letter to the editor373

Save the goldpanner Open letter to Bill Barnie, Bill, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. Give your head a shake.

Save the goldpanner

Open letter to Bill Barnie,

Bill, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

Give your head a shake. I find it hard to believe that you would attempt to replace a Yukon icon.

The goldpanner represents all those miners who opened up the Yukon Territory for all of us who came after the gold rush.

They built Dawson City, Whitehorse and Caribou Crossing and were the reason for the paddlewheel era and the building of the railroad.

You seem to be ignoring the “Byblow blunder” and we have a “Barnie blunder” to go with it.

If I might suggest a direction for your boundless energy, you could become a watchdog over the waterfront development for the taxpayers or start a petition to cancel the proposed traffic circle at Hospital Road and Lewes Boulevard and avoid a total traffic jam.

Keep our elected officials aware that they are accountable to the people and better listen.

You might even get the public to bring pressure to bear with the downtown traffic congestion by suggesting Fourth Avenue be one-way south from Two-Mile Hill , and from Second Avenue be one-way northbound.

A lot of cities have smooth-flowing traffic with this type of layout. You really have to get out more, Bill.

Murray Biggin


Raven maniac

I applaud Bill Barnie for his proposal to create a unique Yukon raven licence plate.

There is a certain mystique about the Canadian North and a distinctive plate would be an effective way to reflect our colourful Yukon spirit.

Although other symbols reflect the North such as the gold panner, the gold rush was but a blip on the face of time.

Raven was here long before the gold rush and is truly symbolic of our cultural fabric.

Perhaps a few other designs could be considered such as a northwest coast design?

At any rate, that’s my two cents worth. As for me, I already have my own raven plate. It was one of the many raven-related items given to me 20 years ago during the great ‘Raven for territorial bird’ debate.

It is a vanity plate that simply says:  RAVEN.

At that time I became known as the Yukon Raven Lady for my involvement in the legislature adopting Bill #12, The Raven Act, in November 1986.

At that time the northern raven became our official Yukon territorial bird. Has it really been 20 years?

Hmmm, perhaps it’s time we started using this impressive symbol on something like … oh say our Yukon licence plates.  

pj Johnson


We need Hardy

In your March 3 editorial, Yukoners enjoy clear choices, you allege that the New Democratic Party under Todd Hardy has moved to the left, to a place where Gary McRobb and Eric Fairclough could simply not follow. I strongly disagree. 

Last spring, I was more than a little nervous when, for the first time, I attended the annual Yukon NDP spring convention.

Being a business owner, a proven friend of the placer mining industry after leading the Dawson City Chamber of Commerce in the struggle with the department of Fisheries and Oceans over the Yukon Placer Authorization, and being an active member of the Klondike Visitors Association, I half-expected at least some reservation or resentment aimed at me.

To my surprise, I was welcomed with open arms and elected to sit on the executive. Ever since, Hardy has always been very supportive. 

Unlike other party leaders in the Yukon and their top-down approach, Hardy includes the general membership in discussions on policies and platform development.

Within the Yukon NDP, caucus is not the exclusive, almighty forum where decisions are made. Members matter. For two ex-members of the NDP caucus this was too hard to swallow.

You agree in your editorial, that Hardy, by removing McRobb and Fairclough from caucus, did what he had to do.

In my opinion, with this decision, Hardy demonstrated once again, that he has the guts and the integrity that’s needed, and that he has what I like to see in a party leader. 

As an ethical elected representative, you have to balance two sometimes-conflicting loyalties.

When it comes to concrete issues, as a good representative, you are responsible to everybody in your riding, even the people who did not vote for you.

But regarding your party affiliation, it is the people who voted for you and the people who helped you win this vote that you are responsible to.

It appears that neither McRobb nor Fairclough can make this distinction.

A couple of weeks back, the Yukon News ran an article that stated that the people in the Yukon trust their politicians considerably less than anybody else in the country.

Voters should trust their representatives; voters should have reason to trust their representatives.

It is imperative that our politicians, regardless of political affiliation, work together to restore our faith in them and our democratic institutions.

I have been sitting on the fence for quite a while now, deliberating if I should seek nomination as NDP candidate for the territorial election.

The way Hardy handled last week’s crisis gave me all the confidence I needed to finally decide and sign the papers.

I have a cause I believe in. Thank you, Todd!

Jorn Meier

Dawson City