letter to the editor297

Defends the Games In response to your recent editorial, I would like to clarify several misconceptions.

Defends the Games

In response to your recent editorial, I would like to clarify several misconceptions.

The Whitehorse 2007 Canada Winter Games Host Society was established approximately three years ago with the mandate to deliver 22 national championships over a two-week period.

From day one we knew that there would be some challenges, but in the end hosting such an event would have huge benefits.

Starting with the bid for the Games back in 2001, the athletes’ village project was always budgeted as a net cost to the host society of $2.7 million.

The host society identified the athletes’ village as an issue early on in the planning of the Games and quickly arranged a group of individuals to help organize and plan accommodations to meet the needs of 1,800 athletes, coaches and managers.

In October 2004, the host society issued a request for proposal for an athletes village, with the key components as follows:

• Design and fabrication of 3,000 square metres of temporary accommodation space

• Identify (post-Games) end users

• Self-finance the construction of the athletes’ village

Of the proposals submitted, none resolved the self-financing issue, nor completely identified end users for the facility following conclusion of the Games.

Costs for other types of temporary accommodation were prohibitive.

In late 2004, the host society approached Whitehorse and the Yukon government.

The two permanent structures nearing completion up at the college are a result of tremendous foresight, commitment, and co-operation among multiple levels of government.

Of course, these facilities will provide accommodation for athletes during the Games, but more importantly they are a strategic investment in infrastructure that will benefit Whitehorse, the college and rural Yukon students wishing to further their education.

They will also provide affordable housing for those in need.

To put things in perspective, the Canada Games Centre was built and funded by three levels of government.

This facility is a focal point of the 2007 Canada Winter Games and will be used to host a variety of sports during our event.

However, to the credit of the funding partners, this was also a strategic investment in infrastructure that has been a huge benefit to the community since it opened and will continue to be an important part of the Whitehorse and Yukon landscape for years to come.

Already future sporting events are looking at this area because we have the infrastructure, such as the 2008 World Weightlifting Championships.

These events bring visitor dollars to the local economy and often investment dollars into the broader community.

The Canada Games are much more then a two-week sporting event that will come and go in a flash.

They are a wonderful opportunity to build a community in a great many ways.

Chris Morrissey, general manager, Whitehorse 2007 Canada Games

Dog fatality

spawns debate

Open letter to Dr. Marina Alpeza and the Copper Road Veterinary Clinic,

Your letter to the editor on September 11, reeks of the lack of compassion afforded to me by both your answering service and staff.

The very fact that you included in your letter that your answering service was “frustrated” by my initial call, and could not get my name because I was “hysterical and agitated,” just illustrates that the operator, and you, cannot empathize with someone that has just been through a traumatic experience and was under the impression she was losing the most precious being in her life.

Perhaps your time would be better spent training your staff how people behave in traumatic situation and when they are grieving, rather than writing full-page letters to the editor painting me as an unreasonable, raving lunatic.

I can assure you that I am a reasonable, rational person and, under no circumstances, “refused” to give your operator my name. I was traumatized and devastated.

And I was, as you pointed out, on the phone with Dr. Ray for almost 10 minutes. I was begging him to come see my dog.

He complained of not being able to get there, so I was offering to pick him up. It was already 7:30 a.m., and I was panicking. It had been over 35 minutes since I had initially called, and he was telling me that he was not coming in, the other doctor was, and he would be there at 8 a.m., his start time.

His message was more than crystal clear, hence the 10 minutes of begging.

And if he was confused about whether I meant a child or a dog, then perhaps someone so easily perplexed should not have a “Dr.” in front of his name.

And, as far as chalking the problem up to Northwestel’s service, perhaps you should redirect that blame onto your staff.

I told your answering service at 6:55 a.m. to tell the vet that I was on my way to the clinic, and my dog was unconscious and had been mauled.

Whether or not Dr. Ray could get a hold of me on my cellphone is irrelevant. What part of that message did he not understand?

Christine Kallikragas



We were disappointed in the coverage in the Yukon News September 8th on the mobile abattoir.

The wording of the heading “Lang’s costly killing machine” spoke volumes on the negative bias that the reporter carried throughout most of the article.

This is unfortunate, because in many ways the purchase and operation of a mobile abattoir in the territory is very much a “good news” story.

The following are some of the reasons why the mobile abattoir, by providing an inspected product, is a good addition to the agriculture infrastructure of the Yukon:

1) It promotes locally raised meat, which means less environmental impact as local meat doesn’t have to be trucked up the highway;

2) it supports the local community of farmers instead of sending our purchasing power ‘down south’;

3) it helps local consumers, who are interested in hormone free, antibiotic-free meat make that purchase by enabling producers to get their product into the grocery stores, and

4) it enables local restaurant owners and wilderness tourism operators to be able to offer their clients locally raised meat.

It is true that there are a few glitches that need to be worked out on the fee structure of the abattoir in order to make it viable for producers, but we feel confident that the manager of the unit, government and industry want to work together on this and come up with a workable solution.

We think its time that we focused on something more positive instead of picking apart something that can be fixed.


Barbara and Bill Drury