Open letter to Premier Darrell Pasloski:
I am writing to try and convey my sense of utter betrayal by your government in the case of the Peel watershed.
I have lived in this beautiful territory for 30 years. I think I am like many Yukoners in that I try to keep reasonably informed about issues such as those surrounding land use in the Peel watershed.
However, I now see that over the past seven years I was falsely reassured by the fact that there was a public commission steering the fate of the Peel. This commission did its job well and came up with a fair and balanced compromise. Where I was naive was believing the reigning government would actually value and follow the wishes of its citizens.
I cannot find words strong enough to convey how devastating I find your blatant disregard for the democratic process. (The word perfidy, however, comes to mind.)
I will not discuss the many issues surrounding this topic except for two points I wish to make. First, the truly wild places on Earth, such as the Peel watershed, are fast disappearing. Their rarity alone demands that we treasure and protect them, not only for ourselves, but for future generations.
As your government’s arguments seem to centre on dollars and cents, you might do well to consider that as much or more money will eventually come into Yukon coffers through tourists worldwide willing to pay big money to enjoy the beauty and peace which you seem so anxious to destroy, than will ever come through mining.
Secondly, there is the looming water crisis. It seems a given that water shortages are soon to be upon us, some say to the extent that future wars will be fought over water. Might it not pay in the long run, if money is your bottom line, to protect our pristine waterways, rather than risk befouling them with widespread mining (and no doubt, if you have your way, fracking), and then having to pay millions to clean them up?
Progress doesn’t come through tearing up the land for the purposes of making money in the short term – unless greed is your sole aim. Progress comes though valuing and protecting the land. We have such a unique opportunity in the Yukon to do this, for we still have wilderness land to protect!
I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard you and your colleagues utter words to the effect, “We want to hear the opinions of you, the citizens of the Yukon.” The Yukon government website even states, “Have your say. We want to hear from you….” To that I reply, “Hogwash! We, the people of the Yukon, had our say. Our say was relayed to you through the Peel Land Use Planning Commission, but you and your government have blatantly disregarded our wishes.”
You do so at your peril. You forget that you were voted in, and you can be voted out.
A deeply disgruntled and angry Yukoner.