Letter to the Editor

Fact or fiction? News reporting has the ability to lead, or mislead, depending on what motivates the reporter doing the reporting.

Fact or fiction?

News reporting has the ability to lead, or mislead, depending on what motivates the reporter doing the reporting.

A recent article in the Whitehorse Star named Canadian Tire in a lawsuit for non-payment of services rendered.

The article was misleading in that it failed to state that the owner/operators of the Whitehorse store, Daniel and Joanne Charlebois, are not involved in this lawsuit at all.

Canadian Tire Whitehorse has no history of non-payment on any level.

However, this article has caused the Charlebois and their staff unnecessary backlash.

People are assuming that the local store is involved in withholding payment, when indeed they are not.

In fact, the article’s allegations came as news to the Charlebois.

When they contacted Canadian Tire Corporation in Toronto, the head office was completely unaware of the lawsuit.

The suit in question is being filed against CCM Construction, the contractors hired by Canadian Tire Corporation to build the store.

The owner of CCM Construction, when contacted by Daniel Charlebois, stated that the suit is not valid and that the contactor has chosen to withhold final payment to that particular sub trade due to unfinished work. 

Payment in full has been made to all parties involved in the entire project, other than these few outstanding issues for work not yet completed.

Daniel and Joanne Charlebois are saddened this article has been worded in such a way as to imply participation on their part.

They value the people of Whitehorse, including other local businesses, and always try to support them.

Reporters have a responsibility to do their due diligence before casting aspersions on a person’s character.

When the Charlebois contacted the reporter who wrote the article she could not even remember writing it and had to look it up. 

How can one, in good conscience, write such defamatory material about others and then completely forget the content when questioned a few days later?

I, for one, would not sleep at night.

On the other hand, the reporter in question fails to even give it a second thought, while those she has attacked have to then bear the brunt of her half-truth statements that mislead … rather than lead.

Joanne Charlebois

Whitehorse

Withdraw your child

It’s provincial achievement testing season in Alberta schools once again.

In a few short weeks all Grade 3 students (ages eight and nine); all Grade 6 students (ages 11 and 12); and all Grade 9 students (ages 14 and 15) in Alberta schools will be writing provincial achievement tests.

According to the provincial government, subjecting our children to this expensive, massive, standardized testing program ensures accountability — that our children are learning and educational dollars are being well spent.

Nowhere in the educational research literature can evidence be found that supports massive, standardized provincial achievement testing as an accurate measurement of student learning or as a reliable provincial accountability system.

In fact, research shows us quite the opposite — this type of testing is not only stressful for students, parents, teachers and school-based administrators, but it is expensive and is a poor system for ensuring accountability.

Research on brain-based learning clearly demonstrates standardized testing is harmful, particularly to students, and the multiple choice/multiple guess test questions in no way measure what a student knows.

The test results do provide our high paid bureaucrats with an abundance of numbers to twist, manipulate and massage into vast amounts of meaningless statistical drivel.

We all know the famous but accurate saying that statistics can be made to show whatever we want them to show.

A little known, well-hidden Alberta Education regulation allows parents to withdraw their child from writing achievement tests.

All a parent needs to do is write a note to your child’s principal simply stating, “My child will not be writing the provincial achievement tests.”

Parents … please exercise your rights by withdrawing your child from writing the provincial achievement tests.

In so doing you will be letting the provincial government know you do not agree with precious dollars being wasted on this highly rigorous, stressful, meaningless and ineffective provincial accountability system.

Choose to withdraw your child from writing provincial achievement tests today.

Wayne Hampton,

retired school principal

Lacombe, Alberta

Pondering timber

in the Junction

Many things make me go “hmmm.” Like … a million of anything.

I have been trying to keep up with the ‘Concerned residents of the Haines Junction area.’

First a local ‘spruce beetle awareness flyer’ arrived in our mailboxes and on local bulletin boards.

Then a full-page story in the News, with picture.

Recently, a starring role in another full-page story and, on April 20, a full-page infomercial as well.

In the original spin, the beetles were said to be declining.

After the passing of a just a few weeks, the informercial suggests that the infestation is on the brink of collapse.

Hmmm ….

With all due respect to what specialists and scientists may really have reported to the ‘Concerned residents,’ experts have been predicting that the beetle infestation would only last a couple of years since it was recognized more than 10 years ago.

The reality may be closer to what famed baseballer Yogi Berra said: “It aint over, till its over.”

In the infomercial, I found the perception/reality claims about carbon dioxide emissions intriguing.

The ‘Concerned residents’ say, “After a tree is logged, however, most of its CO2 is released to the atmosphere through burning of debris, sawmill waste, conversion to firewood, etc. Only a small percentage of the tree’s CO2 is stored in the final wood product.”

Hmmm ….

Thinking in terms of imperial measurements, a log with an 11-inch top will produce an eight-inch by eight-inch timber, or at least the same volume of dimension lumber.

If you draw an 11-inch circle and centre an 8-inch square over the circle, you will find that most of the area of the circle is inside the square.

Hmmm ….

How many of you own a house built of wood? How many expect it to last only a short time?

Conversion to firewood? Firewood is an alternate-energy, renewable fuel that replaces fossil fuels to heat our homes.

Good quality, efficient wood-fired heaters are the norm today.

The CO2 released by burning firewood is part of the carbon cycle of the present day Earth.

During the day, plants ‘inhale’ carbon dioxide and the carbon is used in the structure of the plant.

That’s the C.

The O2 is oxygen that the plant ‘exhales.’

I like the O2, as do most of you.

Hmmm….

From what I’ve read in the News, governments are considering proposals to use the residue from logging and milling to fuel a renewable energy heating plant for some Whitehorse buildings.

Yukon College has a wood-chip-fired heat source that it doesn’t use for some reason and at least one other government building has a functional wood-heat source that does operate.

Lots to think about when removing residues from the bush, but renewable energy is encouraged by the UN and other global interests to reduce the use of fossil fuels and live within the carbon cycle of the present day Earth.

I guess it’s a matter of balance.

Going ‘Hmmm’ is about the ability to reason.

I encourage all of your readers to use this power when considering information that they reador hear anywhere.

Rob Moore

Haines Junction