Skky responds

Skky responds To be frank, I feel that the Yukon News has been less than fair in its stories concerning the Skky Hotel. In at least two stories it has written, we have been made to look like we are some sort of sordid Mafia family. This is unfair and unt

To be frank, I feel that the Yukon News has been less than fair in its stories concerning the Skky Hotel. In at least two stories it has written, we have been made to look like we are some sort of sordid Mafia family.

This is unfair and untrue, and whilst it may titillate your readers and provide fodder for gossip, it is trash journalism at its worst, and shows a discriminatory and blatant bias as against those of Italian Canadian background.

In Toronto alone there are more than 500,000 Italian Canadians and we have representatives of our community in every level of government, judiciary, police, etc. The head of the Ontario Provincial Police is Julian Fantino, an ItaloCanadian. And there’s Supreme Court of Canada judges Antonio Lamer and Frank Lacobucci, just to name a few others. My cousin, Paul Calandra, is a member of Parliament and my uncle’s cousin, Con Dinino, is a senator. The list goes on and on.

I have remained silent to date because I had more important concerns than to preach about journalistic ethics and/or fair and balanced reporting.

Many people have asked me what I have done to piss off the Yukon News. I wonder that myself.

I suppose we should be crucified for being stupid enough to invest $4 million in the Yukon and for wishing to provide high-quality accommodation to the travelling public of the North. The Skky Hotel is now ranked number 1 of 13 hotels in Whitehorse on Trip Advisor and has three and a half stars on both Expedia and Hotels.com, with our closest competitor, the Westmark, having only two and a half stars on those websites.

The stories you have written have seemed to enjoy pointing out the debts or disputes we are involved in. There is no mention or acknowledgment that in a $4-million project, 95 per cent of the costs have been paid in full and have been injected into the Yukon economy. Rather, your paper takes great pleasure in concentrating on the five per cent in dispute, which is before the courts and which we hotly dispute.

As a result of your reporting, I have specifically instructed Richard Runyon, our director of operations at the Skky Hotel, to pull any further advertising from the Yukon News and instructed him to deal in future only with the Whitehorse Star. The editorial policies and bias of your newspaper are frankly unacceptable in a modern multicultural society.

Both stories you have written about the Skky Hotel are truly horrendous and full of inaccuracies.

Finally, my association with Mike Palma, as his lawyer, has caused me and the Skky Hotel to be smeared, and I hope that now that he has been completely exonerated of any wrongdoing, your paper will see fit to give it the same prominence as the untrue and unproven allegations that were given. I suppose, then again, that someone’s innocence and the dismissal of all claims against them sells less papers and provides less fodder for gossip than false and baseless accusations.

I would be very pleased to send you my further detailed comments in writing with respect to the “smear journalism” we have been subjected to. You may wish to know that there are numerous people in the community that concur in my view that the Yukon News is synonymous with trash journalism.

I am hopeful that you may reconsider that approach and report the facts, and not engage in future smears of myself and the Skky Hotel, of which I am not “the owner” (which your paper has a number of times inaccurately called me) but simply a director of the corporate ownership.

Frank Calandra

Sent via Blackberry