Letter to the Editor

Happy campers We 13 women hikers, known as the Tough Old Birds, visited Whitehorse in early August. Ranging in age from 55 to 77, we came from…

Happy campers

We 13 women hikers, known as the Tough Old Birds, visited Whitehorse in early August.

Ranging in age from 55 to 77, we came from Montreal, Hamilton, Ingersoll, Burlington, Thunder Bay, Medicine Hat, North Vancouver and Switzerland.

We spent time in your city before and after our week’s exciting adventure at Dechenla Wilderness Lodge.

We were pleased with the excellent service we received from the River View Hotel, Alkan Air, the High Country Inn Restaurant, Edgewater Restaurant and the stores we visited.

Thank you, Whitehorse for helping make our trip north a comfortable and memorable one.

Louise MacLennan (on behalf of the Tough Old Birds)

via e-mail

Isn’t Parliament

for the people?

We are about to head into a fall federal election.

The polls are suggesting we will end up with a similar minority government for Canada. So why are having an election now?

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has said Parliament is dysfunctional. Of course he blames the opposition parties that will not co-operate.

And the opposition parties blame the Conservatives for making everything a confidence motion and advancing their own agenda only.

No one is taking responsibility. This is exactly the opposite of what I expect of our government!

Every elected official should be responsible to make government work.

Now that the political landscape is broadening, we may expect minority governments more often.

As long as parties work to compromise, strike a balance and reflect views from across the country, then minority governments can be not only functional, but also productive and progressive.

Lately though, Parliament is stuck playing party politics, and it is forgetting that it should be representing the people.

Canadians deserve better.

John Streicker, Green Party Candidate for the Yukon, Whitehorse

Harness youth to get

 shelter funding

Open Letter to Vicki Durrant, executive director of Youth of Today Society:

Thank you for your selfless dedication to the many homeless young people in our society.

I was thinking of ways to help you secure funding from the territorial government, which seems to be confused over the worthiness of your organization’s long quest to obtain a permanent shelter for these unfortunate youth — no “fully developed business plan” according to a government official (Yukon News, September 3rd).

I think I may have stumbled upon a couple of avenues worth exploring.

It seems to me the Yukon government, moneyed corporations and many members of the Yukon public are more amenable to, and less confused about, supporting causes with athletic connections, rather than social ones.

I am aware of a Yukon organization whose athletes, like some of the youth you care for, would consider themselves lucky to have even cheap plywood boxes over their heads.

These athletes do not have much of a voice of their own either.

The directors of this organization seem to have found a way to tap into the public money pipeline (for which I can imagine they must have had one hell of a business plan).

They might possibly be willing to let you have a fleeting glimpse of this mysterious and sacred document, should they be approached with all due humility and respect.

There is only one catch, which would involve the youth having to ‘earn their keep’ (as athletes) by pulling heavy sleds 160 kilometres a day in 40-below weather for a couple of weeks each winter.

Many of them may get hurt along the way, and a few of them may die, but, according to local conventional wisdom, the other athletes very much enjoy this activity, despite its pitfalls.

Package tours could even be sold to outsiders who would like to witness such a fun winter sport.

Failing that, you could serve as co-ordinator for a locally held, multi-million dollar sporting event.

You would surely be inundated with government and corporate sponsorship and may gain, as a spin-off, a veritable ‘mansion’ for the youth, in terms of infrastructure.

And (who knows?), although it goes without saying that your very considerable efforts are not being done in order to build up your own name, reputation or personal worth, there may even be an Order of Canada membership in it for you.

Let me know how it goes.

Good luck!

Terry Cumming


Peaceful puffing

Re: Cannabis crusader calls on Whitehorse:

The wackos in pot prohibition are the cretins who support a marijuana policy based on utter nonsense.

“…persons using this narcotic smoke the dry leaves of the plant, which has the effect of driving them completely insane. The addict loses all sense of moral responsibility.

“Addicts to this drug, while under its influence, are immune to pain. While in this condition they become raving maniacs and are liable to kill or indulge in any forms of violence to other persons, using the most savage methods of cruelty without, as said before, any sense of moral responsibility.”

Emily Murphy, writing under the pen name of “Janey Canuck.”

Nowhere in RCMP reports do we hear about any violence or truly insane behavior associated with pot smoking. The fact that “marijuana gatherings” are always totally peaceful disproves the alibis used to keep marijuana laws on the books.

The only notable effect of marijuana use seems to be “the munchies.”

Apparently, preventing marijuana-enhanced appetites is sufficient reason for the RCMP to abandon all truth and honor.

Redford Givens, webmaster, DRCNet Online Library of Drug Policy,

San Francisco