rule of the mole people

Have we elected politicians or moles? Alright, it's a glib question. But sometimes it's OK to dive into the shallow end.

Have we elected politicians or moles?

Alright, it’s a glib question. But sometimes it’s OK to dive into the shallow end.

There are significant issues facing the territory, from the ownership of its power supply and the future of the Peel Watershed, to how the territory will cope with the downturn in the tourism sector and whether the government should privatize its seniors’ housing and offload its sewer and water infrastructure to Outside firms, all of which have been floated lately.

Remote highways are being upgraded, at huge expense, for apparently no reason. Explanations are nonexistent.

After CBC was told to move its transmitter station a couple of months ago, on a whim, the broadcaster was offered a three-year extension of its transmitter lease. Again, no explanation. In fact, the news is delivered through a letter to the city asking them to sign off on the decision, suggesting it hasn’t even been made yet. The CBC was caught flatfooted.

Minister Brad Cathers is not available for comment.

The Minto copper mine releases an enormous amount of tainted water into the river system in an emergency discharge. The company made a similar discharge last year and asked to make another next year.

Despite this, ministers responsible for Environment, Mines and Community Affairs are silent. It’s as if this situation, which suggests a deficiency in the mine’s design, is of little consequence to the territory at all.

Economic Development Minister Jim Kenyon has made several trips to Asia, but there has been no information about what he’s doing on these junkets.

As minister responsible for the Yukon Housing Corp., Kenyon was dead silent on the issue of overdraft of the mortgage fund in his operation.

And though he’s recently been bounced as minister responsible for Yukon Energy, he provided no information on the direction of the Crown corporation, the resignation of the board or even the hugely expensive Mayo B project, which was launched on his watch. At least, that’s whose name was on the corporate masthead.

It needs to be noted, as a minister he’s collecting a salary in excess of $100,000, but there’s little evidence of work over the last year.

Of course, the same could be said of much of the cabinet of late.

Both Health Minister Glenn Hart and Fentie were called for more than 20 consecutive days about Sheldon Miller, the fellow stuck with a $20,000 medevac bill. The only comment came in Dawson City - we drove there expressly to talk to them (that’s what it takes these days). Both men dodged out of the interview to have photos taken with their colleagues.

There was a time when ministers in the Yukon government held news conferences about substantial issues.

They talked about the direction of government. They announced major initiatives, and they talked publicly about how they would deal with problems.

They were before the public.

Today, there is none of that. Most decisions are seemingly made and relayed straight from Fentie’s office, if they are discussed at all.

A cabinet exists, but there’s little evidence ministers are in charge of their departments.

Which brings us back to that whimsical question about whether we’ve elected moles, or people.

People are generally social critters who talk and interact with others of their kind. Politicians are often the most gregarious of the bunch.

Moles are industrious, burrowing deep and far. But they are seldom heard and almost never seen.

And you often never know what they are up to until your lawn dies. (Richard Mostyn)

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

Just Posted

Team Yukon skip Laura Eby, left, directs her team as Team Northern Ontario skip Krysta Burns looks on at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Calgary on Feb. 22. (Jeff McIntosh/CP)
Team Yukon reports positive experience at Scotties

Team Yukon played their final game at the national championship in Calgary on Thursday afternoon

A sign indicating a drop-off area behind Selkirk Elementary school in Whitehorse on Feb. 25. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Parking lot proposal for Selkirk Elementary criticized

Parents and school council are raising concerns about green space and traffic woes


Wyatt’s World for Feb. 26, 2021

Josi Leideritz, the executive director for the Yukon Quest International Association (Canada), poses for a photo in Whitehorse on Oct.1, 2020. The Quest announced plans for its 2022 race to start in Fairbanks on Feb. 5. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
2022 Quest planning gets underway

Race would begin Feb. 5 in Fairbanks

Beadwork and boots being sold by the Yukon First Nations Culture and Tourism Association. A survey from StatsCan reveals the number of Indigenous people who make handmade crafts. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Survey reveals number of Yukoners who speak Indigenous languages

Yukon is behind Nunavut and Northwest Territories when it comes to language retention

Tom Ullyett, pictured, is the first Yukoner to receive the Louis St-Laurent Award of Excellence from the Canadian Bar Association for his work as a community builder and mentor in the territory. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News)
Tom Ullyett wins lifetime achievement award from the Canadian Bar Association

Ullyett has worked in the Yukon’s justice ecosystem for 36 years as a public sector lawyer and mentor

The Blood Ties outreach van will now run seven nights a week, thanks to a boost in government funding. Logan Godin, coordinator, and Jesse Whelen, harm reduction counsellor, are seen here on May 12, 2020. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Blood Ties outreach van running seven nights a week with funding boost

The Yukon government is ramping up overdose response, considering safe supply plan

Ranj Pillai speaks to media about business relief programs in Whitehorse on April 1, 2020. The Yukon government announced Feb.25 that it will extend business support programs until September. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Government extends business relief programs to September, launches new loan

“It really gives folks some help with supporting their business with cash flow.”

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
A look at decisions made by Whitehorse City Council this week

Bylaw amendment Whitehorse city council is moving closer with changes to a… Continue reading

Susie Rogan is a veteran musher with 14 years of racing experience and Yukon Journey organizer. (Yukon Journey Facebook)
Yukon Journey mushers begin 255-mile race

Eleven mushers are participating in the race from Pelly Crossing to Whitehorse

Legislative assembly on the last day of the fall sitting in Whitehorse on Nov. 22, 2018. As the legislature prepares to return on March 4, the three parties are continuing to finalize candidates in the territory’s 19 ridings. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Nine new candidates confirmed in Yukon ridings

It has been a busy two weeks as the parties try to firm up candidates

David Malcolm, 40, has been charged with assaulting and attempting to disarm a police officer after an incident in Whitehorse on Feb. 18. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
Man resists arrest, assaults officer

A Whitehorse man has been charged with assaulting and attempting to disarm… Continue reading

Yukon Energy in Whitehorse on Aug. 4, 2020. A site on Robert Service Way near the Alaska Highway has been selected as the future home of Yukon Energy’s energy storage project. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Site selected for Yukon Energy battery project

Planned to be in service by the end of 2022

Most Read