’ classes. They are coming to school tired and hungry. 

1 honestly don’t know what happened to the famous words “Together Today.”

Because today, I see families fighting against each other, sisters and families broken up by taking sides, whether they be right or wrong in a lot of Yukon’s First Nations communities.

There are court proceedings because people are not happy with what’s happening; things are done in crooked ways, in a Ku-Klux-Klan way, where families run up against each other.

People are being segregated, instead of together “united.”

Go to any community and you don’t see people walking around on the street because they don’t feel comfortable outside their homes.

You could see some kids playing around, but hardly any adults; they feel more comfortable and feel more safe inside their homes.

The rents are not flat rate for all, but some pay more than others. People do not own their own homes, no incentives!

Some people don’t even pay rent, but they are in band-owned housing.

Before the land claims, there were opportunities for “off-reserve housing” that was suitable for people who lived “off the reserve.”

This grant was good for people who did not choose to live on the reservation; these people had a choice to be self-sufficient.

Now, the off-reserve recipients do not get any help, assistance or housing.

“They are virtually on their own.”

Name withheld by request