We simply need to realize that there are not many large untouched wilderness areas left in North America. The Peel Watershed is such a precious one, that is culturally and ecologically very significant. It is one of the last true wilderness areas left in the Yukon, Canada and the world.
It should be clear to most people that almost unregulated heavy industrial development, and the mentality that comes with it, has destroyed many of our intact ecosystems in the past, and continues to do so at this present moment. To counterbalance that, we need to protect some of the last intact wilderness areas in Canada from heavy industrial development.
It is also well documented that we, the taxpayers, have to clean up the structural and chemical mess these industries leave behind. Consequently, we need to make sure that we protect still-intact ecosystems like the Peel Watershed, and be quite clear about the fact that heavy-footprint industrial activities have no place there at all.
Other activities, that are continuing to happen there, leave almost no footprint and are compatible with existing ecosystem structures. The report of the Peel Watershed commission seems to indicate just that. Furthermore, the majority of the people in the Yukon want the Peel Watershed 80 to 100 per pent protected. First Nations clearly stated that they favour 100 per cent protection of the Peel.
So far everything would be fairly straight forward. But along come Yukon Party politics, which again are completely disregarding conservation, consultation and First Nations, and their tactic will result in the dismantling and degradation of one of the last significant wilderness areas in the Yukon.
I urge the members of the Peel Watershed commission, First Nations and all conservation-minded people not to let themselves be bullied by the usual Yukon Party tactics. It is of great significance to leave the Peel Watershed untouched from further industrial development. We simply cannot afford to lose more of these wild places for short-term gain and speculation.