“We want to hear from you,” say the Yukon government’s ads for its Peel consultations.
You already have heard from us.
You, our current government, created a previous decision making process, though not perfect, that many of us were willing to engage within. A tremendous amount of money was spent and the people of the Yukon gave untold hours and whole-hearted efforts within this democratic process. Yes, even some of our government representatives were fully engaged. Thank you.
When the results were announced, they and the process were rejected. I felt dejected and disrespected. Now you ask us to engage again, in a different, far less egalitarian process. If I were to accept these new, skewed terms of reference and again engage and again the results are not to your liking, would they again be rejected? How can we again build trust?
Our economy is based on our ecology, not the other way round. Due to our “remoteness” and current economic practices, we are still blessed with what we call wilderness. On a planetary scale this is a rich and rare resource. Rather than continue the wanton destruction of the remaining land, water and air to assuage ego in the form of corporate greed; rather than continue with perspectives of progress that ultimately only truly serve a very small special interest group and then only for their short-term gain … we can choose differently.
We still have opportunity to protect the Peel watershed and beyond. By protect I mean to say that we humans have a responsibility to govern our behaviour in such a way that we leave our classrooms intact for our children and theirs.
We will be better served now and in the future if we choose to steward the land and ourselves with a long-term vision.
We are part of the whole. What we do to our environment we eventually do to ourselves.
So I ask you, our current government, to actually hear the 60 per cent of those that voted against your unclear position during the last election. Many more may have, had you made your position clear. And I ask you to hear the results of much money and many hours spent during the work of your government-sanctioned Peel watershed commission.
I ask you now who is being served by your present stance?
If you truly do “want to hear” what I and others have to say, then I encourage you, the government, to truly listen. This can only be done if you have a willingness to be changed by what you hear. This is truly listening.
You may indeed not like what you hear. You may not even agree with it. And yet you were elected to serve Yukoners – all of us. Ultimately we are all in this together.
We can find a way when we are willing to truly listen.