Letter to the Editor

Setting the record straight Joe Clark was in Whitehorse several weeks ago to address the Opportunities North conference.

Setting the record straight

Joe Clark was in Whitehorse several weeks ago to address the Opportunities North conference.

I told him at that time that there was considerable revisionist history being peddaled in both Yukon and Canada about our mutual friend and colleague Erik Nielsen, and about his true history and legacy.

Having been there throughout the Yukon political and social revolution that Nielsen led for more than 30 years, I feel obligated to come forward whenever and wherever possible to let the truth be known.

Both past and present First Nation leaders and respected elders from Old Crow spoke fondly at Erik’s memorial about their lost friend and what he meant to the Old Crow people.

What a gratuitous insult to each and every resident of Old Crow to insinuate that their vote could be bought for beer.

I travelled with Erik on many of his campaign trips to Old Crow.

There was never — repeat — never, a bottle, let alone a case of beer on board.

Ken McKinnon

South McLintock Bay

Time for change

Today, Yukon opposition leaders expressed well-founded concerns over government decisions on investments, public participation and spending in the Watson Lake riding.

Do you think any of these problems could be based in Canada’s present electoral system?

Are some of the Yukon’s problems caused by too much focus of power?

If so, a great deal of that power is based primarily in the electoral system.

Through Canada’s (Yukon’s) present electoral system, 41 per cent of Yukoners who voted elected a false majority government in 2006 — 10 out of 18 seats.

As in the Yukon now, when the government has a majority of seats, it has 100 per cent of the power to make decisions. The government doesn’t need to listen to or modify its legislation to reflect the concerns of opposition MLAs and the citizens they represent — even though the opposition received 58 per cent of the votes in the 2006 election.

Following the recent federal election, a lot of Canadians expressed concern over the ineffectiveness of Canada’s present electoral system.

If you think it’s time for improvement of our electoral system, why not ask your MLA and MP what they are doing to improve it?

Several MLAs and Larry Bagnell have expressed interest in improving the system.

Do your representatives know you are interested in improving Canada’s electoral system?

It has been said: “We don’t have to engage in grand, heroic actions to participate in the process of change. Small acts when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world.” (Only thousands should be needed for change in the Yukon).

Dave Brekke

Whitehorse

Editor lacks energy

Re “Fleeced”, editorial October 17:

Once again, Richard Mostyn, your anti-mining ignorance has compelled me to respond.

Your editorial states: “A Sherwood release said the Yukon will benefit from employment and royalties.

“Sherwood Copper and its shareholders are profiting. And the rest of us? Well, we’re subsidizing those profits.”

Mostyn, I am a born-and-raised Yukoner who is greatly benifiting and profiting from Sherwood Copper’s decision to invest in the Yukon.

On a daily basis at Minto mine, I work with many people who call the Yukon home and who are happy to be able to find year-round work that pays excellent wages.

I pay more than $4,000 a month in income taxes, tax money made avalable to the public thanks to Sherwood Copper.

Taxes that can be used for “subsidizing those profits.”

Taxes that could be used to pay the electric bills of those Yukoners on social assistance.

Taxes that would not be created if it wasn’t for the Yukon mining industry.

Your blatantly misleading article says “there is a shortage of hydro power on the grid. Why? The Minto mine is using it.”

Mostyn, the Minto mine as of October 17 is still burning diesel to produce power. The mine is still not on the power grid, therefore there is no “shortage of hydro power on the grid,” because of Minto mine.

The next time you use your newspaper to bash the mining industry and all the hardship that mining supposedly brings to the Yukon, I suggest you do more research on the industry you choose to attack.

The economic benefits that Sherwood Copper has brought and will continue to bring to my much-loved Yukon will vastly surpass any would-be burden that may, or may not land on the unfortunate Yukon electrical consumer.

Since you have become editor of the Yukon News you have devoted much printing space attacking the Yukon mining industry as well as the democratically elected goverment that supports it.

If this is the case, Mostyn, then I suggest that you stop using products that came from a mine and put your name on the ballot during the next territorial election.

The last I heard, newspapers still come from trees, Mostyn.

How about you write an immensely critical editorial about the pulp and paper industry.

I have never seen anything in the Yukon News that decribes the enviromental horrors that happen when trees are turned into newsprint.

Jon Wilkie

Dawson City

Climate change

or climactic change?

It is apparent that Yukoners were greatly concerned with the issue of climate change during the recent federal election; so much so, that it was probably their No. 1 item of concern.

Is it not our greed that has brought us to our current condition?

Perhaps a greater concern ought to be in regard to our beliefs and values.

Do not our beliefs affect our values, our values affect our attitudes, our attitudes affect our purposes, our purposes affect our goals, our goals affect our actions and our actions affect our successes?

We acquire that we may achieve a particular degree of social status.

What, then, ought our attitude toward social status be?

I believe that attitudes of thankfulness and honesty with a willingness to live within our means would serve as a great advantage toward curbing climate change.

If people choose not to take this economically advantageous scheme, have they considered an alternative: a scheme that falls within the country’s available financial resources?

The proposed question, then, is: does Canada have a balance within its technological and economic resources to curb climate change?

Change always costs something: sacrifice of freedom or depletion of financial sustainability.

Should the balance not occur, we have the options of sacrificing our freedoms that we may be able to improve economic viability or to incur debt, and, perhaps, bankruptcy in our endeavour.

I believe if we learned to live with less and be innovative, we would develop a richer life experience.

Is climate change really a high priority?

Or, is there a greater issue at hand, i.e. our social climate (morality)?

Murphy’s infamous Law of Thermodynamics tells us: the Earth is doomed!

If so, how much value will all of the personal energy and financial contribution toward climate change actually accomplish?

Will not the improvement upon our social climate be met with greater benefit?

Imagine building friendships, being neighbourly, having an attitude of caring, helping and respect toward others and their property — using our energies for good as much as we do for evil — what kind of world would we be living in?

Herein, we have the assurance of climactic change.

Ken Besler

Whitehorse

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