Pay attention to the words of the opposition when it comes to the Peel

Perhaps I am reading too much into it, or is it a slip that gives us an insight into the Yukon Liberal political apparatchik?

Perhaps I am reading too much into it, or is it a slip that gives us an insight into the Yukon Liberal political apparatchik?

With the Peel watershed’s trip to Ottawa to our top court, opposition members sounded out against the Yukon Party’s bungled version of a land claims agreement. 

Liberal Leader Sandy Silver indicated that the Liberals would support the original Peel plan but then added: “When these decisions are left to the Supreme Court of Canada to decide, we lose our ability and responsibility to negotiate our shared future through a local lens.”

So here’s what concerns me in that sentence: when I hear “our ability and responsibility to negotiate” and “local lens”  I wonder if Mr. Silver’s “our” ability is the same as Mr. Pasloski’s “our.” You know, the paternalistic our that decides on deals behind closed doors in secrecy in what’s best for the present government, the party members and its boosters, or is it in the broader sense that is inclusive of all Yukoners. 

Now I am not one to deny that some things should be left to Yukoners (inclusive of First Nations) to decide. After all, we live here.

For example, we don’t need another intrusive and contemptible bill such as S-6, recently cosmetically amended by the federal Liberals to appease, when in reality the whole bill should have been scrapped as it was not done in up front consultations with Yukoners. The federal Liberals for all their talk of changey-hopey, have a strong affection for Mr. Harper’s laws and bills and are remiss in revoking them.

Now when it comes to a question as grand as the Peel watershed, the lens should be opened as wide as possible as it affects us all nationally if not globally. Suffice to say that even a made-in-Yukon agreement would bring in national and international bodies; NGOs, multiple levels of governments and corporations et al. What we do here affects our Alaskan, BC and NWT neighbours, and Canadians in a broader sense. 

In this globalization age, what we need in a leader, and in a party, is not one who is narrowly focused locally, but one who sees our place nationally and internationally, whose broader vision ensures we are never second guessed for what we believe in, nor ever taken for granted. We had enough of this with Mr. Pasloski’s Yukon Party, and if this is Mr. Silver’s Liberal Party vision, we certainly don’t need it nor want it. And if the will of the people takes us to the Supreme Court, then so be it.

Louis R Gagnon

Whitehorse

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