Untitled

How can 11 people...? I had a look at the bios of the Yukon Party members the other day, at http://www.legassembly.gov.yk.ca/mlas/945.html. They are a nicely representative cross-section of Yukoners. Some have been here for a little while, some were born

BodyHow can 11 people…?

I had a look at the bios of the Yukon Party members the other day, at http://www.legassembly.gov.yk.ca/mlas/945.html. They are a nicely representative cross-section of Yukoners. Some have been here for a little while, some were born here. The majority of them live in or around Whitehorse and some of them have never lived anywhere else in the Yukon. Some are former Yukon government employees, others small-business operators. Some are long-time Yukon Party employees or volunteers, others have been associated with other parties in the past. Some have had minor legal scrapes, most haven’t.

In short, a pretty normal bunch of citizens except for, I believe, a higher percentage of community volunteer work than you might find in a randomly selected handful of citizens. A nice, respectable collection of people.

Here’s my problem: 60 per cent of the voters in the Yukon voted for other people, but because Canada is one of only three Western democracies still using the old first-past-the-post electoral system, the Yukon Party wound up with a majority of the seats in the Yukon legislature.

And now these 11 people appear to have chosen to ignore the expressed wishes of a considerable majority of the citizens they were elected to serve. The exact numbers escape me, but it breaks down something like this:

* 60 per cent of the Yukon’s voters cast their ballot for parties that supported the Peel planning commission’s recommendations for land use in the Peel River basin.

* 75 per cent of the people polled (and it was twice the number of people necessary for a valid poll) supported the first, more stringent, set of recommendations that came from the planning commission.

* 80 per cent of the people who attended the public consultations in the communities closest to the area in question supported the first set of recommendations as a minimum measure of protection.

As others have pointed out, the planning commission’s recommendations were arrived at after years of consultation with all the interested parties, with the notable exception of the Yukon Party. Over a period of years, everyone else came to the meetings – First Nations, miners, prospectors, the other political parties, exploration company representatives, outfitters, conservationists, protectionists, plus all those who sent in uncounted written and web-based submissions.

In the end, at a cost of well over $1 million, the commission produced a balanced recommendation: 55 per cent protection, 25 per cent possible development and 20 per cent development.

How is it that these 11 pretty-average people can use our tax dollars to run full-page ads aimed, apparently, at convincing Yukoners that the Yukon Party government is being completely reasonable and rational in jumping in at this point with a radically different program?

That’s what puzzles me.

Gord Bradshaw

Whitehorse/Body

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Yukon Premier Sandy Silver talks to media on March 5, 2020. The Yukon government said Jan. 25 that it is disappointed in a decision by the federal government to send the Kudz Ze Kayah mining project back to the drawing board. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Territorial and federal governments at odds over Kudz Ze Kayah mine project

The federal government, backed by Liard First Nation, sent the proposal back to the screening stage

asdf
WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World for Jan. 27, 2021

An avalanche warning sigh along the South Klondike Highway. Local avalanche safety instructors say interest in courses has risen during the pandemic as more Yukoners explore socially distanced outdoor activities. (Tom Patrick/Yukon News file)
Backcountry busy: COVID-19 has Yukoners heading for the hills

Stable conditions for avalanches have provided a grace period for backcountry newcomers

Several people enter the COVID-19 vaccination clinic at the Coast High Country Inn Convention Centre in Whitehorse on Jan. 26. The Yukon government announced on Jan. 25 that residents of Whitehorse, Ibex Valley, Marsh Lake and Mount Lorne areas 65 and older can now receive their vaccines. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Vaccine appointments available in Whitehorse for residents 65+

Yukoners 65 and older living in Whitehorse are now eligible to receive… Continue reading

The office space at 151 Industrial Road in Marwell. At Whitehorse city council’s Jan. 25 meeting, members voted to sign off on the conditional use approval so Unit 6 at 151 Industrial Rd. can be used for office space. (John Hopkins-Hill/Yukon News file)
Marwell move set for land and building services staff

Conditional use, lease approved for office space

The bus stop at the corner of Industrial and Jasper Road in Whitehorse on Jan. 25. The stop will be moved approximately 80 metres closer to Quartz Road. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
UPDATED: Industrial Road bus stop to be relocated

The city has postponed the move indefinitely

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police detachment in Faro photgraphed in 2016. Faro will receive a new RCMP detachment in 2022, replacing the decades-old building currently accommodating officers. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Faro RCMP tagged for new detachment

Faro will receive a new RCMP detachment in 2022, replacing the decades-old… Continue reading

In a Jan. 18 announcement, the Yukon government said the shingles vaccine is now being publicly funded for Yukoners between age 65 and 70, while the HPV vaccine program has been expanded to all Yukoners up to and including age 26. (1213rf.com)
Changes made to shingles, HPV vaccine programs

Pharmacists in the Yukon can now provide the shingles vaccine and the… Continue reading

Parking attendant Const. Ouellet puts a parking ticket on the windshield of a vehicle in downtown Whitehorse on Dec. 6, 2018. The City of Whitehorse is hoping to write of nearly $300,000 in outstanding fees, bylaw fines and court fees, $20,225 of which is attributed to parking fines issued to non-Yukon license plates. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
City of Whitehorse could write off nearly $300,000

The City of Whitehorse could write off $294,345 in outstanding fees, bylaw… Continue reading

Grants available to address gender-based violence

Organizations could receive up to $200,000

In this illustration, artist-journalist Charles Fripp reveals the human side of tragedy on the Stikine trail to the Klondike in 1898. A man chases his partner around the tent with an axe, while a third man follows, attempting to intervene. (The Daily Graphic/July 27, 1898)
History Hunter: Charles Fripp — gold rush artist

The Alaskan coastal town of Wrangell was ill-equipped for the tide of… Continue reading

A man walks passed the polling place sign at city hall in Whitehorse on Oct. 18, 2018. While Whitehorse Mayor Dan Curtis is now setting his sights on the upcoming territorial election, other members of council are still pondering their election plans for the coming year. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Councillors undecided on election plans

Municipal vote set for Oct. 21

Most Read