Letter to the Editor

Grateful rider I want to praise the city, management and drivers at Whitehorse Handy Bus for their invaluable service.

Grateful rider

I want to praise the city, management and drivers at Whitehorse Handy Bus for their invaluable service.

It is such a privilege to have this service. The staff are to be commended for their excellent attitude. I surely appreciate their commitment.

Gerry Fincham

Whitehorse

The bear facts

In regard to your photo of the polar bear on the front page of the August 13, edition of the Yukon News, I don’t understand why anyone would be surprised by seeing a bear on the Dempster Highway.

Polar bears don’t get lost. They live in one of the hardest places in the world to find their way around, and then people think the bear wandered away.

That was a smart bear and there was a reason for his moving.

He should have been studied from a distance. Why do we always have to think we are smarter than animals, and really what right do we have to mess with their lives?

The bear wasn’t doing any harm.

There is a good chance the bear was on his way back to where he came from, where it is colder.

One question is regarding what the bear would find for food. Think about it: he is an excellent swimmer and all the lakes and creeks in the North have fish in them and if all other bears eat a variety of meat, berries, and vegetation, etc., then why not a polar bear?

There is lots of foliage and berries in the Arctic summer for them to eat also. Bears and wolves, coyotes, etc., are omnivores, which means they don’t exclusively eat meat.

There are eight real species of bears and they all include vegetation in their diets.  Somebody just blew one of the best chances to study evolution there ever was.

This bear wasn’t near town or looking for garbage, he was just moving to a new area to look for other food supplies.

Everyone is talking about going ‘green’ so the bear checks it out and gets thrown back in the ocean.

The polar bear may indeed be one of the first to notice the effects of global warming and this could have been the first bear to make a move to a better habitat.

This is a good example of how and why some animals show up in different places around the earth. We wonder about evolution and when we get a first hand chance to observe it we don’t take advantage of a perfect opportunity.

Questions to be asked:

Where was he going?

Will we ever know the reason why he was on the Dempster, so far from his home?

When did he start his journey?

Why wasn’t he studied first before tranquilizing him and transporting him back to the Arctic?

What was the reason for this bear being moved? And last but not least:

How will we ever know these answers now?

You have to live like an animal and think like one to know what they are doing.

Animals are smarter than people when it comes to living off the land because that is what they do.

Moge Mogenson (former Yukoner)

Cranbrook, BC

It’s about our rights, Premier Fentie

Premier Dennis Fentie now says it would require public consultation, and possibly legislative approval, before the Yukon government would sign on to the Trade, Investment and Labour Mobility Agreement.

That’s a good first step, but what we need to hear him say is that the Yukon won’t join TILMA because there’s no reason we should and lots of reasons we shouldn’t.

For those not familiar with it, TILMA is the corporate rights deal the Alberta and BC premiers signed last year with no public consultation and no legislative debate.

They want the other provinces and territories to endorse it. The only one to take a firm position so far is Saskatchewan, which rejected the agreement.

In his haste to discredit the NDP and position himself as the champion of free enterprise, Premier Fentie conveniently ignores the fact that even the ultra right-wing Saskatchewan Party recognizes that TILMA would not benefit the province.

I hope the premier isn’t so busy hunting for Reds under the bed that he can’t see how risky TILMA could be for our small jurisdiction.

Apart from the chill it would put on municipal governments, and possibly First Nations, many Yukon government programs for local business and workers could be in jeopardy if an outside corporation or individual challenged them before TILMA’s three-person dispute tribunal.

Here are just a few: the Business Incentive Program, the Small Business Investment Tax Credit, the Yukon Venture Loan Guarantee Program, the Yukon Mining Incentives Program, the Yukon Mineral Exploration Tax Credit, the Community Development Fund, Yukon Arts Fund, the Tourism Cooperative Marketing Fund, Yukon Filmmaker Funds, Yukon Sound Recording Program.

Some of these incentive programs were started by the current government, but many more came from previous NDP governments.

The NDP has always recognized the need to diversify and strengthen the Yukon’s economy, just as we have always stood up for fair labour laws, strong environmental protection and a first-class social safety net that includes a free, universal and accessible public health-care system.

Above all else, we recognize that it’s the people of Yukon who should set public policy for the territory, not corporate investors from outside.

If Premier Fentie believes otherwise, he should come out and say so.

Todd Hardy, MLA

Leader, Yukon NDP