We need electoral reform

We need electoral reform Open letter to Yukon Commissioner Doug Phillips: This past 11 years of Yukon Party rule has been a disaster for our environment, our democracy, our reputation as a progressive society and has divided our community unnecessarily.

Open letter to Yukon Commissioner Doug Phillips:

This past 11 years of Yukon Party rule has been a disaster for our environment, our democracy, our reputation as a progressive society and has divided our community unnecessarily.

As an example, after over a decade of impatiently watching, intervening, and participating in energy planning and development it has become very evident to us that the Yukon Party is incapable of leading the Yukon into a sustainable energy future.

Instead of creating meaningful partnerships with First Nations, listening to all stakeholders, ratepayers and taxpayers desires to create a progressive future for our territory, the Yukon Party government has managed to burden Yukoners with over $200 million debt for little or no renewable energy to show for it. All without significantly reducing our fossil fuel consumption.

The Yukon Party has also created sovereign debt burden through their capital intensive investments through our Crown corporations such as the Yukon Development Corporation and the Yukon Hospital Corporation.

The Yukon Party has created division in our community by not recognizing the importance of treating First Nations as true partners. The Yukon Party has enabled the federal Conservative Party to weaken our environmental laws and regulations that were established through the Canadian Constitution, the Umbrella Final Agreement, and devolution. The Umbrella Final Agreement and Yukon Environmental and Socio-Economic Assessment Act were laws created from input from many hundreds of intelligent, concerned and engaged Yukon people that still live here.

The Yukon Party has instigated many misguided initiatives, amongst them: the hijacking of the Peel land use planning process; the Whitehorse Trough oil and gas disposition; long-winded, divisive and short on results with the fracking committee process; the uncovered backroom deal to sell Yukon Energy to the private sector; and the $43-million investment in a liquefied fracked gas project that has no social licence and is unsafe.

These are all pointing to incompetent and bordering on negligent leadership.

We are all asking ourselves: How did the Yukon Party get majority rule with only 30 per cent of the vote? We feel that this past 11 years have effectively proven that our present electoral system does not work and our democratic freedoms have been lost as a result.

The only way to move forward with a new more hopeful future is to get our democracy back. By letting everyone’s vote count we will all have a voice when the decisions are being made.

One of the statutory duties of the commissioner of the Yukon is to “ensure continuity of government and maintain democratic freedoms.” We are asking the commissioner to restore peace by requiring the government to hold a plebiscite on electoral reform.

Then, if you and the Yukon electorate so choose, this legislature should be dissolved and we can have a fair election.

Sally Wright, Kluane Lake

JP Pinard, Whitehorse

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