Play the puck, not the man

Open letter to MP Ryan Leef: This is a response to your comments in the House of Commons on Sept. 26. You said: "Mr.

Open letter to MP Ryan Leef:

This is a response to your comments in the House of Commons on Sept. 26.

You said: “Mr. Speaker, as winter approaches and temperatures begin to drop, Canadians in my riding up north and across the country are thankful that they are not subject to the NDP’s massive carbon tax.”

Frankly, I wouldn’t mind a carbon tax. I approved of Stephane Dion’s Green Shift plan. However, the NDP are proposing a cap and trade, or polluter’s pay, policy to reduce our carbon footprint. How did this get wrangled into a carbon tax? Where exactly did you come up with the $21-billion figure? I looked and couldn’t find the basis for this number.

We have more to fear from the Northern Gateway Pipeline than we do from a fictitious carbon tax. In An Economic Assessment of Northern Gateway, economist Robyn Allan contends that once the pipeline goes through, international forces will cause our fuel costs to rise. She stated: “The inflation Northern Gateway represents will lead to higher interest rates, a permanent and long-term decline in GDP, a loss of jobs, decline in labour income and standard of living for many Canadians, as well as deterioration of government revenues.”

Speaking of taxes, former Bank of Canada governor David Dodge believes that the cut to the GST is what led to our current structural deficit. The Conservative government is reducing services and programs such as closure of regional Canada Revenue offices, cuts to Parks Canada, important scientific laboratories and programs that provide help for disadvantaged Canadians in order to lower our deficit.

Furthermore, Canadians have grave concerns about what the Conservative government is doing with the tax dollars it does have at its disposal.

In its last full year in power, 2004-2005, the Liberal government spent $49.5 million on advertising.

In 2010-2012, (the last year complete numbers are available) the Conservative government spent $83.3 million on ads, many of them electioneering propaganda under the guise of stimulus package ads. In the first quarter of 2012-2013, cabinet approved an expenditure of $64 million on advertising which includes $5 million to advertise “responsible resource development,” $8 million for ads defending cuts to Old Age Security and $16 million for the “Economic Action Plan” telling us what a great job the Conservative government has done. We are likely to match the 2010-2011 advertising expenditures this fiscal year.

Finally, I’d like to address name-calling as a political tactic. The phrase “ad hominem,” when translated from Latin, means “against the person.” Ad hominem is said to be the lowest form of debate. I would contend that it is an evasion of debate.

In your speech you said, “The NDP’s regressive $21 billion carbon tax is reckless and unfair to hard-working families” and that “The NDP should be ashamed of its sneaky carbon tax.”

I am disappointed, Ryan. The above is a classic example of ad hominem. While many politicians use insults to deflect attention away from their inability to defend their positions, I don’t think you should do so as well. It is not unreasonable to expect our elected representatives to behave better than schoolyard bullies or right-wing pundits.

When you behave this way, you diminish yourself and your constituents. Please don’t do it again.

The great conservative statesman Peter Lougheed died recently. During his career, Mr. Lougheed used his considerable intellect to take on his debating opponents while remaining courteous and principled. That is why he is so well respected.

Dany Morin will have presented his motion to create a special committee to address nationwide bullying by Monday, Oct. 15. I hope you will vote for it.

May you walk on the high road.

PS: Recently, in a closed door meeting, the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans shut down debate on a motion to restore the Experimental Lakes Area, an important natural laboratory which had an annual budget of $2 million. Are you still a member of this committee?

Linda Leon is a Whitehorse freelance writer. This is the 17th letter in this series.

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

Just Posted

A proposed Official Community Plan amendment would designate a 56.3-hectare piece of land in Whistle Bend currently designated as green space, as urban residential use. Whitehorse city council will vote on the second reading of the Official Community Plan amendment on Dec. 7. (Courtesy City of Whitehorse)
Future area of Whistle Bend considered by council

Members set to vote on second reading for OCP change

The City of Whitehorse’s projected deficit could be $100,000 more than originally predicted earlier this year. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
City deficit could be just over $640,000 this year

Third quarter financial reports presented to council

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley speaks during a COVID-19 press conference in Whitehorse on Oct. 30. Masks became mandatory in the Yukon for anyone five years old and older as of Dec. 1 while in public spaces. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
As mask law comes into effect, premier says $500 fines will be last resort

The territory currently has 17 active cases of COVID-19

Crystal Schick/Yukon News file
Ranj Pillai, minister of economic development, during a press conference on April 1.
Government rejects ATAC mining road proposal north of Keno City

Concerns from the First Nation of Na-Cho Nyäk Dun were cited as the main reason for the decision

asdf
WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World for Dec. 2, 2020

The new Little Salmon Carmacks First Nation council elected Dec. 1. (Submitted)
Little Salmon Carmacks elects new chief, council

Nicole Tom elected chief of Little Salmon Carcmacks First Nation

Submitted/Yukon News file
Yukon RCMP’s Historical Case Unit is seeking information related to the unsolved homicide of Allan Donald Waugh, 69, who was found deceased in his house on May 30, 2014.
Yukon RCMP investigating unsolved Allan Waugh homicide

Yukon RCMP’s Historical Case Unit is seeking information related to an unsolved… Continue reading

A jogger runs along Millenium Trail as the sun rises over the trees around 11 a.m. in Whitehorse on Dec. 12, 2018. The City of Whitehorse could soon have a new trail plan in place to serve as a guide in managing the more than 233 kilometres of trails the city manages. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
2020 trail plan comes forward

Policies and bylaws would look at e-mobility devices

Snow-making machines are pushed and pulled uphill at Mount Sima in 2015. The ski hill will be converting snow-making to electric power with more than $5 million in funding from the territorial and federal governments. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Mount Sima funded to cut diesel reliance

Mount Sima ski hill is converting its snowmaking to electric power with… Continue reading

Colin McDowell, the director of land management for the Yukon government, pulls lottery tickets at random during a Whistle Bend property lottery in Whitehorse on Sept. 9, 2019. A large amount of lots are becoming available via lottery in Whistle Bend as the neighbourhood enters phase five of development. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Lottery for more than 250 new Whistle Bend lots planned for January 2021

Eight commercial lots are being tendered in additional to residential plots

The Government of Yukon Main Administration Building in Whitehorse on Aug. 21. The Canada Border Services Agency announced Nov. 26 that they have laid charges against six people, including one Government of Yukon employee, connected to immigration fraud that involved forged Yukon government documents. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Charges laid in immigration fraud scheme, warrant out for former Yukon government employee

Permanent residency applications were submitted with fake Yukon government documents

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Mask fundraiser helps make children’s wishes come true

From Black Press Media + BraveFace – adult, youth and kid masks support Make-A-Wish Foundation

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

Most Read