Letter to the Editor

It’s time for strategic planning Open letter to Canadian politicians: Canada is not doing enough long-term strategic planning! Where is…

It’s time for

strategic planning

Open letter to Canadian politicians:

Canada is not doing enough long-term strategic planning!

Where is Canada’s response to the 4th Global Environmental Outlook Report published by the United Nations Environment Program?

Where is Canada’s National energy strategy?

Where is Canada’s National water strategy?

Where is Canada’s National food strategy?

Where is Canada’s National transportation strategy?

Canada’s Environment Minister John Baird’s statement on the release of the UNEP’s 4th Global Environment Outlook Report was pure, 100 per cent hogwash!

Canadians expect more from our politicians and our federal government.

By March 2008, Canada will have spent $7.2 billion.

And what of the lives of our brave Canadian forces?

Clearly, bring our brave Canadian troops home. And spend Canadian money on the aforementioned strategies.

“The Afghanistan conflict will only be resolved by a political deal after talks with Taliban leaders,” said British chief of Defence staff Sir Jock Stirrup this week.

He continues with: “There is a common misperception that the issues in Afghanistan, and indeed elsewhere around the world, can be dealt with by military means. That’s a false perception … by and large these problems can only be resolved politically.”

“NATO has lost the war in Afghanistan and success there is now unlikely,” said Paddy Ashdown, the former UN high representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina.

“We have lost, I think, and success is now unlikely”.

To argue anything else is a lie.

Hence Harper is lying.

Moreover, Bush & Cheney belong in the dock in front of ICC’s chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo.

Paul Malouf


Nurses focus on the future

After last week’s release of the annual registered nurse data report, I was asked to do an interview with Genesee Keevil about the findings related to the Yukon’s nursing workforce.

The nursing community welcomes the paper’s interest, and I found Keevil’s questions well prepared.

I cannot say, though, that the headline reflected the tone of the actual interview.

In talking with Keevil, I did not refer specifically to the Yukon government as “part of the nursing shortage problem.”

Nor did I say that “Whitehorse General Hospital and the government are the biggest culprits” as indicated in the article.

We hear concern from existing and potential Yukon nurses that all employers must do more to support young nurses in entering our workforce.

Clearly, as government and the hospital are our biggest employers, they are critical partners in addressing workforce issues.

The Yukon Registered Nurses Association feels that we do not now meet the public interest by focusing on the distribution of blame for how we got to this point.

The leading edge of the nursing shortage is here.

We call on all partners to work together with us to find solutions. Those partners must include:

• Managers and decision makers throughout the health system.

• Human resource staff for all health employers, who are often the first contact with potential applicants.

• Current registered nurses, critical in creating supportive work environments.

• Government in all its roles — funding source, policy lead and employer.

The nursing shortage will bring challenges that call on all of us to support a sustainable  nursing workforce that can continue to provide excellent care to the people of the Yukon.

Catherine Bradbury, co-ordinator of regulatory programs, Yukon Registered Nurses Association, Whitehorse

Ships in the night

I was surprised to see that neither the Yukon News nor the Whitehorse Star seemed to think that the first ore ship in many years, loaded in Skagway last week, merited any coverage.

The Sherwood Copper ore was loaded on a Russian ship, the Amur, and departed on Thursday. 

Having lived in the North for a long time it sure was nice to see something other than tourism using the waterfront in Skagway for a change.

Stan Selmer



I read your article on young wheelchair users.

This is 2007 — please, no one is bound to a wheelchair. Or anything else.

Could media reporters get some sensitivity training or, if they have had, practice what they have learned.

Just that statement in itself has made wheelchair users third-class citizens.

Don’t ever use this statement again.

Judi Johnny


Dogged pursuit of an end

I write this letter in response to Murray Lundberg’s hatchet-job letter (‘Sled dog advocacy?’) in last Wednesday’s Yukon News.

Lundberg posted a similar message on his Explore North blog, where he and his band of followers continue to spread further venom (on Monday, Lundberg was banned from posting on one animal rights blog in the South because of his abusive language).

Since writing his letter, he has had his rear end handed to him on a platter, served up half a dozen ways, from intelligent and thoughtful animal advocates in the South.

He may have also done serious harm to his reputation as a Yukon citizen and business person, but I will leave that for society to judge, and ask him to do some deep reflection about his words and behaviour.

This letter is also addressed to Stephen Reynolds, executive director of the Yukon Quest, to inform him that his organization’s continuous failure to respond to allegations of Yukon Quest sled dog cruelty only encourages misguided zealots, like Lundberg, to respond on its behalf.

In a matter of days, after a weekend of online battle, he has seriously helped tarnish the image of the Quest and Yukon dog mushing in general.

The main issue our organization and its growing number of supporters want addressed is that of 2007 Yukon Quest race marshal Mike McCowan’s statement that the organization is ‘not concerned’ about Yukon Quest mushers’ dog-culling policies and practices (in response to musher Frank Turner’s plea the Quest secure a pledge from prospective competitors that they “do not cull dogs.”)

We also respectfully suggest that major Quest race sponsor, Yukon Tourism, have a talk with Reynolds and ask him (in a serious manner) to respond to this and other concerns about sled dog treatment, because Tourism’s relationship with the Quest may, in the very near future, have a negative effect on animal lovers in the South wishing to visit our otherwise very beautiful Yukon territory.

We await your response.

Terry Cumming, SledDogWatchdog.com