A sensible plan

A sensible plan Open letter to David Morrison and Yukon Energy: I have been listening to the ads Yukon Energy has been running lately telling everyone what a great job they are doing and how committed they are to all Yukoners. I feel it is finally time I

Open letter to David Morrison and Yukon Energy:

I have been listening to the ads Yukon Energy has been running lately telling everyone what a great job they are doing and how committed they are to all Yukoners.

I feel it is finally time I say something before I get sick to my stomach.

You talk about your commitment to supply clean, affordable electricity to Yukoners and, in the next moment, mention the increasing demand for electricity in the territory.

It seems most of your scrambling is an attempt to keep up to an increasingly busy mining industry and the power demands of those companies.

I have a thought on this; Why are you so concerned with supplying these Outside mining companies with cheap electricity when there has never been any effort to supply power to the real Yukoners who have chosen to live off your existing grid? How many highway lodges and other businesses have been forced to close up over the years because they did not have access to your “affordable” electricity? Yet you are worrying about Outside mining companies that are only here for the short term.

Then, to top it off, you are going to give them a cheaper rate than the people who actually live here.

That doesn’t make much sense to me.

If you want to cut demand, tell these companies if they want to mine here then they’re on their own for power, just like all the other Yukoners who have lived off the grid for years.

Now, about that grid, you note the need to have a supply of “clean” electricity. How does the fact the entire Alaska Highway west of Haines Junction is still using electricity from diesel generators fit into this “clean” energy plan?

This is electricity generated either from your diesel generators in Destruction Bay and Beaver Creek, or from the several private generators along the highway that people are forced to use because the grid has never been expanded to include them.

Maybe before you worry about the needs of Outside mining companies you should take care of all the real Yukoners by providing access to “clean affordable” power.

I do not know how much diesel is burned in these generators, but I am sure it is an astronomical amount every year. Yet Yukon Energy is more worried about increasing power supply to the Whitehorse grid so mining companies can get online. It kind of makes me wonder how much Yukon Energy really cares about us Yukoners.

Now, on the note of your “clean” power Ð how can you even pretend the Gladstone Lakes diversion project is a version of “clean” power?

I don’t need a degree on my wall or a fancy study to tell me that this project is an ecological disaster in the making!

I have spent lots of time in the Gladestone area and, as anyone who has would tell you, it is a fragile and special mountain ecosystem that will be forever destroyed by such a project.

The Gladestone Lakes chain is home to several species of fish and wildlife in a unique set of mountain chain lakes and to say the impact of a dam at the end of the lakes would be slight is simply wrong.

It would destroy the whole area forever!

Yukon Energy has already permanently negatively altered the Aishihik Watershed, let’s not do the same thing to the Kluane Watershed.

Thankfully the Department of Fisheries and Oceans can see what a potential disaster this project is, even if Yukon Energy can’t.

This is one project that never should have got off the drawing board.

Destroying an entire ecosystem is not exactly my idea of “clean” energy. I think most of my fellow Yukoners would agree with me.

With that, Morrison, I ask that you and your colleagues sit down and re-evaluate your goals and reassess your proposed projects to truly put the focus back on helping us real Yukoners instead of Outside interests.

Come up with a sensible plan instead of these stopgap measures that will only lead to more problems.

Jim Sias

Whitehorse