Time to revisit provincial status

There's been a lot of news lately over the Peel development and oil and gas, many articles and passionate letters defending either the environment, or the mining, gas and oil industries.

There’s been a lot of news lately over the Peel development and oil and gas, many articles and passionate letters defending either the environment, or the mining, gas and oil industries.

This can go around indefinitely while time passes and the power brokers keep on with their agenda.

I recently watched an Enbridge spokesman talk about the business of piping oil to the West Coast. When asked what the effect all the protests had on Enbridge’s plans to build a pipeline, he basically said they have allowed time and money to follow the process through, but he is confident that construction will be on schedule.

So when it comes to the Yukon’s situation, I see the same thing, only with less resistance to development. We might think we live in a democracy here and that the power of the people counts for something. But that’s not at all true.

We live in a territory. We are temporary residents. A territory that is owned by Ottawa. Our pathetic little government has no power over any resources. And it is there as a figurehead to promote development, according to the whims of Ottawa.

The federal government gives us a billion dollars to effectively keep our mouths shut. It is about power. A few noisy groups mean nothing to the feds and any opposition only encourages budget cutbacks. YTG is here to operate infrastructure and pave the way for resource extraction permitted by the federal government, not by Yukoners.

You might see where I am going with this – provincial status. That would give us more power to direct our own future. So far, the Yukon is a big resource storehouse for the good of the country, not for the good of Yukoners.

Wouldn’t it be a good time to revisit this idea, for all interested parties? Then we might have at least a reasonable facsimile of democracy. But then again, I might just be daydreaming.

Heiko Nyland

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