Well, we have a Yukon Party government for the next few years.
Below, I outline a few of the issues I believe a responsible and open government needs to provide to the people it serves.
The government needs to pay strict attention to the fact it has been “elected” and, therefore, works for the people of the Yukon.
All of the people, not special interest groups.
I have made this letter to Darrell Pasloski and Mike Nixon.
Nixon was elected to represent the people in my riding, so I felt I should certainly address my particular concerns to him.
My first observation looks at the “whipped vote” style that pervades party politics.
I will be watching Nixon when votes come up in the house.
I believe, if there is a groundswell of naysayers for a particular piece of legislation in the public, or his riding, he would not vote the “party line,” but rather would listen to the electorate.
I know this is a difficult decision for some politicians.
However, Pasloski, as leader, should allow free votes for all of his party members.
If legislation is well-planned and reasonable, there should be no reason it will not pass. I guess this means you folks need to listen more carefully to the people you serve.
The next thing I think needs to be addressed is the implementing of “whistle-blower” legislation.
An honest and open government should not fear, but rather embrace, such legislation.
We all know that government is operated by people and people sometimes make mistakes and others do deliberate acts that are not right. Someone who sees this should, after proper consideration and fact-finding, be able to report problems without fear of reprisal.
Next, I will comment on the fact there is no mechanism in the Yukon to report, publicly, who is lobbying the government for money, licences or whatever those folks may want.
I see no problem with them lobbying, but clearly, there needs to be “openness and accountability.”
After all, it is tax dollars they are looking for.
The money comes from the people who elected the government. There is no reason we should not be able to see who is asking.
The above opens the door for my last comment.
We have heard, over and over again, the election refrain, “We will provide open and accountable government.”
So provide it.
There is very little, I can see, that the public, who provide the funds, cannot be made aware of the real cost of projects and proper tendering of contracts.
I feel, in the long run, if it were all made “transparent,” projects would be more cost effective and done in a timely fashion, thus saving all of us some much-needed funds for other projects. As part of this, I will mention the ridiculous idea of all departments being forced to spend all of their budget money by March 31. I have spoken to numerous folks over the years about this and the consensus is, it is ludicrous. I really do not care if it is the way things are done. It is not fiscally responsible.
I worked in private enterprise and witnessed the total waste of money with government departments buying loads of things that would never be used.
Maybe an idea would be to reward fiscally prudent department heads who save money over the year. Unless, of course, they did not properly provide the public services they are responsible for. Time for a change.
The Yukon government must remember the people are your city, territory and country. The rest is window dressing, without us not much will happen.
The politicians should be the folks we look up to and respect, instead of the sad fact they rate very low in public opinion. That is very sad, I think.
After all, you folks are there to make life-changing decisions for all of us. We place our trust in you to make clear and equitable decisions for the benefit of the greater good.
I realize you are not able to please everyone all of the time, but you do need to make the best and most honest decisions possible.
And, as a final comment, I do not want to see the Official Opposition decrying or wasting debate time over good legislation, just because they are the opposition and therefore bound to oppose anything.
All members of the Yukon legislature must attend to the business of the people. Not to the personal and petty attacks that have been seen in the past.
We, the taxpayers, do not pay our hard-earned money to you to play backyard politics.
Make this legislature a model for the rest of Canada.
We are small but we can have a powerful voice on the national stage, if all of you members work for those you represent.