Open your mind

Open your mind Open letter to Premier Darrell Pasloski: It's sad to live in a world where the interests of corporate capitalism have hijacked the agendas of what were once at least nominally democratic governments. The federal and Yukon Party government

Open letter to Premier Darrell Pasloski:

It’s sad to live in a world where the interests of corporate capitalism have hijacked the agendas of what were once at least nominally democratic governments.

The federal and Yukon Party governments are now all about circumventing democratic process so that, among other things, any impediments to unbridled resource extraction can be removed. Environmental protections are dumbed down or eliminated while the inherent rights of indigenous people are dismissed out of hand.

Apologies for residential schools by Harper mean nothing in the face of wholesale exploitation of traditional aboriginal lands.

The mass internment of First Nations youth may have ended, but the injustice of colonization continues.

As members of the dominant culture, we want to disavow any association with the policies of the Harper and Pasloski governments and their total disregard for aboriginal rights and the health of our environment. Mr. Premier: You don’t speak for us and you shame and defame us all with your anti-democratic and colonialist values.

Lets talk balance. The defense of your “plan” for the Peel River watershed is one of the most vacuous arguments we’ve ever encountered. Because objections have been raised on both ends of the political spectrum, balance has somehow been achieved?

Can you open your mind to what’s happening globally? Industrial activity threatens us all with irreversible climate change. Habitat destruction, pollution and climate change destroy numerous species every day and whole eco-systems disappear forever. We’re already way past the point of anything like meaningful balance.

Adopting a global perspective is key. We’re now faced with two choices. We can join the mindless frenzy of resource extraction and accelerate the destruction, or we can do things differently in Yukon, setting an example for the mitigation of the worst impacts of climate change and environmental degradation.

Our best chance for a survivable future is to maintain intact ecosystems, and our territory is exceptionally well endowed with vast pristine watersheds. We have a rare opportunity to preserve and protect invaluable wilderness areas, and yet you’re determined to squander it all, just as you continue to squander whatever goodwill remains between the Yukon government and First Nations.

If you want “balance,” focus on real diversity in our economy instead of perpetuating a gold rush-era mentality.

Mining in our DNA? Not in mine, and not in the DNA of the indigenous people who lived in harmony with this land for millennia.

Move out of the past and recognize that the destructive potential of resource extraction make it the last option we should consider. As for oil and gas, nothing short of a total ban on production and exploration makes sense in an era of cataclysmic climate change.

What we need now is vision, imagination and respect for the natural world and its protectors, not a status quo that harkens back to some of the worst abuses perpetrated against First Nations and our precious environment. Find your heart, open your mind, and get on the right side of history.

Jan Forde and Heather Jones


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley gives a COVID-19 update during a press conference in Whitehorse on May 26. The Yukon government announced two new cases of COVID-19 in the territory with a press release on Oct. 19. (Alistair Maitland Photography)
Two new cases of COVID-19 announced in Yukon

Contact tracing is complete and YG says there is no increased risk to the public

Yukon Energy in Whitehorse on April 8. Yukon Energy faced a potential “critical” fuel shortage in January due to an avalanche blocking a shipping route from Skagway to the Yukon, according to an email obtained by the Yukon Party and questioned in the legislature on Oct. 14. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Yukon Energy faced ‘critical’ fuel shortage last January due to avalanche

An email obtained by the Yukon Party showed energy officials were concerned

Jeanie McLean (formerly Dendys), the minister responsible for the Women’s Directorate speaks during legislative assembly in Whitehorse on Nov. 27, 2017. “Our government is proud to be supporting Yukon’s grassroots organizations and First Nation governments in this critical work,” said McLean of the $175,000 from the Yukon government awarded to four community-based projects aimed at preventing violence against Indigenous women. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Yukon government gives $175k to projects aimed at preventing violence against Indigenous women

Four projects were supported via the Prevention of Violence against Aboriginal Women Fund

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: You don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone

When I was a kid, CP Air had a monopoly on flights… Continue reading

EDITORIAL: Don’t let the City of Whitehorse distract you

A little over two weeks after Whitehorse city council voted to give… Continue reading

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

Northwestel has released the proposed prices for its unlimited plans. Unlimited internet in Whitehorse and Carcross could cost users between $160.95 and $249.95 per month depending on their choice of package. (Yukon News file)
Unlimited internet options outlined

Will require CRTC approval before Northwestel makes them available

Legislative assembly on the last day of the fall sitting in Whitehorse. Yukon’s territorial government will sit for 45 days this sitting instead of 30 days to make up for lost time caused by COVID-19 in the spring. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Legislative assembly sitting extended

Yukon’s territorial government will sit for 45 days this sitting. The extension… Continue reading

Today’s mailbox: Mad about MAD

Letters to the editor published Oct. 16, 2020

Alkan Air hangar in Whitehorse. Alkan Air has filed its response to a lawsuit over a 2019 plane crash that killed a Vancouver geologist on board, denying that there was any negligence on its part or the pilot’s. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Alkan Air responds to lawsuit over 2019 crash denying negligence, liability

Airline filed statement of defence Oct. 7 to lawsuit by spouse of geologist killed in crash

Whitehorse city council members voted Oct. 13 to decline an increase to their base salaries that was set to be made on Jan. 1. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Council declines increased wages for 2021

Members will not have wages adjusted for CPI

A vehicle is seen along Mount Sima Road in Whitehorse on May 12. At its Oct. 13 meeting, Whitehorse city council approved the third reading for two separate bylaws that will allow the land sale and transfer agreements of city-owned land — a 127-square-metre piece next to 75 Ortona Ave. and 1.02 hectares of property behind three lots on Mount Sima Road. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Whitehorse properties could soon expand

Land sale agreements approved by council

Most Read