from cats to cuts to consultations

You know it's going to be quite the ride when the week begins with cats gone crazy in Beaver Creek and ends with the country's largest public sector union using a giant squirrel to target federal job cuts.

You know it’s going to be quite the ride when the week begins with cats gone crazy in Beaver Creek and ends with the country’s largest public sector union using a giant squirrel to target federal job cuts.

Sandwiched in between: a myriad of seemingly unrelated events, most flowing from the work of those we ostensibly elected not all that long ago.

As Prime Minister Stephen Harper is wont to do when he needs some positive press, he flew north to ride a snowmachine and to scatter a few extra shillings towards adult education. But mostly to ride a snow machine.

While he was photographed roaring across the stark white Nunavut landscape, his Yukon foot soldiers were busy on the ground in Whitehorse, relaying the message to the local media at Yukon College.

Even though we all know that governments using our tax dollars to educate us shouldn’t qualify as big news, in these heavily media-managed times, Harper’s northern junkets never fail to garner attention and his handlers know it.

Meanwhile, his colleagues in this territory’s towers of power were kept hopping on two fronts – oil and gas development in the Whitehorse Basin and the future of the Peel watershed.

It may or may not have just been a coincidence that the two highly contentious issues landed in the public’s lap at the same time.

Regardless, both seem to have a struck a nerve, if the flood of angry letters to the newspapers is any indication.

The writers are angry the Yukon Party government has turned its back on a plan for the Peel region, seven years and more than $1 million in the making.

They’re angry the ruling party didn’t spell its Peel principles out during the recent territorial election. They’re angry the consultation process has been exposed as a bit of a sham.

And there’s also fear.

Fear that if the government didn’t listen to concerns about the Peel, it may not listen to concerns about oil and gas development in the Whitehorse region.

Fear of fracking, a process used to extract gas from the ground, never before used in the territory.

And fear the Yukon just may end up like Alberta if it doesn’t proceed with caution.

So far, Yukon Premier Darrell Pasloski, et al, have been lying low on both these fronts.

It’s a good strategy.

By the time people recover from Rendezvous, followed shortly thereafter by an action-packed week of the Arctic Winter Games, the news will be full of the fallout from pending federal budget cuts.

It’ll likely be late March before Yukon MLAs finally get back to work in the legislature to debate the territory’s most pressing issues.

A month is a long time in politics, but probably not long enough.

When the honeymoon is over, the honeymoon is over.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Premier Sandy Silver, left, and Yukon’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley speak at a COVID-19 update press conference in Whitehorse on Nov. 19. On Nov. 24, Silver and Hanley announced masks will be mandatory in public places as of Dec. 1, and encouraged Yukoners to begin wearing masks immediately. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Masks mandatory in public places starting on Dec. 1

“The safe six has just got a plus one,” Silver said.

Dr. Brendan Hanley, Yukon’s chief medical officer of health, speaks at a press conference in Whitehorse on March 30. Hanley announced three more COVID-19 cases in a release on Nov. 21. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Three more COVID-19 cases, new exposure notice announced

The Yukon’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Brendan Hanley, announced three… Continue reading

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: COVID-19 strikes another blow at high-school students

They don’t show up very often in COVID-19 case statistics, but they… Continue reading

The Cornerstone housing project under construction at the end of Main Street in Whitehorse on Nov. 19. Community Services Minister John Streicker said he will consult with the Yukon Contractors Association after concerns were raised in the legislature about COVID-19 isolation procedures for Outside workers at the site. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Concerns raised about alternate self-isolation plans for construction

Minister Streicker said going forward, official safety plans should be shared across a worksite

Beatrice Lorne was always remembered by gold rush veterans as the ‘Klondike Nightingale’. (Yukon Archives/Maggies Museum Collection)
History Hunter: Beatrice Lorne — The ‘Klondike Nightingale’

In June of 1929, 11 years after the end of the First… Continue reading

Samson Hartland is the executive director of the Yukon Chamber of Mines. The Yukon Chamber of Mines elected a new board of directors during its annual general meeting held virtually on Nov. 17. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Yukon Chamber of Mines elects new board

The Yukon Chamber of Mines elected a new board of directors during… Continue reading

The Yukon Hospital Corporation has released its annual report for 2019-20, and — unsurprisingly — hospital visitations were down. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Annual report says COVID-19 had a large impact visitation numbers at Whitehorse General

The Yukon Hospital Corporation has released its annual report for 2019-20, and… Continue reading

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

City council was closed to public on March 23 due to gathering rules brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. The council is now hoping there will be ways to improve access for residents to directly address council, even if it’s a virtual connection. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Solution sought to allow for more public presentations with council

Teleconference or video may provide opportunities, Roddick says

Megan Waterman, director of the Lastraw Ranch, is using remediated placer mine land in the Dawson area to raise local meat in a new initiative undertaken with the Yukon government’s agriculture branch. (Submitted)
Dawson-area farm using placer miner partnership to raise pigs on leased land

“Who in their right mind is going to do agriculture at a mining claim? But this made sense.”

Riverdale residents can learn more details of the City of Whitehorse’s plan to FireSmart a total of 24 hectares in the area of Chadburn Lake Road and south of the Hidden Lakes trail at a meeting on Nov. 26. (Ian Stewart/Yukon News file)
Meeting will focus on FireSmart plans

Riverdale residents will learn more details of the City of Whitehorse’s FireSmarting… Continue reading

The City of Whitehorse is planning to borrow $10 million to help pay for the construction of the operations building (pictured), a move that has one concillor questioning why they don’t just use reserve funds. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Councillor questions borrowing plan

City of Whitehorse would borrow $10 million for operations building

Most Read