Letter to the Editor

Biting back Re Change your diet, save your teeth (the News, May 9): Mike Brine thinks that the simple alternative to enriching drinking water with…

Biting back

Re Change your diet, save your teeth (the News, May 9):

Mike Brine thinks that the simple alternative to enriching drinking water with enough fluoride to maintain healthy teeth in young people is to go back to nature — to live without any adulteration of the drinking supply, including purification.

Perhaps he should contemplate how six billion people, a very large percentage of whom have very little access to clean water of any sort, could possibly live such an idealistic life.

Obviously, it is thousands of times more practical to bring fluoride to the child through drinking water than it is to attempt to reinvent civilization on the scale he suggests.

Simply put: fluoride reduces dental decay.

Also simply put: fluoride is not poisonous until it reaches a concentration some hundreds of times higher than what is habitually introduced into water supplies by municipalities that care enough about dental health to make serious attempts to reduce the carnage.

Dave Robertson


Fighting cavities

While I was growing up, I lived in a town without fluoride in the drinking water. I was never allowed, what today we call, junk food.

I had good dental hygiene and yet I endured many painful and frightening trips to the dentist to fix cavities.

So it was with relief that I knew, when my children were growing up here in the ‘70s and ‘80s, that they would not have to undergo those dreaded trips to the dentist that I did.

And it was true. They were average kids but had no cavities. They ate the usual diet and brushed their teeth in the usual way. No cavities. 

Now my godchildren, age five, living in Whitehorse, have had to undergo treatment on their teeth to fix cavities although they, too, eat a healthy diet and have good dental habits. 

According to the Canadian Dental Association as quoted in the Yukon News May 2, “Fluoride reduces dentals cavities by 40 to 50 per cent.”

Why must all the citizens of Whitehorse be hostages to a few who do not want fluoride in the drinking water?

Mary Whitley


Priorities and openness

Re Playing politics with the dead (Legislative Notebook, Yukon News, May 9):

Liberal Motion No. 449 urged the Yukon government to send aid to help rebuild Burma from the devastating effects of the May 2008 cyclone.

We disagree with reporter Jeremy Warren’s characterization of this as a questionable motion.

The Liberal caucus strongly felt it was important to support the relief effort, and we used the most direct avenue we could to make this point.

Warren’s article left the impression the government had already made a donation before the debate occurred and had informed the public of it.

In fact, there had been no public announcements about Yukon providing aid to Burma.

I met with Speaker Ted Staffen Thursday morning and requested that he notify the government caucus and the premier of our intent to call this motion, and I explained that our caucus had a genuine desire to see Yukon do our part in the disaster relief efforts.

In the three hours prior to my calling this motion, the premier did not contact our caucus to tell us that the government was in the process of organizing a contribution via the Canadian Red Cross.

Indeed, the first we learned of that decision was when the premier rose in response to the motion.

Had the premier contacted the Liberal caucus at any time prior to the debate commencing, we would have, of course, withdrawn the motion as being no longer necessary.

Since he did not, we proceeded to debate the motion on its merits.

With regard to the amount of time the debate took, we certainly did not extend the debate as our caucus decided only one person would speak to the motion.

On the other hand, every Yukon Party government member chose to speak to the motion.

I also would like to correct the record regarding debate on the Health and Social Services budget.

That debate had occurred on Monday and Tuesday of last week, and the department had already been cleared.

Yes, we may have to spend 90 minutes less time on some other portion of the budget.

If we had the decision to make again, our decision would be the same. Some things are more pressing and urgent than Yukon’s budget debate and the Liberal caucus believes that aiding victims of such a massive natural disaster is one of those things.

Arthur Mitchell, MLA Copperbelt, leader of the Official Opposition

Feds cut power

to First Nations TV

It came as an alarming surprise to us, the silence around the elimination of the television programming of Northern Native Broadcasting Yukon.

The implications of this seem shameful.

The political process of, the information about and the documentation therein of First Nations implementing their self-governing agreements will be cut off from the rest of Canada and from the Yukon itself.

Not to mention that the important happenings and coverage of cultural and traditional events within the First Nation communities will be lost.

This programming is the only nationally televised voice of Yukon First Nation citizens and Yukoners alike.

 It is important to remember that the Yukon has seven language groups and 14 distinct First Nation communities and that without language-based and culturally based programming to educate and reflect the traditions of the past as well as values to carry for the future, slowly and most assuredly they will be lost.

Rather than simply closing this institution down, it should be given the opportunity and resources to evolve.

If the board of Northern Native Broadcasting Yukon is not willing to continue to provide voice and education to the First Nations and to live up to its original mandate perhaps, and hopefully, an alternative outlet can be found.

Where is the political backlash? What is the true motive behind this? Consultation and public input, where is that?

I would invite the First Nations of this territory and its people to action.

These are your television shows and now more than ever need your help.

Allen Murray and Linda Bonnefoy


Just Posted

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley announced 29 new COVID-19 cases on June 19 and community transmission among unvaccinated individuals. (Yukon News file)
Yukon logs record-high 29 new COVID-19 cases

F.H. Collins prom attendees and some Porter Creek Grade 9 students are instructed to self-isolate as community transmission sweeps through unvaccinated populations

Crystal Schick/ Yukon News A former residential school in the Kaska Dena community of Lower Post will be demolished on June 21. Crystal Schick/ Yukon News
Lower Post residential school demolition postponed

On June 21, the old residential school in Lower Post will be demolished and new ground on a multi-cultural centre will be broken

Willow Brewster, a paramedic helping in the COVID-19 drive-thru testing centre, holds a swab used for the COVID-19 test moments before using it on Nov. 24. The Yukon government is reopening the drive-thru option on June 18. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Drive-up COVID-19 testing opening June 18 in Whitehorse

The drive-up testing will be open from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. everyday and increase testing capacity by 33 spots

A draft plan has been released by the Dawson Regional Use Planning commission on June 15. Julien Gignac/Yukon News
Draft plan released by the Dawson Regional Land Use Planning Commission

Dawson Regional Land Use Commission releases draft plan, Government of Yukon withdraws additional lands from mineral staking in the planning region

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: Let them live in trailers

“I found Rome a city of bricks and left it a city… Continue reading

Whitehorse City Hall (Yukon News file)
City news, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council at its June 14 meeting

Murray Arsenault sits in the drivers seat of his 1975 Bricklin SV1 in Whitehorse on June 16. (Stephanie Waddell/Yukon News)
Bringing the 1975 Bricklin north

Murray Arsenault remembers his dad’s Bricklin, while now driving his own

A presumptive COVID case was found at Seabridge Gold’s 3 Aces project. (file photo)
Presumptive COVID-19 case reported at mine in southeast Yukon

A rapid antigen rest found a presumptive COVID case on an incoming individual arriving at the 3Aces project

Jonathan Antoine/Cabin Radio
Flooding in Fort Simpson on May 8.
Fort Simpson asked for military help. Two people showed up.

FORT SIMPSON—Residents of a flooded Northwest Territories village expected a helping hand… Continue reading

A woman was rescued from the Pioneer Ridge Trail in Alaska on June 16. (Photo courtesy/AllTrails)
Alaska hiker chased off trail by bears flags down help

ANCHORAGE (AP)—An Alaska hiker who reported needing help following bear encounters on… Continue reading

Two participants cross the finish line at the City of Whitehorse Kids Triathlon on June 12 with Mayor Dan Curtis on hand to present medals. (Stephanie Waddell/Yukon News)
2021 Kids’ Triathlon draws 76 young athletes

Youth ages five to 14 swim, run and bike their way to finish line

NDP MP Mumilaaq Qaqqaq rises in the House of Commons, in Ottawa on May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
‘Unacceptable’ that Inuk MP felt unsafe in House of Commons, Miller says

OTTAWA—It’s a “sad reflection” on Canada that an Inuk MP feels she’s… Continue reading

Lily Witten performs her Canadian Nationals beam routine on June 14. John Tonin/Yukon News
Three Yukon gymnasts break 20-year Nationals absence

Bianca Berko-Malvasio, Maude Molgat and Lily Witten competed at the Canadian Nationals – the first time in 20 years the Yukon’s been represented at the meet

Most Read