Letter: I came to council because I wanted to

fI had high hopes for the meeting Monday night, where our city council were to debate and vote on the motion for Whitehorse to declare a climate emergency.

Hopes and expectations are very different, and although my hopes were high, I also held my expectations in check and waited very patiently to hear each council member out, as did every single person in that packed council chamber.

I understood and even expected that that this motion could or would feel bold for some. Yet I truly hoped that after the report from the IPCC in September, and numerous subsequent papers released reporting that the climate is warming even faster than predicted in the IPCC report, after hearing concerns from a diverse range of Whitehorse residents, that our mayor and council would come together and support the motion as an important step in acknowledging the situation we are faced with, one that is growing and changing by the minute.

Instead I was totally shocked and deeply disappointed by what seemed like very defensive comments made by my own mayor, which felt like an attempt to belittle and diminish everyone in that room by saying that they had come because a councillor had lobbied them to.

I did not keep my young son up late on Monday because of any lobbying. I did not skip making and eating dinner with my family because of any lobbying. I did not sit in that hot, overcrowded room, respectfully listening for over two-hours because anyone else asked me to.

I was there because I wanted to be there. I was there because I want my son to have a future. I was there because I wanted to show my mayor and council that this is really, really, important to me, and that I wanted to listen.

I felt totally betrayed and frankly hurt by that comment, as if I was just some peon that showed up because someone asked me to, rather than a Whitehorse resident with her own mind and thoughts and important reasons for being there.

So far every person I have talked to felt that same disrespect, and told me so before I said anything about how I felt about the meeting.

That incredible and hopeful crowd of Yukoners were extremely respectful on Monday, despite what I can only imagine that people might have wished to say out loud.

I hope that in the future our mayor can be less reactive and more thoughtful when addressing us residents who are not in a position to say anything in return. I imagine that being mayor is not an easy job, and likely super stressful, and I know that we are all human.

I would like to ask our mayor to please remember that we are all in this together and that people showed up on Monday to be part of something, and to listen, not to criticize or point fingers.

This motion isn’t about any one councillor, it’s about everyones future – every single one of us.

I would like to thank mayor and council for all the energy, time and thought that has been put into discussion around this motion thus far, and I look forward to continued discussion and hope that council can find a way to come together on this in September in a meaningful way.

Jody Overduin

Whitehorse

Just Posted

UPDATED: Yukon declares state of emergency over COVID-19

Declaration should not cause panic, officials say, and risk level in Yukon remains unchanged

Yukon early childhood educators concerned about working during pandemic

Early childhood educator has circulated letter expressing concerns about care centres remaining open

YG rolls out relief measures for businesses, tenants

Employers now can recoup costs for sick leave they’ve paid out

Victoria Gold still operating Eagle Gold mine with COVID-19 precautions in place

The mine is still in operation but with precautions, including social distancing, in place

YTA, Yukon government reach agreement on hiring dispute out of court

YTA’s petition was set to be heard March 25 but was called off after the parties reached an agreement

City hall, briefly

Here’s a look at issues discussed by Whitehorse city council at its… Continue reading

Skagway has resolve in the COVID-19 struggle, mayor says

Skagway mayor said border access is important for residents.

Yukonomist: Steering your business through COVID-19

While “proofing” your business against the impacts might not be possible, being prepared is.

History Hunter: How the Yukon was spared the influenza pandemic of 1918

The isolation of the Yukon then afford the territory some protection that it doesn’t have today

Whitehorse city council contemplates OCP change for section of the tank farm

Change would allow for commercial industrial use instead of current residential classification

Truck slides off Dempster Highway

The truck left the road around 4 p.m. on March 19. The highway was closed until March 21 for cleanup.

Most Read