Editorial facts faulty
Re ‘Fleeced’ (the News, October 17):
I am disappointed with the factually incorrect nature of your editorial.
First, the minto mine has not yet been connected to the grid and so cannot be responsible for Yukon Energy Corporation using its diesel units.
As the corporation announced, the need for diesel backup was due to the unavailability of two of its generating wheels.
Generally, Yukon Energy Corp. has a significant surplus of hydro power which it is currently “throwing away” as it has no customers to sell it to, so almost every cent of the Minto mine’s payments to Yukon Energy benefit the corporation, some of which benefit should flow through to the corporation’s customers.
Second, diesel power is more expensive than grid power and, since all operating costs at the Minto mine are deductible from taxes and royalties, if the Minto mine remained on diesel power, it would mean less money for the Yukon … in fact, Yukon would be, in effect, “subsidizing” our use of diesel because of the lost revenue at the highest marginal rate we pay taxes and royalties.
So your editorial is incorrect — our power purchases will result in us paying more taxes and royalties than if we stayed on diesel power, so Yukon’s coffers are bolstered by the deal, not diminished.
Third, the minto mine has agreed to pay $7.2 million towards the cost of the transmission line and purchase a minimum of $12-million in electricity, for a total of $19.2 million, which covers 70 per cent of the cost of the transmission line.
Further, the $12 million in electricity purchases only covers an approximately four-year period, whereas the mine has another seven to eight years to go based on reserves, and is likely to purchase a lot more electricity than the $12 million minimum based on the existing reserves and exploration success already reported. Therefore, over the life of the mine, Minto could well end up paying for 100 per cent of the cost of the line … and Yukon gets some needed infrastructure.
And we are not receiving a discounted rate, but the industrial rate.
And it is not cheap … perhaps three times the industrial rate in British Columbia.
You also seem to be missing one of the key points about this transmission line — the line was on YEC’s books, before the Minto mine came along, as an essential but unaffordable part of the Yukon’s power infrastructure development, allowing the Whitehorse and Mayo-Dawson grids to be interconnected, benefiting all Yukoners on this grid because of the ability to transfer power between grids.
This line would not have been built without Minto’s capital commitment, to the detriment of the Yukon.
You also ignore the fact that Pelly Crossing is now able to switch from diesel power (paid for by Yukoners) to less expensive, less polluting grid power.
And that touches on another benefit: a reduction in diesel generation, a polluting source of energy and usage, instead of wastage, of Yukon’s excess clean hydro power.
You also ignore the benefits of the construction project itself to Yukoners, especially the First Nations along the route, who benefited from the employment created, additional income taxes paid by those people and other spinoff benefits for suppliers, contractors and service companies who all benefited from the work.
I trust that, in future, you will check your information before publishing erroneous information.
Stephen P. Quin, president and CEO, Sherwood Copper Corporation
What a place…
I would like to thank Whitehorse for making me feel at home and coming out to my concerts on a nightly basis for three weeks.
I would like to thank the owners, Barre and Marlene Fleming and Kerry Thiesen, manager of the Town and Mountain Hotel, for bringing me to Whitehorse.
I must say, I love the friends and fans I made in Whitehorse.
I feel a part of Whitehorse and its people.
I also enjoyed going around meeting all the fine musicians of Whitehorse. It’s a beautiful place full of beautiful souls.
It’s good country.
And I can’t wait to return with another dose of Baby Harry music for this lovely, lovely city full of beautiful people.
Antoine (Baby Harry) Callaway
On the road
Defends a free press
I have many issues with the Yukon News, but I do not condone anyone making personal threats to Richard Mostyn or his family or to any of the News staff.
I will say what I have to say with my pen or I will come in and air my grievances at the newspaper — not in a back alley.
When I finally work up the nerve to visit Mostyn’s office, I will come armed — with a pen.
I will have my say but I will be prepared to do some listening. We will probably agree to disagree but I’m sure I will learn something.
If all the energy it takes to spray paint over signs and walls were channelled into letters to our MP, the premier or the newspapers, maybe more people would listen to what we have to say.
They can ignore my voice, but if we pack city hall and the legislature, that speaks volumes.