Open letter to Inside Out columnist Heather Bennett re “Young visitor discovers beauty and sorrow in the North” (the News, February 11):
The other day I was sitting in our bar, at the Upper Liard Lodge, enjoying the quiet atmosphere and the warmth of the wood stove, while flipping through the pages of the February 11th Yukon News.
On page seven, I came upon your column Inside Out about the beauty and sorrow in the North.
I started reading the rather boring page, looking for that beauty or perhaps the sorrow and then, I just could not believe my own eyes.
The sorrow of the North is, according to you, the Upper Liard Lodge, the piece of the old real Yukon.
My wife and I purchased this business almost 20 years ago, and continue to operate day in and day out, to this very day.
As you have correctly guessed, the Upper Liard Lodge is an old lodge and has not changed too much in its 60 years of existence.
Our lodge is not like the typical “cookie cutter” establishments that dot the Alaska Highway.
Many people often describe our establishment as an authentic, warm and comfortable place with a rustic atmosphere.
It is disappointing, but not surprising, that you do not like the décor of our lounge.
I suppose you must come from a much more sophisticated part of this country, where this type of décor is considered gross or inhumane.
However, to call it “heavily in favour of dead animals” is grossly misleading.
All the dead animals you speak of are — one wolf, which was trapped at the local garbage dump, and one small moose antler.
It is sad that you did not even notice the authentic aboriginal art created by many of the locals, or the photographs of the many people, some still around, some longtime gone.
Do you know that overserving customers, having drunk patrons on the premises and profane language are all serious offences under the Yukon Liquor Act?
Well, they are.
To say that our lounge was occupied by a very drunken group of individuals, using foul language and who are the daily clientele is a serious allegation, exaggeration or outright lie.
I still cannot believe it.
Also, did you know in the 20 years we have been operating our business, we have not had one single problem or complaint with the liquor act?
You, or anybody, are welcomed to check with the liquor board or the local RCMP detachment about this matter.
You will not hear this from us, but it is said that we run one of the “cleanest” places on the highway, and perhaps in the Yukon.
We have a repeating clientele and some very distinguished clientele, from the Yukon, Canada and all over the world.
They come for that special atmosphere and fine food, which you would not appreciate, considering your passion for hamburgers.
You know, we are a very small business and we work extremely hard.
Everybody knows us and nobody knows you. Are you afraid to reveal your true identity?
Perhaps, you are one of those “sophisticated” southerners, who come to the Yukon to enlighten us, the backward poor Yukoners, before returning to where you came from.
As we have no employees, I continue to wonder, who could be that lone staff member happily serving you with a smile?
Obviously it was not me, or my wife.
I suggest, the next time, when you will have an urge to visit a bar, to reconsider.
Perhaps, rather go to a church instead or just keep pounding martinis in your home closet.
I hope you realize that the article you wrote could be considerably damaging to our small business, as well as very disturbing to my wife and myself.
The least we expect is your public apology.
Vlad and Aranka Petrlak, owners of Upper Liard Lodge, Upper Liard, Yukon
Re “Canadians enjoy ready access to all the science Conservatives approve of” (the News, February 15):
Please allow me to offer your readers some clarification with respect to Environment Canada’s media relations policy.
According to the government of Canada’s communications policy, first published in 2002, “Institutions must ensure processes and procedures are in place to assist managers and employees in responding to media calls.”
That is exactly what Environment Canada’s policy does. It ensures that we meet our objectives of responding to media calls quickly, accurately and in a consistent way across Canada.
Our policy is consistent with those that guide and govern media relations practices in all departments across the federal government.
Environment Canada’s media relations policy puts the department in line with practices across the rest of the government, and indeed, in the private and not-for-profit sector as well.
We require that requests are co-ordinated through our media relations office so we are aware of what is being asked of our employees and to ensure that the correct subject matter experts are made available to speak to media on complex and technical issues.
In short, this policy is simply good governance. We aim to provide media with consistent and accurate information in a timely way for Canadians.
To do this we ensure all our subject matter experts, including scientists, are available to the media to discuss their areas of expertise.
Charles Slowey, director general, Environment Canada communications branch, Gatineau
To the community of Teslin’s volunteers, organizers and fundraisers of the 2008 Pee Wee Hockey Yukon Championships:
Please accept my and my sons’ sincere appreciation for your exemplary hospitality during the pee wee hockey championships this past weekend.
My boys and I enjoyed all aspects of the tournament from the moment we arrived.
Your community opened the doors to your homes and facilities to provide generous and kind support throughout the weekend.
Your community should be very proud.
The potluck banquet was especially enjoyable, especially the salmon casserole!