The greedy banana republic of Yukon

The greedy banana republic of Yukon I am not happy at all about the Fentie government's desecration of our democracy, treatment of Yukon people and the change from a friendly and original independent culture to a mean-spirited culture of greed. What has

I am not happy at all about the Fentie government’s desecration of our democracy, treatment of Yukon people and the change from a friendly and original independent culture to a mean-spirited culture of greed.

What has happened to our morality?

Does its loss have anything to do with our $1-billion annual infusion from Ottawa?

Although the US went through two terms of George W. Bush, when he dropped government restraint on corporate greed, which promptly devastated the world economy, it appears now that Americans are returning to a little intelligence, honesty and morality.

Regrettably we still have Dennis Fentie who shows none of us, who are not on his program, any respect or consideration.

According to people who know, if you ask too many questions or simply question Fentie’s actions, you will be transferred to a job you will not like, dressed down and encouraged to leave the republic.

Fentie wants to give his friends – the mining companies, ATCO, basically any large, greedy company – help to extract our resources, exploit Yukoners and give us very little in return. (Higher power bills forever?)

How does this little despot stay in power?

How many new government positions has he added since being voted in?

Did we sell our souls or our duties as democratic citizens to act in a responsible and ethical manner? Or is it cool to keep on ridiculously expanding our government at the expense of the rest of Canada?

Does money trump morality? In Fentie’s little world, it does.

For the majority of the Yukon, I deeply hope it does not. I have lived in the Yukon since 1973, worked in mines, on construction projects and in the field. I’ve done my share of hard work. My main base is Keno. We have a small, quiet community of independent people who enjoy living here, precisely because of its size and quietness. Most of us are long-time Yukon residents.

Fentie, Alexco, Access Consultants and a handful of Mayo residents, headed by the YESAB co-ordinator, want to build a large mill complex and crusher with ever-expanding tailings piles 9.1-metres high within one kilometre of our town.

We would much prefer the mill, crusher and tailings to be located at least three kilometres away so we won’t have to listen to it 12 hours a day for the rest of our lives, while breathing toxic dust from the tailings piles.

The silver reserves are immense and the price of silver is high. Huge profits will probably be made. Yet Alexco, Fentie and the Mayo Group refuse to consider hauling the ore another few kilometres.

The consideration and treatment we have received from Fentie, Alexco, YESAB and the Mayo Group regarding our concerns has been insulting and degrading. If the forces of greed have to step on a few individual Yukoners, that’s no problem, is it Fentie?

The trouble with greed is that it is unquenchable and usually leads to amoral behavior.

You know, I am beginning to think that these people actually enjoy stomping on a few locals, especially if they don’t have the big bucks to put up a legal battle.

I can see how the effluent from the tailings, which are to be put on permafrost uphill from Christal Lake, which drains into the McQuesten River (a salmon-spawning river) will compound a critical situation. But if it saves a Vancouver company a few cents or ounces of silver, should we care? As Yukoners we have a duty to take care of our environment.

On several trips to South and Central America I got a good idea what a banana republic is. They are usually started by a man who talks the talk, takes the power, then sells out to big business, mines and private interests, thereby condemning his own country to poverty and abuse.

Our fellow Canadians are beginning to question their generous subsidy (News, June 8) in light of our Yukon Party’s meanness of spirit and abuse of democracy.

A bloated government screaming for more is not going to help our cause in the future. Isn’t our government supposed to defend our democratic heritage, protect our lands and water and wisely manage our tax money?

I don’t usually rant and rave, but we have been stepped on and we’re mad as hell.

Richard Brost, president

Keno Community Club


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