Letter to the Editor

Ski-Doo and ATV crackdown needed Open letter to Whitehorse Mayor Bev Buckway, Riverdale North and South MLAs Ted Staffen and Glenn Hart re off…

Ski-Doo and ATV

crackdown needed

Open letter to Whitehorse Mayor Bev Buckway, Riverdale North and South MLAs Ted Staffen and Glenn Hart re off -road vehicles:

Once again, Ski-Doo season has started in Riverdale.

Kids are roaring back and forth with snowmobiles along Lewes Boulevard and adjacent streets, often riding by twos and threes on machines that are meant to accommodate only one, racing along sidewalks and crossing the streets unsafely.

Just where are they going?

To the corner store, or to spin around greenbelts next to residences as well as the non-motorized Millennium Trail and footbridge.

Snowmobile noise is extremely loud and hideous, so what’s the point of racing these machines to places that can be reached within minutes of healthy walking?

The Magnuson ski trails (also know as Grey Mountain ski trails) have been regularly messed up by both quads and snowmobiles, which is extremely unsafe for skiers.

Offenders are not content to chew up the ski trails, they must also smash little trees as they veer off-trail through the woods.

In the summer, dirt bikes and quads are ever more of a nuisance, digging an absurd network of new trails through greenbelts and the surrounding landscape.

The protected areas are treated as a joke.

Offenders have been racing their dirt bikes on one wheel in the middle of Lewes Boulevard. Little squadrons of quads have also been observed driving noisily down the street. All in contravention of the bylaws.

I would hate to camp at the Robert Service Campground, as noisy dirt bikes and quads have also gouged trails through that area to access the nonmotorized Millennium Trail, where they routinely have been cruising.

Quads have ripped the vegetation and carved gullies on the cliffs nearby the fish ladder, our major tourist attraction. How impressive for visitors.

Most of these machines are notoriously lacking in exhaust-reduction devices, spewing fumes that linger around, as if Riverdale didn’t already have a serious air pollution problem.

The majority of these offenders are teenagers, but even pre-teens are often seen among them.

Parents, don’t you care about the safety of your children?

Adults have also been observed breaking the rules, such as this middle-aged man riding a motorcycle that almost collided with a mother pushing her baby stroller on the Millennium Trail. And of course, there was no licence plate on his motorbike.

None of these offenders ever have the required licence plates.

If confronted, most of them remain defiant and do as they please, knowing that they cannot be identified.

These offenders are obviously a small minority, but due to the nature of their machines, they’re having a hugely obnoxious impact on the rest of us.

The rate of ATV-related injuries has exploded in recent years, especially among children.

It is time to address this situation, now.

Make it mandatory, territory-wide, to have the proper training, operator’s licence, licence plate and insurance before these machines can be driven out of the dealer’s store.

Minimum age of 16 years old for operators. Mandatory devices to eliminate air and noise pollution.

And for safety’s sake, put back those ski signs on the Magnuson (Grey Mountain) ski trails!

Other than for work-related purposes, Ski-Doos and off-road vehicles should be banned from operating in subdivisions as well as all surrounding greenbelts.

Whitehorse has become too big and busy to accommodate these noisy polluting toys. We need all the clean air and quiet we can get.

The operation of off-road vehicles should be restricted to designated trails, set at a minimum distance from subdivisions.

Meanwhile, how about a good deal more public education on some of the key points from the current city bylaws on the operation of off-road vehicles, such as: all snowmobiles, quads and motorized dirt bikes must bear licence plates and be covered with third-party liability insurance.

Dorothy Lebel

Whitehorse

Treason?

Treason, Tom Wood? Treason?

Where?

You should learn to live with the realities of our parliamentary democracy.

A vote of nonconfidence is a legitimate parliamentary option. A coalition of parties is also a legitimate parliamentary option. And no matter what their avowed intention is, the Bloc Quebecois is a legitimate federal political party representing the best interests of a lot of ridings in Quebec.

How do I know?

The people of Quebec elected them rather than the Conservative Party of Canada led by the coward Stephen Harper, who, by the way, represents the best interests of the people of his riding in Calgary, Alberta.

He sure as hell doesn’t represent my best interests, or demonstrably, the best interests of the Yukon. Otherwise, your friendly neighbourhood druggist would have been sent to Ottawa.

As long as cowards like Stephen Harper and his supporters keep fanning the flames of separatism, there will be a separatist movement.

And the only “outrage to the voters of Canada and total insult to democracy” (your words) was the act of cowardice in shutting down parliament to avoid a vote of confidence.

People get hung for treason, do they? Cowards used to be executed, didn’t they?

Don’t give us any more crap about treason.

Carl Maguire

Horse Creek

Missing women,

missing news

I’m an aboriginal woman from Inuvik. And your article on missing aboriginal women is very disturbing for me, and my nationality.

I know it’s not your fault or anything, you just print the news. But if you have other women to stand up against this very harsh news, I would like to ask you, if possible, to put an article in the paper.

There is not very good justice around here.

I’m sorry to say it’s not the territory, it’s the people running the territory.

I really don’t know what else to say, this article infuriates me and I want to get my word in before it’s too late for another aboriginal woman — or too late for me.

Not all aboriginal women get drunk. There is more to it than that. For me, I think it’s from the early ages of when alcohol was first introduced to the natives of the North.

Finally, why isn’t the article in the “top news.” Missing people are more important than future development of buildings or bison hunting. If the missing person was part of your family, wouldn’t you put it in the utmost priority?

Danielle Elanik

Inuvik

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