The Dawson bridge
Re Dawsonites lament Yukon Party’s shattered promises (New, Sept. 22):
Reporter Genesee Keevil states that I was opposed to the bridge in Dawson.
Truth is, I was opposed to the location of the bridge. A bridge in the location of the current ferry crossing would have terminated on Front Street, which has a very limited traffic capacity, thus rendering this bridge nearly useless for serious economic development west of Dawson City.
Any obstructions in the Yukon River increase the chance of ice jams during breakups. To build a bridge upriver from Dawson would have solved both problems. The cheapest way is, in most cases, not the best way.
Jorn Meier, NDP candidate, Klondike
Conservatives slight literacy
This week, the federal government announced $1 billion in budget cuts.
Less then one year after survey results showed that 42 per cent of adult Canadians struggle with literacy, the government has identified literacy as one of the areas that, apparently, does not provide value for money.
Specifically, they have decided to cut local and regional funding, the very money used to reach learners.
Identifying literacy as of little value is interesting considering that research has shown that improving the literacy rates by one per cent would increase the GDP by $1.5 billion — ironically, slightly more than the Conservatives’ budget cuts.
The cost of illiteracy to our country is enormous.
People with low literacy are more likely to access social assistance, to have poor health and to end up facing the justice system.
Did the federal government take this into consideration before cutting literacy spending by almost $18 million?
These cuts are going to impact millions of people.
The most frustrating part of the budget cuts is the way they have publicly defended their choices by painting literacy programs as worthless and implying they waste tax money.
The government has chosen to use words like “inefficient” to justify choices and ideologies.
Ask a learner if the money used to help them read was wasteful. Take a moment and think about how much your ability to read is worth.
Apparently, according to this government it isn’t much.
Sierra van der Meer, Yukon Literacy Coalition, Whitehorse
Don’t neglect school
I would like to bring attention to the upcoming school council elections taking place October 2, 2006 throughout the territory.
A few reasons to pay attention to this event and to get involved:
School councils play an important role because they have the ability to make decisions that have an impact on the direction and quality of public education.
School councils are elected bodies that can make decisions independent of the territorial government.
School councils address public education issues that are important to their community.
A locally elected school council ensures the community has a say in what and how the students learn.
School councils help to build the social strength of their community.
School councils keep the public in public education.
For more details, contact Elections Yukon at 667-8683 or toll-free 1 866 668-8683.
Chris Bookless, chair, Association of Yukon School Councils, Boards and Committees, Whitehorse
I would like to thank very much all those involved in the resuscitation of Lenny Cote on September 10th, and allowing me to spend more time in this dimension.
Thank you to the paramedics for the quick response, and to Drs. Bamford and Chau, Lisa the RN and all the others involved who have been patient, warm and very professional.
Special thanks to Dr. Todd and Mrs. Potter.
Love you all.
the primary issue
This letter has only one issue to discuss: accountability of elected officials.
I am not talking about corruption, graft, or any such obvious difficulties, but rather accountability to the electorate, to the constituents each member of the legislature is elected to represent.
Members of legislature need to be accountable to those who elected them.
Currently, once a member is elected there is no recourse should they prove incapable or unwilling to represent the very people who elected them or be taking a direction in policy unacceptable to their constituents.
This may create a situation in which a segment of our population is not being properly represented in the legislature. A simple (not easy) but safe method of recall can be instituted.
The second accountability issue I raise is that of members who decide to split with the party ranks and cross over to another party.
If we, in the Yukon, are in support of party politics then we must create a situation whereby the residents of any area are properly represented by the party of their choice.
Rather than force an individual member to adhere to policies they cannot support with integrity, or to allow for their constituents to be represented by a party that is not of their choice, a method for appeasing both can be created.
I am asking that your party take a stand on these two issues by adding to your political platform the following:
1) Institute a method of recall. Legislate that a petition containing 50 per cent plus one eligible voter from any riding would result in the recall of the elected member and a byelection being called immediately.
According to http://archives.cbc.ca the current government was elected to a majority government with only 40.4 per cent of the popular vote so achieving a 50-per-cent-plus-one petition would prove substantial.
2) Protect the constituents from “party shopping.” Should any member wish to leave the ranks of the party he or she is currently a member of, a byelection is called immediately. In this way the residents of the riding affected will be represented by the party of their choice or decide to support an independent.
Please let me know your response. I may be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org