To begin, I want to note that I am not against park development and I enjoy my greenspace.
Regarding the petition being circulated by Marianne Darragh that requests the establishment of a park to surround McLean Lake: What concerns me most of all about this petition is, if it is imposed on Whitehorse, it would result in a binding referendum, which could incur significant cost to taxpayers.
The costs wouldn’t stop there — add on potential court costs, lawyers’ fees, land-purchase costs, public hearings and the list goes on.
Taxpayers’ money could be better spent on services and programs that would be of benefit to all of the citizens of Whitehorse.
I can understand people wanting to protect greenspace, but we need to face the fact that Whitehorse is a growing city, people are moving here and, like it or not, development is inevitable.
Referenda do serve a purpose, but let’s not abuse that purpose.
Perhaps it started at the Canada Games Centre, and from there the scourge spread throughout Whitehorse: galvanized metal siding!
It appears that most recent buildings and those currently under construction display this affliction, which comes in two variants.
Those with horizontally placed siding include the Canada Games Centre on Hamilton Blvd, and buildings at Fourth Ave. and Hanson St., Sixth Ave. and Hanson St., Fourth Ave. and Hawkins St. (west side), Dieppe Dr. and Range Rd., and First Ave. and Steel St.
Those with vertically placed siding include buildings at Fourth Ave. and Hawkins St. (east side), Second Ave. and Hawkins St., Second Ave. and Black St., Seventh Ave. and Ray St., and Shipyards Park (opposite Second Ave. and Ray St.).
Many of the above mentioned buildings also display a second affliction: bolted-on wood and/or metal posts — apparently supporting little — that resemble giant insect-like appendages.
Although it may have been an interesting exercise to construct one or two buildings to see how galvanized metal siding and bolted-on posts appear, the combinations of vertical/horizontal siding and wood/metal posts has been exhausted.
Enough is enough!
Of course, this may be a tourism strategy by the government: Come visit Whitehorse, Yukon, “Home of galvanized metal siding,” or “Land of galvanized metal siding,” or my favourite, “Larger than life galvanized metal siding.”
How good are we?
Good people will soon participate in the 2008 Summer Olympics.
Thousands of good people will choose to travel to Beijing to be part of the games as spectators.
Millions of good people will sit in front of their TVs and watch the event.
At present, many more good people support the games to be held as scheduled, and our athletes’ participation. They argue that the Olympics are apolitical and that athletes should not be used as political instruments.
What all these good people seem to have in common is that they are not well acquainted with the shadow aspect of their personality.
Consequently, they project the unrecognized dark sides within onto other people, who are then seen as bad and evil.
According to C. G. Jung, without integrating the shadow aspect in ourselves, we fail to recognize it for what it is when it is bound up in projections.
Once again, history seems to repeat itself and the contemporary developments in China and Tibet painfully remind us of the 1936 Olympics in Germany.
Because good people denied the dark aspects within themselves, they did not recognize the incarnation of the collective shadow as manifested by the Nazi regime.
Thousands of good people refused to believe, repressed, denied or downplayed what was unfolding in front of their eyes, and they chose to participate, watch and support.
Western democracies decided to support the Olympic Games hosted by the Nazi regime despite knowledge of exclusion of Jewish athletes from German sport and recreational facilities. Today, Tibetan athletes are excluded from participation.
The 2008 Olympics are, as they were in 1936 in Germany, a perfect arena for the Chinese propaganda machine.
Independent of how skilfully the Games are promoted and portrayed as apolitical, they confront us once again with our collective shadow, with a clearly political issue that concerns us all.
Boycotting the Olympics appears as a rather small sacrifice compared to the lives of demonstrating Tibetans, the imprisonment of Chinese writers, journalists and activists, and a multitude of other human rights violations by the Beijing regime.
Once again we have to choose.
Before we decide, we should remind ourselves of a quote by Edmund Burke (slightly altered): “All it takes for evil to flourish is for good people to participate, watch, support or do nothing.”
Passing of a
Last week, I was shocked and saddened after reading of the passing of retired Yukon teacher Grant Meekins senior.
Like many Yukoners who attended GA Jeckell and FH Collins schools during the early ‘80s, I was fortunate enough to have had Grant as both a teacher and a principal.
He was the sort of man who could carry off that most difficult of assignments — the teacher of a mob of unruly Grade 8s and 9s, instilling both respect and a lasting admiration in his students. He always came across as less of a teacher, and more of a friend.
I recall the semester he spent on his back after injuring it cutting wood. He was greeted back to his math class with the students’ applause. High praise indeed.
He was truly a gentleman.
Grant will be fondly remembered.
I am confident that I pass on the sincerest of condolences to the Meekins family from all his past students here in the Yukon.