Yukoners, stand up to Fentie

Yukoners, stand up to Fentie It is through tear-soaked eyes that I type this letter - not tears because my leukemia has relapsed - tears because in spite of my valiant four-year battle with cancer, it seems now the Yukon government is determined to end m

It is through tear-soaked eyes that I type this letter – not tears because my leukemia has relapsed – tears because in spite of my valiant four-year battle with cancer, it seems now the Yukon government is determined to end my life here as I knew it.

First it started with the health survey. I’ve done enough surveys to be able to read between the lines and quite clearly the Yukon Health Survey appeared more to be a search for approval to raise user fees for sick people in the Yukon.

As someone on a disability pension needing a great deal of ongoing medical treatment, of course I was very concerned about this. Sick people are the least able to afford increases in expenses as most of us are too sick to work. The government assured us that this wasn’t their intention and so I relaxed a little.

Then, thanks to the incredible courage and integrity of Willard Phelps, Paul Hunter, Martin Allen and Greg Hakonson, I find out that yet another area of my life is now being threatened – my husband’s income. He is the sole provider for our family.

The privatization/rationalization of Yukon Energy Corp. would most assuredly result in him losing his job and cause this Yukoner of 43 years to look for another place to live with our family É probably closer to a major medical centre, as I’m sure that my first instincts about the health survey are correct now, too.

All Yukoners should be sitting up and taking notice. It is not easy or often that people of the calibre of the resigning board members speak out against the government as they did.

Anyone who has worked for government knows the courage that it took for them to speak out. Also, knowing their great commitment to the Yukon, I know how difficult it must have been for them to resign from the board with all of this going on.

These people are not just a couple guys picked to sit on a board – these people are all well respected, upstanding, longtime members of this community who have expertise to back up their opinions É presumably which is why they were asked to fill their roles on the board. (I would certainly hope they were not chosen because it was felt they would go with the flow.)

We should all applaud their integrity and courage to do the right thing. Anyone who has been asked to sit on a board for the Yukon government should be wondering what their role really is. It seems that board appointments are merely just for appearances as it is really the government leader who will be making the final decisions (just ask the ombudsman).

Many old sayings come to mind – like, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” From what I understand, aside from needing funding for some major equipment upgrades (due to poor planning years ago by a certain private company), Yukon Energy is run extremely well.

Those running it have many, many years of experience providing power in the North – the staff are long-term and committed individuals who frequently give up family parties, stay late, come in on days off, call in from home on weekends to ensure that Yukoners receive power uninterrupted. Their employees take their stewardship of Yukon power very seriously. Why? Because they are all Yukoners and what affects Yukoners affects them and their families, as well.

To turn our largest asset over to an Outside monopoly scares the hell out of me and should scare everyone else on the Yukon grid, as well. For anyone who supports Dennis Fentie’s handling of this situation, I would encourage you to remember another great old saying: “If they will do it with you, they’ll do it to you.” I am asking all Yukoners to stand up and be heard on this issue. Call, write or e-mail all MLAs, the newspapers, let your voice be heard before it is too late.

Sharon Collins

Whitehorse