Letter to the Editor

A better way of negotiation To negotiate a land claim, the Kwanlin Dun chief and council have to deal with the following people (all nations):…

A better way

of negotiation

To negotiate a land claim, the Kwanlin Dun chief and council have to deal with the following people (all nations): beneficiaries, band members, family members and close relations, other working members (non-native) and government workers.

Traditional ways of First Nation people are not being followed in negotiations. Crow and Wolf members who are unrelated can negotiate any land claim with the government for the people’s rights. Chief and council and all relations are to be separated before negotiating land claims.

From one to six Wolf clan members (unrelated and from one to six Crow clan members (unrelated) can represent all First Nations people (beneficiaries and band members) to negotiate land claims.

In Whitehorse it is difficult to deal with land claims because we are a mixed nation. The Crow and Wolf way of negotiating can deal with all nations and ensure that all representatives are unrelated.

The beneficiaries and band members are not satisfied with how the land claim settlements are being negotiated by the Kwanlin Dun Band and the government. Representatives of Wolf and Crow (unrelated) and elders and all band members need to be involved and part of land claim settlements.

Leonard Gordon Sr.

Whitehorse

WCB’s double standards

I have been working in the bush during the summer and only recently received several newspapers discussing results of the Yukon Workers’ Compensation Health and Safety Board investigations regarding last year’s bear incident in which Jean-Francois Page was killed, and last year’s helicopter incident in which Geoffrey Bradshaw was killed.

Page was working for Aurora Geosciences Ltd. when he was killed by a sow grizzly on April 28, 2006 while staking claims.

Bradshaw was working for the Energy, Mines and Resources department of the Yukon government when he was killed July 22, 2006 by a helicopter blade while attempting to board the aircraft.

Regarding Page’s death, the WCB filed five charges against Aurora, including failing to ensure that equipment and processes under the employer’s control were safe and without risks to health.

Failure to ensure that work procedures were adopted and used that will prevent or reduce the risk of occupational illness or injury.

Failing to ensure that workers were given the necessary instruction and training and were adequately supervised, taking into account the nature of the work.

Failing to ensure that workers were made aware of hazards in the work, and the supervisor failed to ensure that the worker uses or wears the equipment or protective devices required.

Regarding Bradshaw’s death, the WCB filed no charges and instead blamed Bradshaw’s death partly on his own error, but also on the pilot’s unprofessional conduct and a breakdown in the employer’s safety program.

WCB then ordered the Yukon government to do a government-wide audit of safety management practices.

After reading about these two incidents, I find it incredible that WCB laid charges against Aurora but did not lay charges against Energy, Mines and Resources.

I know some of the workers in Energy, Mines and Resources and I knew Bradshaw.

What did the Yukon government do to ensure that processes under the employer’s control were safe (YTG knew its workers did helicopter hover entries)?

That work procedures were adopted and used to reduce the risk of injury (YTG did not prevent hover entries)?

That workers were given the necessary instruction and training and were adequately supervised” (YTG did not provide helicopter training or supervision)?

That workers were made aware of hazards in the work (YTG did not discuss hover entries)?

Apparently, the Yukon government only offered its workers safety courses, including advanced training for helicopter hover entry and exit this spring, a little too late for Bradshaw.

WCB’s handling of these two incidents does not seem right. Specifically, Bradshaw’s death seems like a government cover-up: that someone or several people are being protected from charges.

After all, WCB is part of YTG (it uses the YTG Justice department) and one government branch/department or ‘entity” probably does not want to charge another. Shame on the WCB for only finding a breakdown in the employer’s (YTG’s) safety program.

G. Williams

Whitehorse

Klondike Road Relay

On behalf of the 1,370 Klondike Road Relay runners I’d like to acknowledge and thank Trevor Twardochleb and all relay volunteers for your hard work, commitment, and incredibly positive attitude throughout this past weekend.

This is a very unique event whose memories are shared by runners and volunteers stretching from Skagway to Whitehorse.

The 25th anniversary is quite a milestone and one that Yukoners and Alaskans should be very proud of.

Looking forward to seeing everyone next year! 

Mary Ann Ferguson and Tom Sparrow

Via e-mail