In reflecting on the announcement of the Yukon Party’s decision to pursue the Kotaneelee for its first fracking project, I have been wondering, “where is the evidence of the Yukon Party’s respect for Yukoners?”
1. Where was the premier’s respect in his immediate departure from the room, as the First Nations leaders began to so eloquently speak at the Bill S-6 hearings on March 30? After everyone had listened intently to what he had to say, including his statements about the importance of negotiating with First Nations, Mr. Pasloski did not respect these government leaders enough to even stay in the room to hear their presentations.
In contrast, after listening intently to the premier, most of the capacity crowd stayed for the rest of the day, to respectfully hear the points of view of Yukon and federal government representatives, as well as the excellent and well-prepared presentations of the First Nations, environmental groups, the mining sector and others.
2. Where was the premier’s respect for his legal obligation to consult with the First Nations, prior to initiating recommendations to the federal government, for changes to Bill S-6? His ill-conceived and hollow offer to continue negotiations after Bill
S-6 is passed was justifiably spurned by the First Nations. Their sentiments were that it will be too late for discussion, after the bill is passed, and that furthermore, they are not interested in bilateral as opposed to trilateral discussions.
3. Where is the premier’s respect in his decision to ignore the more than 8,000 Yukon voters who have signed the petition voicing their opposition to any fracking in the Yukon?
4. Where was the premier’s respect in his decision to ignore his own select committee on fracking, which recommended many steps, studies, and considerations, prior to embarking on any decision about fracking?
5. Where was the premier’s respect for Yukoners, during the Peel fiasco, when, after seven years of hard work and extensive consultation facilitated by the Peel planning commission, the recommendations were independently re-drawn by the Yukon Party?
6. Where is the premier’s respect for the judiciary, in his numerous decisions to appeal court judgements, at Yukoners’ expense, in order to resolve issues that his party is incapable of resolving?
I could go on, but the message from our premier is clear.
Mr. Pasloski: Your accumulated acts of disrespect are clearly etched in the minds of Yukoners. We have long memories.