Letter to the Editor

 Please fix this sign Is it wrong to deface other people’s property? With this defacing, we are not too sure who the dig is aimed at.

 Please fix this sign

Is it wrong to deface other people’s property?

With this defacing, we are not too sure who the dig is aimed at.

We would appreciate the people responsible clean the graffiti off our sign.

It did cost us hard-earned money, and defacing it with that wording does not go over very well with us considering it was that exact party (the Yukon Party) that massacred 56 healthy reindeer on May 21st, 2005.

Tim & Stella Gregory

Whitehorse

ABC

The federal Conservative Party had almost three years to show they are “taking comprehensive action to improve the environment and protect the health of Canadians”.

And also claim that “Canada now has tough new regulations against toxic chemicals and one of the most aggressive plans on Earth to reduce greenhouse gas emissions”.

Really, this is under “A Legacy of Achievement” on the Conservative Party website. So why are they so reluctant to take action on any of the serious issues affecting the environment?

If this Conservative government is serious about the health of the environment then why did they ignore the Kyoto protocall agreement?

And why are they ignoring the fact that the meat, egg and dairy industries are responsible for some of the problems facing the environment.

Growing food to feed “livestock” uses excessive amounts of water and oil.

Waste from “animal factories” are a major cause of water pollution.

A major cause of global warming (climate change) is derived from methane gas from animals raised for food.

It is telling that Darrel Pasloski is running for Yukon’s MP for the “Harpocracy” party, meanwhile selling tobacco products that are laced with toxic chemicals, toxic perfumes and junk food loaded with sugar, artificial flavours and colours that harm human health in his drug stores.

“The Dion Carbon Tax is not welcome here!” says Pasloski. Yet he appears to welcome much of what is unhealthy for humans and the environment with open arms. Very scary!

If we are truly serious about the health of this planet then we need a government that is truly serious about the health of this planet.

What else can I say?

“Anything but Conservative!”

Mike Grieco

Whitehorse

Here’s where we

stand on power

Open letter to Social Justice Group:

I would like to thank the FH Collins Social Justice Group for taking the time to ask all of the federal candidates what course of action they plan to take to make poverty history.

Poverty is a reality that undermines the prosperity experienced by people in Canada.

The Liberal Party believes that when we give people a chance Canada succeeds, socially and economically, to become a stronger society and a better place to live.

We are fully committed to reducing poverty both at home, and abroad, to better ourselves and the world we live in.

We remain committed to making progress to achieve the 0.7 per cent Millennium Development Goal target. That’s why our new policy platform, An Action Plan for the 21st Century, includes a commitment to increase the International Assistance Envelope by $500 million.

We will also follow through on recent Liberal legislation to give Canada’s development assistance a clear legislative mandate to focus our aid on poverty reduction, as well as improved transparency and accountability.

We have a strong plan to address poverty in Canada. We announced the 30/50 Plan to Fight Poverty in November 2007. Its goal is to decrease the number of Canadians living in poverty by 30 per cent and cut the number of children living in poverty by half in five years.

The 30/50 plan will create a Making Work Pay Benefit so that hard working Canadians can climb over the welfare wall and get off social assistance. We will improve the Canada Child Tax Benefit, and make it refundable, so the children who represent our future can get the best possible first start.

The Liberal green shift plan will also reform the tax system to make it fairer for working Canadians. We will:

• Make our new child tax credit fully refundable, which means real financial assistance for Canadian families whether or not they pay significant income taxes.

• Increase the Working Income Tax Benefit. We will encourage work by having this benefit available on the first dollar earned, $3,000 sooner than the Conservative plan. We will ensure that it benefits more families by phasing it out more slowly.

• Make the Disability Tax Credit refundable, ensuring that low-income individuals who are disabled are able to benefit from the plan.

There is also additional support for Rural and Northern Canadians as they often face the high cost of living in the North. We will provide additional assistance to rural Yukoners to help them adjust to the higher costs of living in Yukon. Every rural Canadian tax filer will receive an annual Green Rural Credit of $150, whether or not they pay taxes.

In addition to the Green Rural Credit, for those Canadians who live in Canada’s North, we will immediately boost the northern residents deduction (NRD) to a new maximum of $7,000 per year from just over $6,000, and index it going forward, so that it will be constantly increasing with inflation.

We will also work in partnership with territories, provinces, cities, and NGOs to achieve real improvements in affordable housing, universal child care, public transit, and labour market training.

The former Liberal government signed the Kelowna Accord in November 2005, which is so important to the Yukon with 25 per cent of its population being First Nation. The Accord committed $5.1 billion over five years to close the poverty gap between Aboriginals, Inuit, Métis, and the rest of Canadians. The Accord included $1.8 billion for education; $1.3 billion for health; $200 million for economic development; and $1.6 billion for housing and infrastructure.

The Conservatives killed the Kelowna Accord upon taking office, and have offered little in its place. A new Liberal government would honour fully the spirit of Kelowna.

As a long-time participant in the Yukon Anti-Poverty Coalition, I am very excited that we are offering all of these comprehensive, hallmark, anti-poverty initiatives for Canadians.

Larry Bagnell, Liberal candidate

Whitehorse

Check the negativity

at the mailbox

“He (Stéphane Dion) thinks heating oil prices are too low.”

So says the mailout I received from Darrell Pasloski’s campaign.

Is that the right interpretation?

Or is it rather that Dion thinks something is wrong with our relationship to our environment, and wants to do something about it? (Whether the plan is effective or not is an entirely different matter.)

Can we stop with the negative messages, please?

Let’s campaign for what we believe in, and what we will do. Is making fun of the altruistic plans of others an effective campaigning technique?

Especially in the exact subject area where the Conservatives are criticized for not doing enough?

And in the Yukon, no less?

I appreciate many of the recent ways the Conservatives have led the country — seemingly getting things done without much fuss, and supporting families with young children directly.

I hope the rest of their campaign will be positive, as befits the Yukon, and maybe even feature the environment in some way.

Hey, and that might cost something, but who wants our children to pay in a major way for the penny-pinching of today?

Eric Hennessey

Whitehorse

Standing up for Canada

Recently, I had the privilege to hear Senator Romeo Dallaire speak at the Yukon Arts Centre.

For those of you who do not know of him, Dallaire was the force commander who led the UN peacekeeping mission in Rwanda from 1993 to 1994, when the genocide took place.

Dallaire used sincerity, humour and compassion to relay the shocking tragedy of genocide.

We in the audience were moved by his presentation.

Afterward, while answering questions Dallaire commented on Canada and its role in the world. He described Canada as a country that had earned international credibility and influence as a result of our economy, our vast resources, our stability and our past diplomatic initiatives.

Currently though, Dallaire believes we are underestimating our potential. Where, he asked, are the leaders that talk about where we are going?

With the influence Canada has in the world comes a responsibility beyond our borders: a responsibility to contribute to security, human rights, the global environment, etc.

Here is an example:

Chief Mark Wedge and the Carcross/Tagish First Nation have just sent an envoy down to Boston Massachusetts to share their knowledge and skills with healing circles.

They have been invited to Boston to help address the growing gang situation in that area.

This is admirable work, and I have no doubt that it will benefit the people in Boston as well as the Carcross/Tagish First Nation.

Rather than being a burden, I view the responsibility Dallaire spoke about as an opportunity to achieve our potential as Canadians.

As we work toward a more resilient world, we will find that we are also creating a richer, stronger Canada.

John Streicker,

Green Party candidate

Whitehorse

Harper’s shocking

suggestion

On TV, Prime Minister Stephen Harper showed his lack of concern for the blue collar working class and those on fixed incomes when he clearly stated that, while the same people with investments in the market are losing money, the market is supplying buying opportunities for others.

In short, those who have will have more, and those with less will have less.

For seniors watching their retirement investments drop in value, placing their financial stability in question, to hear a prime minister make such a cold statement is depressing.

For many of us who have paid their taxes over many years leading up to our retirement and who have made whatever investments we have been able to in hopes of a decent retirement, and to see these investments plunge only to hear the prime minister suggest that it presents an opportunity for others to buy up shares at a low value is, without doubt, the most careless arrogant statement I have heard any politician utter in my lifetime.

All the time he bears that “so what” smile on his face.

Maybe Harper thinks he does not have to be concerned about the pensioners who have lost some of their retirement investments, the people working on the low side of the pay scale or those who have lost their jobs in the crashing market who stand to also lose their homes because they can no longer meet their mortgages.

These are not the people contributing big money to the Conservative election machine. These are not among the people Harper refers to as he “creates opportunities for others to pick up stock from those who lost their values.”

Is it any wonder why the local Conservative candidate declines to show up with other candidates to face the voters?

If the Conservative candidate can’t face the people he wants to help elect him, how can that candidate possibly represent the peoples’ wishes to Harper?

It’s rather clear that Harper wants only additional numbers to get a majority government, not a person who might challenge his authority.

Responding to the ramble of Rick Tone, president of the Yukon Conservative Party and his candidate’s family background, perhaps you can buy the fellow a blue sweater, like the one your “absolute leader” wears.

Next, you might get him to stand up to questions from the media.

Get him to show some responsibility to the constituents, have him turn up and face the voters at candidates’ night.

If he refuses to do that, how can you possibly expect him to represent our wishes, if by chance he was elected?

Best of all, buy him some political experience so desperately needed as a crucial period in Canadian politics.

Possibly, Tone does not understand what is need in politics. It’s called “teamwork,” not just another number.

I can easily understand such comments ,as shown in Tone’s letter to the editor of October 8th, coming from a person who never has been in politics.

Having been in politics myself, I can say, “Been there, done that!”

Murray Martin

Whitehorse

Turn to the NDP

On election day, remember the best predictor of the future is to look at the past:

When the Liberals replaced Mulroney and his Conservatives, they continued the social program cuts the Conservatives started.

Why? Because both parties represent big business.

Paul Martin and the Liberals cut EI and made it harder to qualify at a time when it was hard finding year-round jobs, or jobs at all. This hurt the poor, seasonal and part-time workers and women.

The liberals bragged about a surplus pulled from the pockets of the working class.

Remember the taxes wasted on the Liberal sponsorship scandal?

And a Liberal red book full of promises that sounded good, looked good, but were never implemented.

And our healthcare system is in a mess because of cuts started years ago under the reign of both governments.

And why didn’t the Liberals and Conservatives sign the UN Rights of Indigenous People?

If the Liberals and Conservatives cared about the environment, then why didn’t we see any action when they were in power to reduce greenhouse gas emissions so that Canada could meet its Kyoto requirements?

With the Liberals and Conservatives, it’s always the same — too little, too late.

The NDP have been lobbying the Liberals and Conservatives for years, and have been ignored; about investing in alternate energy sources.

These past governments not only allowed this crisis to happen, but contributed towards it by inaction.

Now they’re all on the bandwagon to save the environment.

The Green Party is big on the environment, but green on their social platform.

How do you care about the environment when you’re struggling to pay your rent and don’t have enough money to buy groceries from week to week.

Pay a carbon tax every time to fuel up your car or fill up your oil tank? Many of the working class can’t wait a whole year to get some money back at income tax time. Living paycheque to paycheque is a reality for many.

The NDP has an environmental plan that will not hurt the working class with carbon taxes every time you fill up your car or pay your oil bill.

Instead, they will make the big polluters pay and provide initiatives that will help us all cut down on our carbon footprint. Improved transit schedules and bicycle paths are a good start.

The Liberals and Conservatives should be ashamed that they allowed homelessness and poverty in this country.

The Conservatives don’t even have an antipoverty strategy.

The NDP has an action plan to eliminate poverty by 2020 and child poverty within the next five years.

The NDP is the only party that has a balanced, concrete plan for better healthcare, social programs, the environment and the economy.

If you’re sick and tired of tax breaks for corporations and the rich, token social and environmental programs that don’t come close to meeting the desperate need, then vote NDP.

It’s the only party committed to ending poverty, cleaning up the environment and creating green jobs.

Name withheld

We stand on guard for thee

“We stand on guard for thee” isn’t just a phrase for soldiers.

We all have a responsibility to protect our people, our culture, our nature, our nation!

Voting is a small but very significant way of doing this. We are so lucky to live in Canada, and need to start honouring that!

I hear stories about the leaders in history who knew what was right and took a chance.

I’ve always wanted to be alive in a time when we could have an inspiring leader we could look to for hope, not laughs.

We have that opportunity now with the new Liberals and with Stephane Dion — the only candidate in this election to say he wants to be prime minister because he actually loves Canada.

I have never been so impressed with a government platform as I am with the new Liberals — positive change and support for the whole of Canada, not just a select few as the Conservatives support.

A leader needs to work with government, not try to shrink it and work against it to rule!

Dion has passion that you can see radiating when he speaks.

We need to put our country first, and vote for the party that can gain success.

Dion will not just be a national leader, but a global one!

If Liberals aren’t elected, people will soon realize what an excellent platform they had, and will be kicking themselves.

Read, explore, and the answers will begin to show Dion.

We’ve been given us a second chance to correct a mistake America made eight years ago with the Bush/Gore campaign.

We have the Harper/Dion campaign now, and we cannot afford to make the same mistake!

Vote!

Alexandra Serafin

Via e-mail

Fresh perspectives

in health care

With an election at our doorsteps, and many candidates in the same place — wanting our votes and promising us ideals — are we asking the right questions? Are we all aware of all of the options?

Health care is always a hot topic, and there is much room for improvement in this arena.

However, what is the best approach? Like so many other problems, throwing money at it does not necessarily make it better.

We need some fresh perspectives.

Physicians’ offices, emergency departments and walk-in clinics are busy day in and day out, and usually with common ailments that are easily treated, or, perhaps better yet, avoided in the first place.

Proper diet, exercise, good sleep habits, and balance in our lives can make a world of difference, helping one to heal faster, or even avoid illness all together. Protective healthcare, such as screening tools and immunizations, add to this preventative approach.

The Yukon is the last area of Canada to undertake legislation of nurse practitioners — who are health care providers educated in both treatment of common illnesses, and assessment and interventions aimed at health promotion and disease prevention.

They are not replacements for physicians or replacements for primary care nurses who are all doing terrific work.

They are health care providers with a wealth of resources who can work collaboratively with the entire current healthcare team and help ease the burden that is currently stretching the present system.

Nurse practitioners have been around for decades, and used extensively in the USA. There is one for every thousand people in Alaska, and NWT hopes to have one in every community soon. BC is welcoming nurse practitioners into many aspects of the healthcare team, and all of these neighbouring regions have nothing but praise for the implementation of this role.

What will the next government be doing to help with our current healthcare system — perpetuating the status quo, or adding a fresh perspective?

Sean Secord

Whitehorse

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