Play fair with the Peel

Play fair with the Peel Open letter to Premier Darrell Pasloski: When I heard Resources Minister Brad Cathers recently state in the legislature, "Our position on the Peel was very clear before the election," I was filled with outrage. During the CBC's e

Open letter to Premier Darrell Pasloski:

When I heard Resources Minister Brad Cathers recently state in the legislature, “Our position on the Peel was very clear before the election,” I was filled with outrage.

During the CBC’s election forum on Oct. 5, 2011, when questioned about your stance on the Peel, you stated that the government is not done with its consultation on the Peel and therefore you could not say whether it supports the planning commission’s recommendations or not. Quite clear indeed!

Please show me exactly when and where you stated that you would scrap the planning commission’s report and present one of your own design for us? You can’t, because you never said anything like that. Yet that is exactly what happened. And, most disturbingly, it is obvious that it was your plan all along.

Don’t be deceived into believing you can so easily rewrite history to your own fancy. Our memories are not that short, nor are we imbeciles.

I am flabbergasted at the amazing level of disrespect for the wishes of the majority of the electorate exhibited by the Yukon Party government in recent times. The Fentie government before you fought tooth and nail to mould the results of the commission to its own liking, as when Dennis Fentie personally berated the Department of Environment to alter its submission to one that allowed for development. That was supposed to be a hands-off affair.

That same government desperately tried to suppress the fact that the commission’s results showed 87 per cent of Yukoners wanted 100 per cent protection for the Peel. Conservation groups had to use an access-to-information move to find that out.

Mr. Cathers learned his digs from Dennis Fentie, perhaps the biggest bully Yukon politics has ever known (although it is disappointing that you, Mr. Pasloski, adopted those ways with such ease). I can understand that small steps over time can deceive us into conducting ourselves in unethical ways we previously never thought possible. So perhaps you’re unaware of how far your government has stooped.

When you so dictatorially remove the right of a First Nations’ veto power over development on their traditional lands, you invite court injunctions, thus forcing legal battles that waste everyone’s time and money.

When you so undemocratically ignore the wishes of a vast majority of Yukoners and impose your own personal agenda, you court acts of civil disobedience.

The issue is not which plan for the Peel is best for the Yukon. The issue is how your government has usurped the democratic process in determining the level of protection for the Peel.

Give us back our democratically formulated plan, involving years of careful and fair consultation. And if you cannot do that and feel your plan is the one that represents the views of a majority of Yukoners, then let’s have a binding referendum on the matter. You know it is the only fair and democratic way to go.

Jim Borisenko

Tagish Lake