Today’s mailbox: Cancer costs, Rendezvous, mining ranking

Letters to the editor published Feb. 28

Why did Bagnell vote against supporting cancer victims?

It’s been an eventful few weeks in Canadian politics, so one would hope that Yukoners’ interests are being well represented in Ottawa by our member of Parliament, Larry Bagnell.

Undeniably, the most prevalent issue involves protestors across the country who oppose the proposed Coastal GasLink pipeline in Wet’suwet’en First Nation traditional territory, and who have brought much of our country’s essential infrastructure to a halt through an escalating series of protests.

Thankfully to date, protests in the Yukon have been peaceful and respectful, as Yukoners are known to be.

More than one such protest has occurred at our local MP’s office, where Mr. Bagnell was asked to clarify his position on the Wet’suwet’en situation but he said he was unable to comment as he was not briefed on the matter.

Really?

Is it too much to ask that our federal representative is up to speed on the most prominent issue in Canadian politics today?

Then there was the bombshell news that Teck Resources withdrew its application for their multi-billion dollar Frontier mining project in the wake of rampant reports that federal Liberal caucus members were urging Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to deny its approval.

Was our Liberal MP among those opposing a project that would inject tens of billions of dollars into the economy and provide benefits to affected Indigenous communities while meeting Liberal government environmental targets?

To be fair, issues at the intersection of national resource development and Indigenous rights are complex, so Mr. Bagnell and his Liberal colleagues probably don’t want to risk alienating their party’s base of non-Indigenous urbanites.

The type who believes they know better than the affected First Nation communities’ own democratically-elected leadership.

So, let’s talk about something closer to home, something that touches all Canadians: cancer.

A week or so ago, Members of Parliament debated a motion in the House of Commons that would increase sickness benefits from the current 15 weeks to 50 in cases of severe illness such as cancer.

We all know somebody who has fought this terrible disease, and what a terrible toll it can take on victims and their families, and the passage of this motion would bring some small comfort to them and help ease their burden.

Yet every single Liberal member voted against it, including Mr. Bagnell.

Why on earth would Larry Bagnell vote against helping cancer victims?

Is his loyalty to Justin Trudeau more important than the suffering of his constituents?

Thankfully, the last election saw the Liberals reduced to a minority, and as such the combined might of the opposition benches won the day and the motion passed.

One can only hope the next election will see the Liberals expunged entirely.

Jonas J. Smith

Whitehorse

Uncertainty is inhibiting our industry’s ability to grow

As organizations representing the Yukon’s mineral exploration and development industry, the Yukon Producers’ Group and Yukon Chamber of Mines are dedicated to ensuring that our territory’s founding industry continues to provide prosperity and progress for all Yukoners.

However, growing uncertainty in the Yukon’s project assessment and permitting processes, and delays in delivering public infrastructure investment is inhibiting our industry’s collective ability to provide opportunities and benefits to Yukon communities and Yukoners.

As such, we were extremely disappointed to see these concerns reflected and confirmed in the recent release of the Fraser Institute 2019 Annual Survey of Mining Companies.

Within this international survey ranking jurisdictions’ global competitiveness, the Yukon has dropped from to 9th to 23rd in investment attractiveness.

This is terrible news for Yukoners at any time, but particularly so as the survey results were released on the eve of arguably the world’s largest mining convention, PDAC, the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada, being held in Toronto in a matter of days.

These troubling figures unfortunately send the wrong message to the international financing community, in an environment in which Yukon operators are competing with projects from around the world to secure investment.

We respectfully urge the Yukon Government and its partners to heed our industry’s repeated advice to address matters related to uncertainty and timelines associated with the YESAA, mine licensing and water licensing processes, and ensure infrastructure commitments, such as the Yukon Resource Gateway Project, are delivered without further delay.

Samson Hartland

Executive director

Yukon Chamber of Mines

Amanda Leslie

Co-project manager

Yukon Producers’ Group

The Rendezvous air display really soared

Hats off to Rebecca Laforge and her legion of volunteers and donors for for bringing the air display at the Whitehorse airport back, once again, for this year’s Rendezvous.

With 11 military aircraft and more than 2,500 local folks taken in the display, it has to show the Rendezvous people that the Whitehorse folks want more outdoor, free, family events and not expensive stage shows.

People there said Whitehorse hosts one of the best and friendliest military air displays in Canada and that they all hope to return in the future.

Let’s hope Rebecca can overcome the headaches of dealing with all the problems of financial, government, airport, city and military restrictions to grow the air display back to its rightful place in the hearts of the people of Yukon — all with the help of her unpaid volunteers and local donors.

Jack & Myrna Kingscote

Whitehorse

Letters to the editor

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

Just Posted

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
YUKONOMIST: The Neapolitan election

Do you remember those old bricks of Neapolitan ice cream from birthday… Continue reading

Crystal Schick/Yukon News file
Runners in the Yukon Arctic Ultra marathon race down the Yukon River near the Marwell industrial area in Whitehorse on Feb. 3, 2019.
Cold-weather exercise hard on the lungs

Amy Kenny Special to the Yukon News It might make you feel… Continue reading

Two people walk up the stairs past an advance polling sign at the Canda Games Centre on April 4. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
April 12 is polling day: Here’s how to vote

If in doubt, electionsyukon.ca has an address-to-riding tool

Yukon Party leader Currie Dixon addressing media at a press conference on April 8. The territorial election is on April 12. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Getting to know Currie Dixon and the Yukon Party platform

A closer look at the party leader and promises on the campaign trail

Yukon NDP leader Kate White, surrounded by socially distanced candidates, announces her platform in Whitehorse on March 29. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Getting to know Kate White and the Yukon NDP Platform

A detailed look at the NDP platform and Kate White’s leadership campaign this election

lwtters
Today’s Mailbox: Rent freezes and the youth vote

Dear Editor, I read the article regarding the recommendations by the Yukon… Continue reading

Point-in-Time homeless count planned this month

Volunteers will count those in shelters, short-term housing and without shelter in a 24-hour period.

The Yukon’s new ATIPP Act came into effect on April 1. Yukoners can submit ATIPP requests online or at the Legislative Assembly building. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News file)
New ATIPP Act in effect as of April 1

The changes promise increased government transparency

A new conservancy in northern B.C. is adjacent to Mount Edziza Provincial Park. (Courtesy BC Parks)
Ice Mountain Lands near Telegraph Creek, B.C., granted conservancy protection

The conservancy is the first step in a multi-year Tahltan Stewardship Initiative

Yukon RCMP reported a child pornography-related arrest on April 1. (Phil McLachlan/Black Press file)
Whitehorse man arrested on child pornography charges

The 43-year-old was charged with possession of child pornography and making child pornography

Team Yukon athletes wave flags at the 2012 Arctic Winter Games opening ceremony in Whitehorse. The postponed 2022 event in Wood Buffalo, Alta., has been rescheduled for Jan. 29 to Feb. 4, 2023. (Justin Kennedy/Yukon News file)
New dates set for Arctic Winter Games

Wood Buffalo, Alta. will host event Jan. 29 to Feb. 4, 2023

Victoria Gold Corp. has contributed $1 million to the First Nation of Na-cho Nyak Dun after six months of production at the Eagle Gold Mine. (Submitted/Victoria Gold Corp.)
Victoria Gold contributes $1 million to First Nation of Na-cho Nyak Dun

Victoria Gold signed a Comprehensive Cooperation and Benefits Agreement in 2011

Most Read