Letter to the Editor

Strahl’s Arctic vision Many Yukoners, including the members of the Yukon legislative assembly, where a motion on this stands to be debated,…

Strahl’s Arctic vision

Many Yukoners, including the members of the Yukon legislative assembly, where a motion on this stands to be debated, are hoping the Yukon will be considered as a location for the Conservative government’s promised Arctic research station.

Chuck Strahl, the minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, was visiting Whitehorse this week.

He was here to attend the intergovernmental forum, a leading-edge example of how First Nations, Yukon government and the federal government can work together.

Strahl also spoke to the Whitehorse Chamber of Commerce where he repeated the Conservative government strategy for the North and its role in Canada.

He repeated from the recent throne speech that there is a commitment to have in the North a “world-class Arctic research station that will be on the cutting edge of Arctic issues, including environmental science and resource development.

“It will be a year-round, multidisciplinary science facility that will examine questions such as climate change and adaptation in the Arctic.”

The Yukon is already working towards this end with Yukon College’s mandate for research, its exploration of a centre of excellence on climate change with the University of Alberta and its support for the establishment of a cold climate innovation cluster.

I look forward to talking to Yukoners about this and other matters.

Darrell Pasloski, federal Conservative candidate, Whitehorse

The poor need raises too

It is a shame that Yukon MLAs are underpaid compared to their southern counterparts.

The cost of living has certainly increased, and a salary commensurate with that of southern MLAs would decrease barriers to political participation.

The Yukon Status of Women Council would like to see a raise and hopes that it would encourage more women to become involved in politics.

It should be noted that Yukon MLAs’ salaries are indexed to the cost of living and rise accordingly each year.

The council would like to see a concurrent raise in social assistance rates, which have not been increased since 1991.

The cost of living has increased for all Yukoners, not just our MLAs.

However, social assistance rates are not indexed to the cost of living.

A raise in social assistance rates commensurate with the cost of living in the Yukon would enable mothers to pay the rent and feed their children.

It would encourage those on social assistance to become involved in community life and activities since they would not have to spend all their time figuring out how to secure food, shelter and clothing for themselves and their families.

The council recommends that the two increases in rates be concurrent and that social assistance rates be indexed to the cost of living.

There have been many reports indicating the need for social assistance rates to increase.

We hope that the government of the Yukon will respond to all reports with the same attention and action and we will see a raise in income for the poor and our MLAs.

Charlotte Hrenchuk, Yukon Status of Women Council, Whitehorse

Women Wanna Weld

A great big thank you goes to Duncan’s and Lana, Molly and Dylan for their support of the Women Wanna Weld program over this past weekend.

It was a wonderful chance to learn about metalworking from such experts, and the generosity of Duncan’s in opening the shop to the students is very appreciated.

Also thanks to Betty Irwin at Women in Trades and Technology for organizing it all and to YTG  Advanced Education for funding the weekend.

The range and creativity of the projects was inspiring and I’m very proud of my tool box, ash shovel and decorative panels that I made.

Do women wanna weld? Well, thanks to this weekend, this woman does.

Linda Casson Hare