Letter to the Editor

Low blow Re editorial Fentie rewards folly (The News September 14): I was shocked and appalled at this editorial.

Low blow

Re editorial Fentie rewards folly (The News September 14):

I was shocked and appalled at this editorial.

I believe that you could scoop no lower in your pursuit to slam the current government than by questioning Bea Felker’s award.

Make no mistake, Felker is most deserving of this award.

I can personally vouch for her as I have had the great fortune of working with her as a colleague and served with her as a manager.

As well I am proud to say that I am part of the team that nominated her for this award.

Felker is a tireless advocate for nursing and for improving a patient’s well-being. This woman has unquestioning integrity.

She does not whine and complain about circumstances; she takes action and has always worked toward being part of the solution.

I could go on for pages expounding on Felker’s attributes both as a nurse and a leader, but her career speaks for itself.

She has served the Yukon and it’s people for more that 25 years. Her legacy will be that endless people fondly remember Felker as she has provided consistent, compassionate and competent nursing care in her long and wonderful career.

She has positively touched many lives.

In a time of great flux in health care and nursing we need strong competent leaders who are not only competent but willing to step up to the challenge.

Bea Felker is most worthy of this challenge. 


Joie McBryan RN


Stands up for Felker

As the Minister of Health and Social Services, and as a Yukoner, I wish to express my concern over the editorial Fentie rewards folly in the September 14 edition, in which a dedicated Yukon government employee who has served this territory well for more than 30 years, was unfairly criticized.

There is, as you are probably aware, a general constitutional tradition of long standing in Canada, of a minister of the Crown being responsible for his or her department.

To single out a public servant for managing issues according to instructions received is not just a violation of this principle, it is in this case, profoundly unfair.

The issues involving emergency response that Bea Felker and her colleagues have been grappling with are complex, and as we try to move toward a rational, modernized and effective solution that meets all of the competing needs of the community, the service providers and the public interest, the last thing a public servant should expect is to be publicly pilloried for doing her job.

As an accountable minister, it is I who have the responsibility for answering to public criticism.

Felker was nominated by her peers; her nomination was reviewed by her peers. She has widespread support for the Premier’s Award for her years of service to the Yukon — both in rural communities and in Whitehorse.

Felker has served this territory with commitment, caring and passion for more than 30 years. She has always been the sort of public servant who understands the nature of public service — the duty inherent in the word ‘service.’

It is both irresponsible and ethically suspect from a journalistic standpoint to write in an opinion piece that she is somehow unworthy of what we all consider to be a worthy honour.

In closing, I want to congratulate Bea Felker for her well-deserved receipt of the 2007 Premier’s Award of Excellence.


Brad Cathers, minister, Health and Social Services

Laughing in Watson Lake

I laughed over your article about Dennis Fentie rewriting his own listing on Wikipedia.

It makes me wonder who posted that he did time. Could it be someone with the initials RM, or perhaps GK or LC?

They are the only ones who seem to give a fat rat’s patootie about his past.

I am more concerned about Fentie’s present. He refuses to pay ambulance volunteers for their on-call time and hired paid replacements and is doing “consultations.”

He is very reluctant to raise our minimum wage to $10 per hour.

He refuses to negotiate with Tim and Stella Gregory about their reindeer.

On a personal level, I like Fentie, but, hey, let’s write about something we can change. OK?

Dale Worsfold

Watson Lake