letter to the editor315

Children aren’t the issue Re Consider the children (The News, July 31): Michele Campbell, your comments are unfounded and reactionary.

Children aren’t the issue

Re Consider the children (The News, July 31):

Michele Campbell, your comments are unfounded and reactionary.

For you to say that Dean Tower and the other petitioners hate children is unfounded.

Some of the residents, for your information, are in occupations that involve the care and development of children.

Further, when have you asked us whether or not we hate children? To say that we hate children is unfounded and out of order!

You have insinuated that we support “drug houses.”

Your comment is reactionary. Have you not heard of the Downtown Residents Association? Or, about the rally that took place on July 29th at Rotary Park?

Your comments are only attempts to incite contempt from those who would read your letter.

Yes, we have our reasons. Our reasons are personal, born out of our experience that comes from living in the downtown neighbourhood, with our relationship with one another, and from our research.

Lori Austin ought to have done her research prior to attempting to start up a day-care facility.

What kind of person will engage in a venture and not first see if it is feasible?

We, the residents, will not bear the burden of someone else’s shame!

You ought to have done your research before making your comments.

I say in your words: “Shame on (you)!” I invite you to attend the public hearing on August 14th: Meet us, talk to us, learn the facts.

This issue should not have become what it has become. It’s a simple question of zoning and the will of the people. Zoning does not support it and the people do not want it.

 

Ken Besler

Whitehorse

Something’s fishy in council

Lori Austin is lucky indeed. We agree with this comment of councillor Dave Austin who helped Lori pass first reading on her rezoning application for a day-care centre, a business without a residence, in our Old Town residential neighbourhood.

She is lucky in many ways. Last week the majority of city councillors and planners were on her side, trying to shove this business development down our throats.

As it turns out city planners even suggested this prime residential lot as an ideal location for a day-care centre.

Who are these politicians and city planners who seemingly consult with citizens on downtown zoning plans guaranteeing them peaceful residential neigbourhoods in the Official Community Plan, while they cleverly support spot zoning applications all over the place?

These allow for business developments in residential areas and reduce the OCP to a mockery.

Who are these people who know for many years that the overwhelming majority of landowners around here want to safeguard and preserve the residential character of this area, but still they try to further their own agenda corrupting the democratic process by supporting projects of individuals?

What happened here? Who is supposed to serve whom?

We all pay taxes, not just the developers.

Last time we checked, the city of Whitehorse wasn’t a banana republic yet. We are entitled to be heard and truthfully represented by our city council.

Hats off to councillors Bev Buckway and Dave Stockdale who have the integrity to stand up for this neighbourhood and truly represent the wishes of its citizens.

Perhaps it is time to start a petition and ask city council to remove several of the conditional uses from our RD1 zoning.

Almost all of them are clearly incompatible with peaceful residential living and contradict the intent of the OCP.

By definition conditional uses have to comply with other land uses and be consistent with the OCP.

Astrid and Felix Vogt

Whitehorse

Two objectives, two budgets

Statistics Canada would like to clarify certain issues in your July 21 article: Interim statement renews surplus-deficit debate.

That suggests that we were wrong in calculating a financial deficit for the Yukon for the fiscal year ending March 31.

In reality, neither set of numbers is wrong. It was entirely possible that our calculations would show a deficit position for the Yukon, while public accounts of the territory’s government would show a surplus.

The primary issue is differences in accounting practices.

Provincial and territorial governments use different accounting methods to varying degrees.

As a result, the financial data published by one government are not completely comparable to those of another.

Statistics Canada’s goal is to produce financial data for governments so the financial position of one can be compared to the rest. We do so by applying a single set of accounting practices to all governments across time.

Not all governments in Canada have yet fully adopted accrual accounting conventions. Our accounting standards are therefore based on modified cash accounting to facilitate comparisons.

These standards follow the generally accepted accounting principles of the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants.

There are various areas in which these accounting practices may result in differences between our numbers and those of the territorial or provincial governments.

For example:

Statistics Canada may not take into account certain liabilities that the Yukon government has fully booked, nor transactions that have occurred since the original budget forecast was made.

There may be differences in the choice of organizations in the public sector whose finances are included in calculating surplus and deficit.

We follow international standards by in including any organization that is controlled by government. These may or may not have been included by the governments in their calculations.

Examples of such organizations are workplace compensation insurance boards, legal aid services, hospitals, public schools, etc.

Accounting procedures also differ in terms of rules associated with government business enterprises.

We include as government revenue only the portion of profits that are remitted to governments, and, hence, are available for programming spending.

Our news release of June 15, which did indicate that the Yukon had a small deficit, pointed out clearly that our statistics may not agree with the figures published in government financial statements.

The government of the Yukon did not choose its accounting methods to achieve comparability with other governments, nor is there any reason that it should.

However, Statistics Canada did choose its methods with comparability in mind. Different objectives, different results.

Statistics Canada has been producing nationally comparable government finance data for many years.

The same provincial and territorial officials who compile statistics for their province frequently make use of our data when they need to make unambiguous comparisons from one province to another.

We would appreciate it if you drew this to the attention of your readers.

Catherine Boies, director of the Public Institutes Division

Ottawa