Setting the record straight

Setting the record straight Re Krysta Meekins' April 16 letter in the Star, No Misstep From Those Who Fell Silent: Where do you get your information from? The Yukon would be in deep debt if the rest of Canada did not subsidize us. A big part of that deb

Re Krysta Meekins’ April 16 letter in the Star, No Misstep From Those Who Fell Silent:

Where do you get your information from?

The Yukon would be in deep debt if the rest of Canada did not subsidize us. A big part of that debt comes from cleanup costs for old mines, not just Faro, which is the main contributor to the negative numbers. Even today’s cleanup deposits that mines have to pay would likely be not enough in the end.

The royalties these mines pay to the Yukon are less than the campground fees that the government collects. These mines are registered outside the Yukon and the oil companies would likely be as well and therefore would pay no taxes here.

Only 30 per cent of the workforce in these mines are Yukoners. The rest pay taxes Outside. The so-called “spinoffs” are minute, only resulting in relatively small purchases here. The big equipment is bought Outside. Even the catering is done by big companies from Outside.

The potential destruction of land and ecosystems as well as the pollution of underground aquifers and surface waters will be tremendous. There would be long-term effects; possibly for hundreds of years. Do you want to leave this kind of inheritance to your child? All this, for the short-term gains by a few, such as the roughnecks who get frozen up on derricks, slogging in the mud and exposed to deadly chemicals spilled on them by fracking, and the company’s officials who sit high and dry in their glass towers.

Your so-called “misstep” was a “good step,” because our government finally saw that and acted accordingly and we thank them for it. Now, if they act accordingly and put more effort and funds into renewable resources, we may thank them for a long time.

As concerned Yukoners we hope the government may change its direction in other areas too, by listening to the majority of citizens and not to the totally unbalanced 40 per cent so-called “majority” that voted them in.

You should come join or just come to one of our meetings. We are not just single-minded, dominant, aggressive, anti-industry opponents. We are people from a variety of political colours.

We are not against development; we are just against unplanned, hasty development. We want to give the Yukon intact to future generations, so they too can enjoy clean water, clean air and healthy ecosystems.

We want the mining and oil companies to pay their due share on what they are taking from our ground, and after their operations are finished, leave it as it was.

Werner Rhein

Mount Lorne