Letter to the Editor

Vulgar cartoon Open letter to political cartoonist Wyatt Tremblay: I doubt that you have the least idea of how infantile is the thinking behind…

Vulgar cartoon

Open letter to political cartoonist Wyatt Tremblay:

I doubt that you have the least idea of how infantile is the thinking behind your cartoon of January 7.

How, exactly, is Stephen Harper to blame for the current staking laws in Canada — laws established decades ago?

What is he supposed to do about them now? Stop all the work on the much more pressing matters facing the country and immediately devote the energy of his government to changing this one thing just so you and the cross-country skiers of Whitehorse can be spared a bit of stress?

The attention of the nation does not revolve around the Yukon and its minor kafuffles and, for all you know, Harper might be ignorant of the staking laws of this country.

If you had given an unbiased reading of the News article of  January 4 (Miners ski past Mt. Mac), you would have seen that staking does not automatically mean development, and that there is ample allowance for public consultation.

The cartoon arises from a knee-jerk mentality that ultimately blames every social, political and moral ‘evil’ on those on the other end of the political spectrum from you — a mentality that seems particularly endemic to those on the left.

Be satiric, if you must, and draw your unreasonable delusions, but do at least have the decency to avoid the mindless vulgarity found in that cartoon.

John Lodder

Dawson City

The sorrows of Sima

As a taxpayer and as a parent of a paid member of Great Northern Ski Society— Mt. Sima — I am angered, frustrated, and have questions that need answers.

An issue of a ski facility in the Whitehorse vicinity is often lack of snow.

What I fail to understand is that for the second year running, snowmaking malfunctions have repeatedly caused equipment breakdowns.

Why is the snowmaking infrastructure repeatedly tackled so late in the season, rather than in summer, when it would make more sense?

Where have the thousands of dollars been spent?

End of season is when a hill should be proactive, gearing up to a summer of maintenance and planning for the next season. What does happen at the end of the season? Is the chair lift shut off and everyone laid off?

Speaking of poor maintenance planning, I am angered at the fact that the chairlift cable will be load tested this January rather than mid-July, a symptom of years of negligence and mismanagement in which current manager Gary McWaters fell into.

Angry as I may be, I am eternally grateful to McWaters, the brave soul who walked into this pot of boiling water and saw to the halting of operations in light of my family’s safety and the safety of others.

 In regards to the board members, I cannot fault you for the hill’s mismanagement or neglect. It is apparent that the issues of management and maintenance are far greater than the scope of volunteer hours that each of you give every month.

Could it be that there are individuals who have given their time to the hill’s beginnings and present operations who are not moving with the recommendations and future developments?

In view of these events I ask: how is my child’s membership going to be compensated?

How is our confidence going to be regained in future operations?

I can no longer accept fate and poor planning.

If there is to be success, clearly the operations of Mt. Sima need to take a very different path.

What has happened in the past is not working today, and less likely to work in the future.

Restructuring is on the horizon.

Jeanne Burke


Politicians let kids suffer

Rap. Rap. Rap. Hard staccato on his window in the middle of the night. Another beautiful young woman trying to find shelter against the cold winter.

But lo, he had already housed another young woman who is very protective of her bed and food.

She worked hard for what she got.

Muffled crashing into the walls, on the floor. Even if you’ve never heard a body being thrown around, you know what is happening. The woman is trained not to cry out or scream.

Partying, drinking, drugs … it’s a great life, for the abusers. Girls and boys are drawn into the web of abuses by their desperate need to survive another night. Another day. Another winter.

“Come in and lie with me,” hollers the drugged older woman from within.

Desperate to retrieve her forgotten purse, but desperate to get away from what will happen if she enters the building again, the young woman pleads for her “pocket.”

Generally, between 6 and 7 p.m., he takes off to get drugs and alcohol. That’s the best time to do his business. That’s the time when police change shifts and aren’t on the streets.

After 2 or 3 a.m., that’s when the real fun begins … at the apartment. His bed thwacks the wall over and over again, for hours sometimes.

But what of the younger woman? Where is she in all of this? She’s an unconscious body ripe for abuse and violation, over and over.

Why does she make this choice, to live with a person like him? Where is she to go otherwise? A young person in Whitehorse has no protection from abuse at the hands of others, because they have no roof under which they are offered protection.

Maybe your child will escape living on the streets, couch surfing and being suspended from school because you have provided a secure home for them.

Maybe not. Maybe they will be part of that scenario, due to unforeseen circumstances.

If politicians can, within a couple months, manage to pass a huge increase in their wages, they could fund an emergency youth shelter in Whitehorse.

Quit the political humbug and get a place for youth.

Name withheld by request


Well served

Recently I had an early morning chimney fire and after seeing sparks shooting into the sky out of my chimney, I called 911.

You hope you’ll never have to do this in your life and it’s reassuring to find the system works so well.

The firemen and equipment were here directly and someone was on the roof at once.

Others went up into the attic and checked on the temperature and situation there. This is an older house and must have passed inspection at some point when the chimney was installed, but the fireman said it wouldn’t pass today. There were wood struts and insulation too near the chimney pipe and some of it was black.

There was no barrier to keep it away from the pipe and it really seems a miracle I have not had a fire before now.

The fireman drew me a diagram of what needed to be done, took photos and gave me copies later.

They were so calming and kind and at once relieved my anxiety. I feel we are lucky to have these skilled men available to help us.

After they left, I started phoning sheet metal places expecting to be told no one could come for days, or weeks, which is the usual situation.

I was both happy and relieved when a gentleman at Milligan’s Sheet Metal Ltd said he’d be right over.

He was, and in another hour or so the unnecessary piece of wood was removed and a metal barrier put in place around the chimney pipe.

Wonderful, quick and pleasant service: fairly unusual these days and I want to say a public thank you to the firefighters and Milligan Sheet Metal. You were all great.

Jane McIntyre