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However, this privilege has now been withdrawn.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

Whitehorse

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

Just Posted

In a Feb. 17 statement, the City of Whitehorse announced it had adopted the what3words location technology used for emergency response. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Three words could make all the difference in an emergency

City of Whitehorse announced it had adopted the what3words location technology

Jesse Whelen, Blood Ties Four Directions harm reduction councillor, demonstrates how the organization tests for fentanyl in drugs in Whitehorse on May 12, 2020. The Yukon Coroner’s Service has confirmed three drug overdose deaths and one probable overdose death since mid-January. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Three overdose deaths caused by “varying levels of cocaine and fentanyl,” coroner says

Heather Jones says overdoses continue to take lives at an “alarming rate”

Wyatt's World for Feb. 24, 2021.
WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World for Feb. 24, 2021.

Approximately 30 Yukoners protest for justice outside the Whitehorse courthouse on Feb. 22, while a preliminary assault hearing takes place inside. The Whitehorse rally took place after the Liard Aboriginal Women’s Society, based in Watson Lake, put out a call to action over the weekend. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Courthouse rally denounces violence against Indigenous women

The Whitehorse rally took place after the Liard Aboriginal Women’s Society put out a call to action

Susie Rogan is a veteran musher with 14 years of racing experience and Yukon Journey organizer. (Yukon Journey Facebook)
Yukon Journey mushers begin 255-mile race

Eleven mushers are participating in the race from Pelly Crossing to Whitehorse

Legislative assembly on the last day of the fall sitting in Whitehorse on Nov. 22, 2018. As the legislature prepares to return on March 4, the three parties are continuing to finalize candidates in the territory’s 19 ridings. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Nine new candidates confirmed in Yukon ridings

It has been a busy two weeks as the parties try to firm up candidates

David Malcolm, 40, has been charged with assaulting and attempting to disarm a police officer after an incident in Whitehorse on Feb. 18. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
Man resists arrest, assaults officer

A Whitehorse man has been charged with assaulting and attempting to disarm… Continue reading

Yukon Energy in Whitehorse on Aug. 4, 2020. A site on Robert Service Way near the Alaska Highway has been selected as the future home of Yukon Energy’s energy storage project. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Site selected for Yukon Energy battery project

Planned to be in service by the end of 2022

The Yukon government and the Yukon First Nations Chamber of Commerce have signed a letter of understanding under the territory’s new procurement policy. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
First Nation business registry planned under new procurement system

Letter of understanding signals plans to develop registry, boost procurement opportunities

US Consul General Brent Hardt during a wreath-laying ceremony at Peace Arch State Park in September 2020. Hardt said the two federal governments have been working closely on the issue of appropriate border measures during the pandemic. (John Kageorge photo)
New U.S. consul general says countries working closely on COVID-19 border

“I mean, the goal, obviously, is for both countries to get ahead of this pandemic.”

Legislative assembly on the last day of the fall sitting in Whitehorse on Nov. 22, 2018. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Start of spring sitting announced

The Yukon legislature is set to resume for the spring sitting on… Continue reading

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

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse City Council this week

Most Read