Letter to the Editor

Rail link to ruin Re feds don’t support rail link, The News March 17: Kells Boland’s remark that “If you can get Bonnet Plume…

Rail link to ruin

Re feds don’t support rail link, The News March 17:

Kells Boland’s remark that “If you can get Bonnet Plume into production, my railroad’s a slam dunk”) gave me pause.

The last time a “slam dunk” was promised in the news was when Bush’s CIA director assured him that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

And we all know how that went!

The only “slam dunk” will be the certainty of despoiling a priceless intact watershed.

In an era of diminishing and threatened wilderness, the Peel Watershed stands out as worthy of large-scale conservation complete with formal protected areas and designation as a Biosphere Reserve.

There is no business case for the railroad.

There is a compelling social, business and ecological case for full protection of the Three Rivers of the Peel watershed.

Leave the ore in the ground, build a railroad where it is needed and leave the land and water undisturbed in their natural state for future generations.

This is too magnificent and precious a place to dig up.

 

Scott Henderson,

Whitehorse

Bourassa rises above the mire

Open letter to mayor Ernie Bourassa,

I am writing to commend you for your straightforward endorsement of the Whitehorse Official Community Plan with regards to the status of the Porter Creek greenbelt.

The plan was developed with extensive consultation during which the importance of this greenbelt to surrounding residents was thoroughly documented.

To uphold public process is the mark of a statesman as opposed to a politician, who is there for the glory.

A statesman is one who responds to the lobbyist with, “I am bound by the guidelines, plan, recommendations etc.” of whatever system has been established.

However, such a person will not get the ego buffing that his position affords if he is prepared to act arbitrarily for a particular interest.

Those who remain ‘open for business’ like to be courted by the private sector and preen themselves on the supplicants they attract.

‘Lobbyist’ comes from the Latin “lobbia” — an anteroom where petitioners thronged the senators as they left the forum.

The Yukon Party has tried mightily to bring the days of Rome back to us.

The members have always found due public process extremely annoying and have done their best to undo, muzzle or ignore it.

Such people are largely products of the good old days when you could bypass a community and go straight to the minister to get things moving in your direction.

Several of them have confided to me their longing for those simple times.

By contrast, mayor Bourassa, your position on the Porter Creek Greenbelt and your stated ambition to resurvey it to forestall further governance by stealth was a refreshing ray of integrity in this bleak period of Yukon politics.

Doug Urquhart

Whitehorse

Karp slams the working poor

Regarding Rick Karp’s comment that he was “furious” that the minimum wage had been raised to $8.25, I am sure that the president of the Whitehorse Chamber of Commerce is not half as furious as the people he insulted by his statements.

To suggest that $9.25 is anywhere near a livable wage in the Yukon is ludicrous, to say the least.

It is interesting to note that Karp seems to emphasize that this will mainly affect students.

I don’t quite understand the logic behind this statement. To the best of my knowledge students still have to maintain a livable standard while they are being students.

Many are not living at home, may be single parents, some are helping out other family members.

Karp goes on to say that this “ridiculous” increase will lead to unemployment. This is truly laughable.

The miniscule increase will not put any more money in the hands of the workers.

The people affected will spend the money as a small help, probably in the same businesses that have been employing them.

Minimum wage earners are not socking it away in RRSPs, living in Copper Ridge or driving SUVs.

They are barely surviving. What is so difficult to understand about this?

The $8.25 an hour translates to $66 a day.

After deductions, this is roughly $50 per day. That’s a $1,000 a month clear with a full-time job.

Oh yeah, no benefits either, don’t forget. I bet that salary would put a cramp in your lifestyle.

I would hope an apology to the hard-working minimum-wage earners will be forthcoming.

David Mills

Whitehorse

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