There is grassroots discontent mounting against having a so-called rebranding of our lovely town forced down our throats, especially against losing the sternwheeler symbol.
No convincing case has been made by Mayor Bev Buckway and council as to why Whitehorse would need an identity remake except that there may, perhaps, be a disturbing motivation crossing over from the dark side of politics, intentionally or not.
Not just at the hands of the current city council, Whitehorse already has experienced a sustained period of heritage destruction as well as of economic and ecological sustainability.
Lists of antidemocratic measures and anecdotes tend to be incomplete and just keep getting longer.
Landmarks and characteristics that provided identity to the community have been eradicated, like the old post office or the “Whiskey Flats” flair.
Many local businesses, some with family traditions, have been broken up and good jobs have been destroyed as a result of the city subsidizing and initiating the Walmart operation in collaboration with the Yukon government.
Whitehorse is the historical hub of Yukon River navigation, and the shipyards, where sternwheelers were built or refitted, was one point of interest.
Yukon steam shipping was one of the most demanding and accomplished operations of its kind. The sternwheeler logo represents a sprit of industrial and transportation ingenuity that is crucial to remember with regard to the green energy and green transportation challenge that is on us now.
As a more recent novelty, council is taking the fight to the statutes itself of civic and democratic traditions; violations of the municipalities act have been noted in the Yukon legislature.
There was the stonewalling of the McLean Lake referendum paired with frivolous public litigation expenditures.
In a vote on an improvement project that the city took from Black Street homeowners, nonparticipating parties were considered in favour of the city plans, actually tipping the count by rigging the process in this way.
I wonder what is in store for our city and territory if council gets away with this new fanatical campaign of changing the way we see our community.
Outside of the city’s phony survey activity, it seems impossible to find a single person, not just in Whitehorse but in all of the Yukon, who supports getting rid of the sternwheeler.
Some people may have selfish reasons, like not wanting to see harm to Yukon tourism or other business activities that could come from the so-called rebranding, which is a campaign to disintegrate our image.
Totalitarian governance has often sought this kind of intimidation through psychological identity shock to break resistance. Examples are the display of abstract reductionist features of a leader’s face or other new-age heralding stimuli meant to manipulate the citizens when cynically adding to or removing symbols from flags, coats of arms, and such.
This is why people feel sick about the loss of the sternwheeler in our logo.
We don’t want to keep losing more of our democratic and community roots that a spineless council and city administration is attacking.