outfitting policy not on the agenda fentie

In July, a communiqué was drafted at the Council of Yukon First Nations general assembly in Mayo demanding the Yukon government revoke its…

In July, a communiqué was drafted at the Council of Yukon First Nations general assembly in Mayo demanding the Yukon government revoke its controversial big game outfitting policy until proper consultations were held.

And then . . . nothing happened.

Something might today, though: Yukon First Nation chiefs are meeting with Premier Dennis Fentie at the Yukon forum, a roundtable created by the Yukon Party government to improve government-to-government relations.

It’s scheduled four times a year.

But for some reason, the outfitting policy isn’t on the agenda.

“No,” said Fentie, when asked on Thursday whether the outfitter policy will discussed.

“I don’t get involved in creating the agenda,” he said.

What will be discussed is the $40-million Northern Strategy fund created by the former Liberal government in Ottawa, and money coming to both the Yukon government and Yukon First Nations for housing.

Several chiefs have expressed concern with the housing money.

Yukon First Nations negotiated a $50-million deal with Ottawa for direct money for aboriginal housing after it was learned Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government would scrap the $5-billion Kelowna Accord.

But then along came the Yukon government, which cut a deal with Ottawa for the money to be funneled through its coffers, and will keep a $17.5-million chunk of the $50-million.

Chiefs have expressed concern about the deal.

Some have made rumblings they will walk out of today’s Yukon forum meeting, which is the sixth held since it was created. (TQ)

Emotional remembrance

With dignity, Elaine Taylor delivered a touching tribute to mark the anniversary of Marc Lépine’s brutal massacre of 14 women at École Polytechnique in Montreal in 1989 on Wednesday

Taylor struggled with her words as she recalled how Lépine targeted female engineering students before killing himself.

Overcome with emotion, she then reflected on the recent shooting in October, when a gunman entered an Amish school and killed five young girls after letting the boys flee the school.

Taylor used the tribute to announce a photojournalism exhibit that addresses sexual abuse. It will be displayed at the Elijah Smith building from December 13 to 21.

In the same emotional vein, Darius Elias, the newbie Liberal MLA for Vuntut Gwitchin, rose to ask the legislature to welcome his wife to the legislature’s public gallery.

He choked back tears as he looked at her.

In the Liberal caucus office after question period, Elias’ wife was heard to joke: “Well, I guess I still got it.” (TQ)

The prankster from Kluane

Gary McRobb loves to joke.

Before question period on Tuesday, the Liberal MLA walked into a mostly empty chamber, started arranging his desk, then looked across the floor to Tourism and Culture minister Elaine Taylor.

“Elaine — we’d be pleased to have you join our team,” said McRobb. “We’re on the upswing.”

Taylor looked uninterested in engaging in the banter and said very little.

“You represent the bureaucrats,” said McRobb, noticing people were listening to his jokes.

“We represent the people.” (TQ)

Angels and athletes

Acting NDP leader Steve Cardiff said he feels the Yukon government is patronizing Whitehorse on the ongoing debacle over zoning at the $34.4-million athletes’ village.

“It doesn’t matter if it’s the Yukon government or the Hell’s Angels who own the building, the law is the law,” said Cardiff during question period on Thursday.

Cardiff is upset at the defiant stance the government is taking on the zoning for the athletes’ village — which city officials said last week wasn’t right for residential housing, the final use for one of the government-owned the building.

This week the city has softened its stance on the zoning issue.

But Cardiff is upset with Kenyon’s responses to his questions on the issue.

Kenyon has taken repeated shots at the city and its employees in the legislature, he said.

During question period, Cardiff quoted a newspaper report where Kenyon said, “Who in their right mind issues the building permit without the zoning?”

And he referenced Kenyon’s his disparaging shot last week at about outgoing city planner, Lesley Cabott.

“Will the minister now apologize for the second cheap shot he has taken in less than a week at municipal employees who are simply doing their jobs?” asked Cardiff.

Kenyon didn’t apologize.

And he hasn’t granted a single interview on the zoning issue.

Yukon Housing Corporation officials will continue to meet with the city to hash out a deal on the disagreement, said Kenyon. (TQ)

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