Development lament

Development lament Liz Hanson is going to save the Peel. For around 70 years it has been OK to let people invest their money and time exploring and prospecting, filing and maintaining claims, buying equipment and hiring workers, but after a lifetime of

Liz Hanson is going to save the Peel.

For around 70 years it has been OK to let people invest their money and time exploring and prospecting, filing and maintaining claims, buying equipment and hiring workers, but after a lifetime of investing here, now letting them access the ore is bad.

And they think mining companies will keep on investing here if that happens?

Who is going to pay the compensation if the claims are expropriated? Is it really a good use of tax dollars to buy out a claim instead of spending the same amount on health care, education or roads?

I’ve lived and worked here for a lot of years. I don’t have a desk job with a guaranteed paycheque every two weeks. I get paid by selling my time and it is sure a lot easier to make a living when there are companies willing to buy my services.

Having spent a good part of my life prospecting, I can tell you the resources are where they are, not necessarily where we wish they were. Wishing they were some place different doesn’t change the fact that if the minerals are in the Peel, then the Peel is where you have to go to mine them.

Making the Peel a park doesn’t magically move the minerals to the Klondike.

It is pretty simple, but somehow the NDP has missed it. Maybe they think we can pan for gold in our showers. Lots of the Yukon is already a park. I’m told only BC has more protected area than us.

Years ago, we were going to save the forests. I watched the Yukon’s forestry business die because some folks thought cutting down trees and milling them so we can build our homes and communities was bad.

So, instead we watched the trees get eaten by beetles and get burnt in forest fires. I made my living running a skidder, but making a living when we didn’t have any of the wood we were promised was impossible. Promises of wood were easy to make when people were investing their money in the sawmill. But when those promises were not kept, people went from being working class to being unemployed.

I would like to take this letter to ask Hanson what her involvement was in the Watson Lake sawmill debacle, where the sawmill was granted timber rights and then somehow rescinded and they ended up suing the federal government and winning a settlement of $67 million.

My point is that Hanson likes to say she is for the working man, but she doesn’t seem to understand that killing mining up here means no work for the working man. If we don’t mine, we don’t have gold or ore to sell. If we don’t sell, we don’t get paid.

It bothers me to hear people talk about the NDP as being the working man’s party. They are not.

They are the handout party.

Geof Barrington


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