Letter to the Editor

Clueless columnist   I admit that it is the prerogative for a newspaper columnist such as Al Pope to select facts to support a personal bias…

Clueless columnist


I admit that it is the prerogative for a newspaper columnist such as Al Pope to select facts to support a personal bias if he so chooses.

However, Michael Ignatieff, the front-running candidate for the leadership of the Liberal Party of Canada, in fact, said something quite the different from the picture Pope painted of him in his column.

Ignatieff very reasonably and thoughtfully said something quite different.

Perhaps the readers of the Yukon News might wish to compare his actual statements with Pope’s distorted rendition.

Ignatieff’s actual words, in part, were as follows:

“Canada can play a significant role in reducing the suffering, but first we need to agree together why this terrible conflict is so dangerous.

“Hezbollah’s strategy is to lure Israel into an escalation of violence that will radicalize the Arab world and cause Israel to lose its remaining international support.

“The terrible tragedy in Qana, which claimed 57 lives, is thus a victory for Hezbollah. But that is not all. Hezbollah then hopes to draw Israel into a wider conflict, which would result in its ultimate destruction. In this terrible struggle, Israel cannot win, Hezbollah cannot lose and Lebanon perishes.

 “Israel must not play Hezbollah’s game. It must defend itself, but to persist in its military campaign would only give Hezbollah what it wants: continuing carnage in Lebanon and weakening world support for Israel.

“ Canada should be saying to Israel that there are no further military options in Lebanon that do not risk destroying Lebanon and ultimately endangering its own security.

“If Israel persists, there is a danger that it will lose control of the situation. Hezbollah cannot be wiped out militarily. They have support among Lebanese Shiites, because they provide social welfare and have the blessing of the mullahs.

“They also have political power, having won parliamentary seats in free elections. Further military action by Israel may only strengthen Hezbollah’s political power in Lebanon.

“Hezbollah’s backers — Iran and Syria — are providing it with advanced military equipment. If Iran flashes a green light, Hezbollah could launch long-range, heavy payload weapons on Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

“Israel has warned Iran that if it encourages Hezbollah to escalate, what happened to Beirut will happen to Tehran. But Israel cannot be sure that Tehran will get the message. If anyone miscalculates, the struggle risks turning into a full-scale conflict between states with unforeseeable yet devastating consequences.”

Ignatieff continued at some length with more detailed analysis. It is obvious that Pope has no idea what Ignatieff’s well-thought-out views really were.

Dave Robertson


Excellent newspaper

I grew up in Whitehorse, but moved away some 20 years ago. Recently someone brought back a copy of the Yukon News (July 21) and I quite enjoyed reading it. A critique of Stephen Harper keeping a lid on the media, a column by David Suzuki, in-depth international news from the New York Times! I wish the Calgary newspapers were as progressive! Keep up the good work.

Jim Vavra

Calgary, Alberta

Speaks for employees

Re Staff shortage,(The News, August 4):

OK, how about an employee’s perspective on this situation and I’m sure I speak for many employees here in Whitehorse.

Employers say they can’t get enough workers to run their businesses properly.

However, you hire us and then because of budget constraints, you won’t give us enough hours to survive on.

What is a dollar-an-hour raise when we don’t get any more hours to match it?

Then you have managers complaining that they are overworked and don’t get any days off because they’re not willing to give us any overtime hours, which many of us would willingly work.

Maybe you’d better take a second look at your beloved budgets and realize that it takes money to run a business properly.

Perhaps you should learn how to budget properly so that you can give your employees the hours they are willing to work which in turn would keep your businesses operable.

Then we, your employees, would be willing to stick with you rather than go out and look for jobs that offer more hours and benefits.

And oh yes, threatening to “let us go” if we dare ask for more hours or mention looking for a second job is not exactly a loyalty winning tactic on your part either.

Who’s going to work for you then?

While you all make your managerial salaries, how about those of us who have families to raise, bills to pay or are going to school?

Not all that easy with no hours from you.

Let’s see, what else? Oh yeah, if we do ask for time off, we get treated like dirt.

We work our butts off for you when we are at work and rather than being appreciated (which you tell us we are but we know better), you turn on us as if we’d committed a crime.

What’s the difference? You’re not giving us any hours anyway.

I would suggest that before “next season,” you all take some business admin and managerial courses so that perhaps you won’t run into this quandary again.

Name withheld by request