Dixon’s populism rings false

Dixon's populism rings false In an ill-considered outburst, Minister Currie Dixon recently characterized Robert F. Kennedy Jr. as spewing "ill-informed nonsense about an issue and process about which he clearly has no understanding." If Dixon isn't embar

In an ill-considered outburst, Minister Currie Dixon recently characterized Robert F. Kennedy Jr. as spewing “ill-informed nonsense about an issue and process about which he clearly has no understanding.” If Dixon isn’t embarrassed, he ought to be – the nonsense spewed around here is his own.

Having chaired the Peel planning commission and having helped shape the plan, I can vouch that Kennedy’s observations were spot-on, made better by the clarity that comes from experience and distance. An outstanding attorney, Kennedy saw the nub of the matter: that the Yukon government has not adhered to the process set out in the Umbrella Final Agreement, undermining democratic processes and values. Whether the government’s dynamic is driven by mining, or by oil and gas interests, is trivial and beside the point.

In an attempt at phony populism, Dixon compounded foolishness by trying to dismiss Kennedy as simply a “rich tourist.” Mr. Kennedy has attained worldwide recognition – and wealth – precisely because for decades he has been on the world stage accomplishing things of lasting merit and value.

A powerful intellect, Mr. Kennedy spoke at the Yukon Art Centre Monday night addressing political economy, resource economics, democracy, and environmental law. He spoke eloquently and cogently on a complex topic for an hour and a half without notes. Can any of our ministers can accomplish this?

Dave Loeks

Chairman, Peel Watershed Planning Commission

Whitehorse