Open letter to Premier Darrell Pasloski and Minister Brad Cathers:
I am responding to your call for Peel consultation via a letter to the editor rather than on your consultation website for several reasons.
First, I have expressed my opinion about the importance of protecting the Peel watershed from industrial development on numerous occasions and through a variety of media and have received no response, although I believe that responding to constituents is part of the job of an elected official. My hope is that a letter to the editor carries more weight because there are witnesses to the correspondence.
Second, I find your Peel consultation website way too complicated for the message I wish to convey. My feedback is simply that the results obtained by the Peel Watershed Planning Commission over seven years of talking to Yukoners are the recommendations, which should be adopted by your government. To ignore the original plan is an insult to all who participated in good faith and to all who value democracy.
Third, you have not been open about how your alternative plans were generated. For all I know, you received advice from oil-and-gas industry consultants about how to get around public opinion that doesn’t suit industry purposes.
Or, maybe you spoke with government officials from other jurisdictions about how to change or ignore agreements with First Nations as well as how to weaken environmental guidelines. And I’m guessing you worked closely with spin doctors to create misleading messages that make it sound as though you are concerned about unspoiled wilderness, a sustainable economy, and democratic process.
What is my hope in communicating with you once again? I hope you will both realize how much you cherish the beauty of the Yukon. I hope you will discover how rewarding it is to be of service to the public.
I hope you will take all available opportunities to educate yourselves about the dangers and potential disasters inherent in resource extraction. (I have never seen either of you in audiences at pertinent speakers or documentary films.) I hope you will realize that politics is not about getting your own way but rather recognizing the will of the people and acting honourably to represent them.
I ask you to throw out the Peel plans that you’ve come up with behind closed doors and finally say yes to the plan developed by the Peel Watershed Planning Commission.