Letter to the Editor

The trapper as victim Re Trapper answers critic (the News, February 8): Skullduggery, I say, Frank Johnstone.

The trapper as victim

Re Trapper answers critic (the News, February 8):

Skullduggery, I say, Frank Johnstone.

That was quite the victim impact statement you submitted to the News, considering it was you who orchestrated the very act in question.

I immediately noticed that you gave little ink to an explanation and what you did give fell short on the reasonable scale.

You instead went on to focus on yourself along with some perception of being bullied and, in so doing, reopened the entire debate that surrounds the very actions you took and those that surround your chosen trade.

For the record, I have nothing against you personally.

I do, however, have something against the fur trade. I will attempt to address your letter in the order as it appeared in the paper.

Semantics change nothing as they are designed to cloud. That is their role by definition. You prefer sustainable harvest.

I prefer maim, kill, destroy, rape and pillage, concluding with extinction.

It’s not the fur industry that is solely responsible, but our ubiquitous open-season mentality as a species. Sustainable harvest equals no meaning.

If all other creatures shared the same practices and mentality, nothing would be left.

Your trade is but a microcosm of this fact.

I had a bit of a chuckle when I noticed the words ‘animal activist’ in brackets … as if that’s a bad thing. I prefer animal advocate myself.

I’m curious as to why you would invite one of these activists to come and visit death row knowing full well there’s a fundamental difference at the core.

Now, either you don’t get it, or you knew it would not be considered. After all, you had your caveat. It is for lack of a better term than “worrisome” that you are part of the decision-making process for the Resource Council of Teslin.

The prevailing scapegoat in trapping circles, when faced with obstacles, is always the First Nations people — in an attempt, again, to change the subject by making it cultural instead of what it is — a fashion industry.

Whose system is it and who brought it here?

What is the history of this system since the Europeans landed? This idealistic narrow view of preserving some 15th-century Canadian tradition is the very crux of the problem.

Time to evolve: it’s the 21st century. The world around us has significantly changed.

No offense, but the notion that you sent Mike Grieco this bleached wolf skull as an educational tool is patently absurd.

Speaking of culture, in many throughout history and today, such a gift would signify death and perceived threat.

You make this claim of intent some three weeks after the fact and after refusing comment in the press.

This message supposedly passed on to a mutual friend seems, on the surface at least, to be a kind of damage control.

The injury to the skull would seem to be a little ominous.

One wonders, when was this skull damage inflicted and what was the instrument of cause?

By the way, why no cameras or laptops on the invite?

In the end this only proves you trapped an old wolf.

That is unless your traps are old wolf selective? No doubt you could have sent him a 150-pound-plus prime male skull as well.

One more question on this portion of your letter: Why did you not deliver it yourself or include an explanation?

If you were worried about a confrontation based on this history you two have, then why use cloak and dagger with no explanation and expect a different reaction?  

So far your response appears to be a trained and perhaps a steered one rather than an educated one.

You go on to request that the debate be discussed behind closed doors instead of in the open. Why?

You are not on trial here; the industry is.

The public has a right to hear both sides in a free and open society. People are free to research the facts for themselves and not take anyone’s word for it.

There is simply no reason for fur in this day and age except to cater to the vanity of the rich and brainless.

I do not think you ought to garner any concern about what other provinces and states think of Yukon.

The trappings of the few are not an indictment of the territory or its people.

The industry and how it operates are no secret to the rest of this planet.

People outside and in their communities struggle with this same issue, I am sure.

To close, I don’t blame you for retaining a lawyer. However, as a spokesman for the industry locally, it would seem given recent events you should have been instructed not to comment at all.

To do so invites cross examination as this is a public domain as is the internet.

The fur industry and all its spokespersons have the uncanny ability to supply endlessly to their own demise while trying to defend themselves.

It’s too bad that one could not bottle that and sell it. There is little doubt that it’s a sustainable renewable resource.

Should I ever be unlikely enough to stumble onto a trapline while out for a hike, I will have my camera and video and I will have five links posted on YouTube before I finish my first cup of coffee and there’s not a damn thing anyone can do about it.

 Charles Darwin once penned:

“Some … will wonder how such cruelty could have been permitted in these days of civilization.”

I am one of them.

Kevin Sinclair


A telling silence

Open letter to mayor and council:

On January 31, a letter was written to you asking why council left the tax increase as proposed at 7.5 per cent when you claim to have cut the budget by $2 million?

This does not make any sense, and your citizens deserve an answer.

Roger Rondeau, president, Utilities Consumer Group, Whitehorse