Open letter to Minister Glenn Hart on the Peel Watershed,
This morning, listening to the CBC, I was just amazed at the latest extraordinary idea of Yukon Party Health Minister Glenn Hart: tourism operators who wish to protect the Peel Watershed should be taxed to be allowed to conduct their sustainable business there!
The reasoning - if I decipher Health Minister Hart’s thinking properly - is that, since tourism operators have pushed to protect this irreplaceable wilderness, they should now help make up - out of their own pockets Ã- for lost royalties and all the other little advantages that a government might have expected from prospective mining businesses.
Health Minister Hart, please let me lead you out of the dark: the remediation costs of abandoned mines in the Yukon have already largely exceeded any public revenues that they ever generated. The total remediation cost of Faro Mine alone will be exceeding a billion considering that between 500 and 1,000 years of water treatment are required to prevent a major contamination of the Pelly and Yukon rivers. Every tourism operator in this territory along with any other Canadian taxpayer is paying for these costs, and not by choice!
In reality, you have simply gotten a little bit mixed up and it happens to all of us. You just need to turn your idea around and it starts to make sense: tourism operators in the Peel Watershed should get a tax break for helping protect it, and consequently preventing future contaminated sites in the Yukon, saving the government and tax payers a huge bill and a toxic legacy at the end of the road.