Letter to the Editor

So Rick Karp wants to merge the Yukon Workers’ Compensation Health and Safety Board with BC. I wonder how much thought he has given to all the…

So Rick Karp wants to merge the Yukon Workers’ Compensation Health and Safety Board with BC.

I wonder how much thought he has given to all the implications, other than what he thinks it will save on his bottom line.

How many jobs will be lost (and let’s face it there will be job loss; otherwise, why would he think it will save money?) and how many fewer paycheques will be spent in Whitehorse?

How will that affect the bottom line of Whitehorse retailers?

This is the first time I’ve ever heard a president of a chamber of commerce wanting to shrink the economy.

It certainly is an unconventional approach to commerce, but it makes me wonder if he has really thought this through.

What makes this bizarre idea even more questionable is the fact that the supposed rationale(that rising administration costs is the reason for the increase in assessments) is groundless.

In fact, the president of the WCB recently said its administrative budget has not increased in three years.

What has increased in recent years is the number of injuries, the duration of claims and medical costs.

The answer to this problem should be obvious even to Karp: reduce injuries and get injured workers back to work.

Anything else just draws attention and energy from practical, positive solutions.

Del Young, president, Local YO10, Yukon Employees Union

Why is Dawson being treated so shabbily?

I am becoming increasingly disgusted by the propaganda, misinformation and unsubstantiated assertions being made by the Yukon government and Dawson re: the sewage lagoon referendum.

Here are my views:

Contrary to assertions in the government/Dawson mail drop, there is no reason to think that a “YES” vote will automatically result in the construction of a sequencing batch reactor (SBR) in the old government yard.

This has yet to be determined.

Should it be proposed, it will be subject to the YESAA process and public consultation.

The SBR outcome is far from certain.

Contrary to assertions, there is no reason to believe that the courts are going to arbitrarily impose a solution on Dawson against the will of the people.

As was made clear yesterday, the courts are prepared to “respect the democratic process.”

Even if the courts were to attempt to impose a solution, it would still have to go through the YESAA process.

No reliable information has been provided on the real costs of alternatives to building a sewage lagoon on lots 1058 and 1059; i.e., a sewage lagoon on the South Bench or an SBR.

The information being circulated — with alleged increases to Dawson water and sewer rates — has been manufactured for the sole purpose of scaring Dawson residents into voting “NO.”

The truth is that in the long run a sewage lagoon in another location might be substantially cheaper, when you consider the probable need to expand the lagoon as the Dawson population grows and the costs associated with a contaminated water supply.

Even if it could be demonstrated that the long-term operating costs for a sewage lagoon on the South Bench or an SBR are substantially higher than a sewage lagoon on lots 1058 and 1059, this would not necessarily mean that those costs would be passed directly on to the people of Dawson.

There are several examples in other Yukon communities of water and sewer services that are heavily subsidized by the Yukon government and/or Ottawa.

Why should Dawson be treated more harshly than other Yukon communities?

The question of whether or not to provide a subsidy to Dawson is a political decision, not an automatic conclusion enforced by government bureaucrats.

We are already paying by far and away the highest water and sewer rates in Yukon.

If the Yukon government chooses to pass the cost for any of these options, including lots 1058 and 1059, directly to the citizens of Dawson, it will severely cripple this community.

This is not in anyone’s interest. In the eyes of the world, Dawson is the heart and soul of this territory.

If the essence of this community is fouled, the territory is tainted.

What in God’s name have we done to warrant such malicious treatment from the Yukon government?

We don’t have a functioning rec centre.

We don’t have a community hall.

And now they want to rub puck in our faces.

Tim Gerberding

Dawson City