Richard Mostyn

gut reactions

So, here is how we do policy in Canada today. Statistics Canada, a department of people who are experts in collecting and analyzing information, has a well-honed method of obtaining solid, scientifically relevant data developed over 35 years.

The devil we know

Apparently, society needs monsters – larger-than-life perils to make life interesting. Take, for example, Trevor the dog. In May, the Mae Bachur Animal Shelter found a home for Trevor in Burwash Landing.

A killer compromise

Let's be very clear, a voluntary ban on hunting caribou cows is no ban at all. This week, a deal was struck to "conserve" the Porcupine caribou herd.

Jail budget puts Canada under house arrest

Canada's new Truth in Sentencing Act will shackle us all. The legislation ends the two-for-one credit for pretrial jail time. It means felons are going to be spending more time behind bars.


It's been a week, and all we're hearing from the Yukon Hospital Corporation Board is crickets. We've been trying to find out how the Crown-owned corporation is going to handle the overpayment made to its board since last November.

alright everyone lets work to remain calm

A couple of recent news items are hard to reconcile. First, the Canadian Index of Wellbeing suggests people feel rushed and constantly out of time.

board ignored will of government

A recent letter from the Yukon Hospital Corporation fails to address why board members have been awarded pay raises in contravention of the Yukon Hospital Act and against the expressed will of cabinet.

Are we bilingual, or aren’t we?

If Canada is a bilingual country, the people sitting on the Supreme Court bench should speak both French and English. If it's not bilingual, then someone should say so.

Hey, stupid, the ‘net’s not dumb

Music on? Check. E-mail? Check. Browser? Yup. Coffee near at hand? Oh yeah, baby. Twitter and Facebook feeds activated? Yesiree. Word processor program booted? Yup. Messenger? Check.

An alternative to ATV legislation

Something must be done to mitigate the damage ATVs do to the environment. A group, the Trails Only Yukon Association, has pushed for legislation that will curb their use. And it has run into stiff resistance.

of public spaces private profits and charter challenges

Is the Elijah Smith Building public, or not? If it is, then gaining access to the building should be simple - the rules clear and readily available, contact people easily reachable, fees and paperwork kept to an absolute minimum, and bathrooms open.

sunlight is always the best disinfectant

The Yukon Party did itself a disservice by holding its annual general assembly in secret. Last weekend, roughly six dozen members gathered at the Yukon Inn to set the future direction of the territory and the party.

The next great leap forward

Yukon children are not well served by the education system. If 400 of the little blighters enter kindergarten, only 240 emerge from Grade 12 with a diploma scrunched up in their fist. The other 160 drop out. They're gonzo. Frankly, that is unacceptable.

what about global warming

The effort to combat global warming has lagged as other crises have commanded the attention of political leaders and the public.

Apparently, money does grow on trees

The territory used to have a rainy day fund. Now, apparently, it just prays for rain. This probably isn't a prudent way to manage the territory's finances. Last year, Finance Minister Dennis Fentie drained an emergency fund the Yukon uses to fight forest fires.

Time for play

Here is a troubling paradox: Most parents love their kids even as they undermine their health and shorten their lives. Harsh? Certainly. But sometimes the truth hurts.

Nothing wrong with society having a rulebook

If you don't think ATVs should be legislated, think again. Or start thinking. These vehicles are the bane of wild places around the world.

Canada is not prepared for Arctic oil spill

It is almost too painful to consider the implications of the slow-mo destruction being wrought in the Gulf of Mexico.

Propaganda triumphing over information

The federal weather guy was happy. It was a relatively mild spring day and he was sauntering around town handing out stickers with his phone number. "Call if there's weather news," he said.

Stimulus hardens the territory

In Canada, two jurisdictions escaped the ravages of the global economic meltdown - the Yukon and PEI. Yahoo! But before you break out the bubbly, you should ask whether such spending is sustainable. Or whether it was the best use of the cash.