A few things to consider from the ivory tower

A few things to consider from the ivory tower Open Letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper: Last week, Michael Ignatieff was here talking to anyone who approached him and taking letters, even scribbled notes on scraps of paper. And I am very glad to hea

Open Letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper:

Last week, Michael Ignatieff was here talking to anyone who approached him and taking letters, even scribbled notes on scraps of paper.

And I am very glad to hear that Yukoners can finally meet you this week if they preregister and bring ID to your Thursday Reception. We understand these restrictions. You are the prime minister, after all, and Ignatieff is only the leader of the Opposition and an award-winning writer of international acclaim.

You need these extra precautions to make sure we aren’t terrorists or free thinkers.

(I don’t mean to disparage you. I’m sure, once you’ve won a majority and have the country under tight control, you will finally get your hockey book published.)

Like me, many Yukoners won’t be able to attend your reception and press grubby wish lists into your hand. And since this is a democracy, for the time being, I’m sure you really want to know what our concerns are.

From past visits, we are guessing that you won’t be taking questions from our local media. Since they are neither embedded nor party faithful, why would they deserve this privilege?

But, I am assuming you or your staff will read our local newspapers. How else will you know what Yukoners wishes truly are?

That is why I’m writing this letter. And here is the list of my concerns.

• Ethics in government

• Accountability

• Transparency

• The environment

• The environment

• The environment

• Omar Khadr

• Women’s rights

• Reproductive rights

• Human rights

• The independence of the CBC and regard for its importance to our culture and heritage

• Non-censorship of the arts

• Civility in Parliament and public discourse

• The regrettable introduction of trashy Republican-style attack propaganda

• Use of Ad Hominem in lieu of debate in the House of Commons

• Use of tax dollars for partisan political propaganda; (buy your own stamps, Candice Hoeppner!)

• Balance in international policy, especially in the Middle East

• Importance of scientific research

• Far-thinking policy that considers the well being of future Canadians

• Crime policy based on facts rather than fear mongering

• Proper long-term care for our wounded armed service men and women

• Fixing the gun registry so it isn’t onerous but is still there to protect citizens and the police

• Keeping the long-form census so that governing decisions are based on data rather than fairy tales

• Respect for the opinions of competent professionals working in advisory boards

• Strengthening the Environmental Assessment Act, not gutting it

• Regulations for industry to minimize abuse of any kind: environmental, financial and staff

• Regulation of the financial sector

• Abuse of the proroguing rules for partisan political advantage

• Freedom of the press

• Independence of the courts

• Respect for Parliamentary procedure

• Adherence to democratic principals

If you want to reach out to all Yukoners, you could write a letter to the Yukon News or the Whitehorse Daily Star. We will all read it.

I hope you have a pleasant visit to the Yukon.

Linda Leon

Whitehorse