Letter to the Editor

Unconvincing apology Re Premier Dennis Fentie’s open letter (An apology, The News, October 18) to Genesee Keevil: Get some belly, Dennis…

Unconvincing apology

Re Premier Dennis Fentie’s open letter (An apology, The News, October 18) to Genesee Keevil:

Get some belly, Dennis Fentie.

You have expressed your desire to apologize for the bullying, intimidation, and death-threats directed toward Genesee Keevil and Richard Mostyn by Yukon Party members, staff and supporters “if” such abuse occurred.

You have now had three weeks since you wrote your letter, but have said no more about the incidents. Have you determined “if” these outrages happened?

It should not be that hard to find out.

Keevil wrote in Good thing they didn’t lose (The News, October 13) that death threats were “yelled aggressively” by at least two attendees at your Whitehorse victory celebration.

If she is correct, I doubt she was the only one to hear them. I doubt she is the only one who knows who these people are.

She also wrote that some of your candidates objected to the treatment she received. Perhaps you should ask those people what happened if you need confirmation.

Your continuing silence suggests that you think Keevil has not accurately reported these events.

However, such allegations cannot be swept under the rug. If you would deny that such things happened, please say so.

On the other hand, if you have determined that bullying and threatening occurred, then it is time to replace your “iffy” statement of three weeks ago with an actual apology.

It is time to disassociate yourself and your government from such disgraceful and unacceptable behaviour and to publicly impress upon your supporters that these things cannot be done in your name.

Death threats, whether veiled or not, are not acceptable. Bullying and intimidation are not acceptable. No government or party has the right to permit these outrages in their name.

As you wrote yourself, Premier Fentie, “Such conduct is totally unacceptable and cannot be condoned in any way.”

It is up to you to publicly let us know that you have carried through on your previous open letter and determined whether these outrages occurred.

If you have determined that such threats were uttered, it is reasonable to expect that you will disassociate your government from this disgrace and that you will let us know what steps you have taken to insure that it will not happen again.

Mike Dehn

Whitehorse

City missed the bus

The Elder Active Recreation Association would like to use the facilities at the Canada Game Centre for senior activities during the day.

The staffs of Whitehorse recreation leisure programs and Canada Games Centre have been very encouraging and helpful in helping us with possible programs for seniors.

We would like to thank them for their assistance and interest. It looks like we will be able to have a good program for seniors at the Canada Games Centre.

Unfortunately, there is a snag.

What will we do about transportation to get seniors to the centre? Will only those seniors who have their own transportation be able to participate?

Whitehorse Transit does not go to the Canada Games Centre. Its drivers will let people off on the roadside and they can walk up to the centre. This is not an acceptable solution.

Not only is it a good hike up the hill, it is dangerous to anyone doing it. An accident waiting to happen! Why doesn’t transit go to the centre?

In the early stage of planning the centre, we were told that there would be transit service directly to the centre.

At the open houses held on transit the subject was thoroughly discussed and it was agreed that it would be an essential.

We have heard that the buses cannot make a safe turn about. This cannot be the real reason because the school buses do it on a regular basis.

We have also heard that it would take too much time out of the regular schedule. We assume that schedules can be revised.

There is a traffic light on Hamilton Boulevard to keep traffic moving smoothly. It would not have to be every bus that would need to pull in there.

Can’t the transit work with recreation to come up with an idea when they would most need service up to the centre?

Is the centre only meant for people who can supply their own transportation?

Why is the recreation department going to so much trouble to encourage involvement in the centre if the other city departments are not willing to put a little effort into co-operating?

Could one of the old Handy Buses he used as a Canada Games Centre bus?

One of the suggestions put forward to us was that there are vans available that we could access for our programs if we paid a driver.

This is a very good suggestion, but why should seniors be responsible to raise funds or find a sponsor to provide them with transportation when we are supposed to have a transit system to meet the needs of citizens?

This is not something that only affects seniors. It is something that affects the lives of young families, single parents, lowincome families and youth.

Transit is not a luxury; it is a necessity and should be considered as part of the city’s infrastructure.

The city officials have always felt that if transit does not pay its own way it should be cut.

It is a necessity for those who cannot afford their own vehicles and they are citizens who spend their money to support the economy of the city.

So, we are asking that the various city departments decide to talk to each other and come up with solutions on how to put transit to the Canada Games Centre so seniors can have day programs there.

Bill Simpson, president, Elder Active Recreation Association, Whitehorse

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