House of disrepute

Some Yukon Party government MLAs have stooped to a new low!

Some Yukon Party government MLAs have stooped to a new low!

As a citizen witness to the legislative process I attend most days when the House sits. On Wednesday, Dec. 3, I and two other citizens were the unfortunate witnesses to very disrespectful, disruptive behavior by most of the Yukon Party MLAs.

The NDP’s Jim Tredger was presenting his motion to condemn the federal minister of aboriginal affairs for his planned amendments to the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Act that are opposed by Yukon First Nations.

Only a short time before, we had witnessed a tribute to Alex Van Bibber, who was recognized as an integral part of the very fabric of the spirit of Yukon.

Now these same MLAs were turning our legislature into a gong show; bullying, turning their backs to Mr. Tredger, huddling at Currie Dixon’s desk to converse, laugh and write notes.

We lost it. We stood and clapped once Mr. Tredger finished speaking, and I then turned and spoke to the MLAs stressing their behaviour was disrespectful and appalling.

Of course neither is this acceptable behaviour. Attendance in the gallery is to be silent and respectful; it was just one too many times school-yard behaviour and the wasteful use of privilege and tax payer’s dollars has prevailed. Our collective show of disdain had no political overtone but rather one of disgust. We quietly left the gallery.

I have a great deal of respect for some of the MLAs on the governing side of the house. Maybe it is time to redirect tax dollars wasted in this type of behaviour and adopt video streaming for the entire session, to show the public how our tax dollars are working for us.

A further display of the small-mindedness of these errant MLAs and the Speaker of the House was affirmed by the removal of my supports.

For three consecutive sittings I have had the respect and leniency to have a foot stool and bolster with me while I sit in the House. I have some disability and these tools are a support for my challenges. I have been permitted, up until this moment, to leave my supports when I take a break from sitting in the gallery.

However, this privilege has now been withdrawn. The day after my outburst and our clapping I returned to the gallery to find my supports had been removed. I was advised that in future I would be required to remove these supports every time I leave the gallery.

I can only surmise this is a direct retaliation – a school-yard mentality of getting even for chastising these errant MLAs the day before.

How ironic. This is the same group of politicians who stood in the House during this particular week and paid tribute to inclusion of disability. I encourage all citizens to come and witness your representatives hard at work … or not.

Davina Harker


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley gives a COVID-19 update during a press conference in Whitehorse on May 26. The Yukon government announced two new cases of COVID-19 in the territory with a press release on Oct. 19. (Alistair Maitland Photography)
Two new cases of COVID-19 announced in Yukon

Contact tracing is complete and YG says there is no increased risk to the public

Yukon Energy in Whitehorse on April 8. Yukon Energy faced a potential “critical” fuel shortage in January due to an avalanche blocking a shipping route from Skagway to the Yukon, according to an email obtained by the Yukon Party and questioned in the legislature on Oct. 14. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Yukon Energy faced ‘critical’ fuel shortage last January due to avalanche

An email obtained by the Yukon Party showed energy officials were concerned

Jeanie McLean (formerly Dendys), the minister responsible for the Women’s Directorate speaks during legislative assembly in Whitehorse on Nov. 27, 2017. “Our government is proud to be supporting Yukon’s grassroots organizations and First Nation governments in this critical work,” said McLean of the $175,000 from the Yukon government awarded to four community-based projects aimed at preventing violence against Indigenous women. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Yukon government gives $175k to projects aimed at preventing violence against Indigenous women

Four projects were supported via the Prevention of Violence against Aboriginal Women Fund

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: You don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone

When I was a kid, CP Air had a monopoly on flights… Continue reading

EDITORIAL: Don’t let the City of Whitehorse distract you

A little over two weeks after Whitehorse city council voted to give… Continue reading

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

Northwestel has released the proposed prices for its unlimited plans. Unlimited internet in Whitehorse and Carcross could cost users between $160.95 and $249.95 per month depending on their choice of package. (Yukon News file)
Unlimited internet options outlined

Will require CRTC approval before Northwestel makes them available

Legislative assembly on the last day of the fall sitting in Whitehorse. Yukon’s territorial government will sit for 45 days this sitting instead of 30 days to make up for lost time caused by COVID-19 in the spring. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Legislative assembly sitting extended

Yukon’s territorial government will sit for 45 days this sitting. The extension… Continue reading

Today’s mailbox: Mad about MAD

Letters to the editor published Oct. 16, 2020

Alkan Air hangar in Whitehorse. Alkan Air has filed its response to a lawsuit over a 2019 plane crash that killed a Vancouver geologist on board, denying that there was any negligence on its part or the pilot’s. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Alkan Air responds to lawsuit over 2019 crash denying negligence, liability

Airline filed statement of defence Oct. 7 to lawsuit by spouse of geologist killed in crash

Whitehorse city council members voted Oct. 13 to decline an increase to their base salaries that was set to be made on Jan. 1. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Council declines increased wages for 2021

Members will not have wages adjusted for CPI

A vehicle is seen along Mount Sima Road in Whitehorse on May 12. At its Oct. 13 meeting, Whitehorse city council approved the third reading for two separate bylaws that will allow the land sale and transfer agreements of city-owned land — a 127-square-metre piece next to 75 Ortona Ave. and 1.02 hectares of property behind three lots on Mount Sima Road. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Whitehorse properties could soon expand

Land sale agreements approved by council

Most Read