Letter to the Editor

Bad timing and waste Open letter to Minister of Economic Development Jim Kenyon: I am extremely embarrassed! I have been, for all my adult life, a…

Bad timing and waste

Open letter to Minister of Economic Development Jim Kenyon:

I am extremely embarrassed!

I have been, for all my adult life, a very strong Conservative and have always supported the Yukon Party in good times as well as bad.

Some would say that is embarrassment enough, but that isn’t the reason I’m embarrassed.

On August 1, I received in my mail a flyer, which contained two logos. One being the Association franco-yukonnaise and the other Department of Economic Development.

This in itself is not a problem. However, the message which the flyer was conveying, the need to open our home for summer workers, is so far out of date that the fact that it was even mailed causes me to have great concerns of the competency of your department and the Association franco-yukonnaise.

I would assume given that there are two logos on the document, that the Association franco-yukonnaise produced the document and Economic Development funded the project.

This gives a great opportunity for both organizations to blame each other. 

Ultimately however, the fault would and should fall directly on the shoulders of the Department of Economic Development for participating in a project that was either conceived too late or was beyond the capabilities of the producers either by limited timing or the actual ability to produce in a timely manner.

When I think of my tax dollars being used on what appears to be a make-work project, this offends me. The fact that it is so out of date embarrasses me.

Your department is called Economic Development. This kind of material does not do anything, in my opinion, to stimulate the economy or development of Yukon.

All it does is waste the taxpayers’ money on a questionable make-work project. How much did this cost the taxpayers of Yukon, Minister Kenyon? My guess is now you are embarrassed.

As the minister of the Department of Economic Development the buck ultimately falls on your desk. Maybe it is time to shake up your department and quit wasting taxpayers’ dollars.

This may appear to be a small matter in the scheme of things, but small matters have a habit of multiplying into bigger issues. I would suspect that if this was approved by your department, there are many other similar wastages that Yukon taxpayers have no idea about.

Maybe it is time for the department to review its mission and vision statements. If this is the kind of funding  your department does, then maybe we better find a new name for it, because it is not Economic Development.

Or is it just that the department does not have a vision let alone a mission?

Joe Trerice


Doing Kenyon’s job

I received some unsolicited mail from the Yukon government this week.

It was an invitation for me to help solve two problems that the Yukon is experiencing, lack of seasonal workers and a tight, low-income rental market.

I was urged to offer free accommodation to friends and relatives that I would call up on my own dime and invite to work up here for a larger-than-life experience. 

There are several problems with this idea.

Firstly, the seasonal worker shortage and the low-income housing shortage are systemic problems needing systemic solutions not downloading to individual citizens called upon to do their civic duty.

Seasonal workers are low-income earners hence the reference to the low-income housing shortage. These workers are typically students who have the option of campground living, which also offers a larger-than-life Yukon experience. 

Low-income Yukon residents need housing all year round. The limited rental market offers them the larger-than-life Yukon experience of periods of homelessness, couch surfing, sub-standard, inadequate and unsafe housing.

Abused women are forced to return to their abusers because they have no place to go.

Will the government’s next mail-out urge citizens to solve this problem by opening their homes for free to homeless and inadequately housed teens, women, men and families?

Secondly, I question the timing of this campaign. The mail-out arrived in my post box the first week of August, surely too late to solve the seasonal worker shortage.

Could the financial resources used to fund this campaign not have been put to better use in solving the housing shortage in a systemic manner?

Could the funds not have found better use in contributing to the Angel’s Nest emergency teen housing or to second-stage housing for women leaving abusive relationships? 

Charlotte Hrenchuk, Yukon Status of Women Council, Whitehorse