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This week’s mailbox: highway closures and the running cost of EVs

To the minister of Highways

To the minister of Highways

I am writing to express my concern with the road bans your department implemented on the North Klondike Highway north of Carmacks on April 4. This premature decision has extra cost for all the communities and residents north of Carmacks. I wonder as minister if you realize that.

The cost are about 25 per cent more added to everything that goes north of Carmacks. Now don’t get me wrong road bans are definitely a tool that needs to be used when the warmer temperatures arrive.

The road ban was put on when overnight temps were -7 to -13 in Carmacks and colder farther north. For those of us that work in the private industry across the Yukon and are moving goods north of Whitehorse we rely on past history of road bans, historical temps when road bans come on, current temps day to day and the two week forecast.

The reason we watch the info that is available on YG websites is to run our businesses and move stuff up the highway legally before road bands come on. Today in Dawson & Carmacks -15.

I have to wonder why in the heck would your department put road bans on with the cold temps we have? All your managers had to do is look at all the information that is available at their finger tips to make the decision fair. Can you provide an answer?

As I have thought about every common sense reason one would put road bans on so quickly only two answers come to mind, incompetence at a managers leve, or possibly a way to get back at the truckers who protested in Whitehorse. Hope it is not the latter as it affects all people who live north of Carmacks.

One may think ‘how dare one to tie the two together’, but your managers had tools to relieve the pressure on how road bans affect the northern communities. They never used them. Do you know what the tools are? Please be honest with yourself.

You see they could have gone from permitting extra heavy loads to 100 per cent legal axel loads, which is what is listed on the government website and been done in the past. Then five to 10 days or so later, they go to 75 per cent of legal axel weights, when the mean temperature (which is on government websites) gets above zero.

If you look at past road ban history this is common sense. We have not yet come close to the warm temperatures when previous road bans have come on. Going straight to a 75 per cent road ban for so long not only cost citizens money, it also cost many businesses. Hope you realize this and check into this premature issuing of the road ban north of Carmacks.

Rick & Connie Riemer

Dawson City

Questions regarding electricity

Regarding all the hype given to the carbon dioxide pollution: We as Canadians live in a boreal forest for the most part and it is that vegetation that requires carbon dioxide to thrive.

The actual most dangerous pollutant is methane, approximately 60 times more polluting than CO2. And where does this methane come from? Mostly thawing permafrost which we in the north have in abundance. And this issue has not even been addressed.

I have a further concern, that of electric vehicles. Most concerns are about the CO2 emissions and rightfully so, but what does it take to run these vehicles? The simple answer is electricity. And just where does this electricity come from? We, in the Yukon, are currently struggling to supply our current demand let alone tax the system beyond it’s limits and now we demand more electricity to run electric vehicles.

The situation of supplying charging stations becomes a humongous problem. Where to place them; how many are required; and to further complicate matters they are less efficient in the colder climate in which we reside; requiring more stations.

The infrastructure to build these charging stations will become more burdensome as the wire (conductors) which is required. Where is all this copper going to come from and will it have to be buried? Or can the existing grid carry the load?

Now we must address the cost of kilowatts. What will be required to partially or fully charge a battery? And how long will it take? (Time is money.)

In summary: I suggest that the cost per kilometre will be even more outrageous then our current gasoline and diesel prices.

Paul Sheridan