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Today’s mailbox: Election time concerns

Letters to the editor published March 19

Voting concerns

As a resident of the Downtown Centre I am eager for the territorial election and I have been following the candidates to ensure I will be voting with an informed opinion. While reading through various publications I noticed a diversion on a promise from Mayor Dan Curtis, who is running as the Liberal Party candidate in my riding.

On January 15, 2021 CKRW reported that Curtis would step down from his Mayoral duties should the election be called before his term ended. However, it was reported on Monday that Curtis will remain in his Mayoral position even though he is running a campaign as the Liberal Party Whitehorse Centre nominee.

Though he may be taking leave without pay, this is not the promise he made when announcing his nomination. I’m wondering why he went back on his promise to step down, and how will I know that he won’t go back on any of his promises if he were elected?

Britt Olaney

Whitehorse

Identity politics

I love men in suits. My dad is one. Not a rich one, not even a particularly powerful one, but a very good one. Let’s remember, this election shouldn’t be about petty identity politics or falsehoods peddled by politicians that we are supposed to put out trust in, if they want to win. Vote smart, vote for who tells the truth and has done the best for the community.

How can you expect to win when you openly talk down to half the population, and act as if men aren’t indeed people? I’m tired of the sophistry, the lies, the attacks and the bull[crap]. How about treating each other with a little respect? How about we decide who governs based on their qualifications, likability, ability, etc., instead of on their sex or their race, because at the end of the day we’re all tired.

Men, women, any identity and creed. We’re tired, we want what’s best, but petty attacks, lies, strawman fallacies and an open sense of unshrouded misandry won’t get you there. Even though I agree with the NDP on a lot of substantive policy (when they bother mentioning it) the local chapter disgusts me so deeply that I’d sooner not vote than cast my die into the abyss of non-substantive, identity politics that the NDP mires themselves in.

Nathaniel Curtis

Whitehorse

Minimum wage

Dear Editor,

On April 1, the minimum wage in Yukon will increase by only 14 cents to $13.85 per hour.

Nunavut has just announced a $3 increase to their minimum wage to $16 on April 1. Starting September 1, Northwest Territories will be raising their minimum wage to $15.20 from $13.46.

By October 2021, minimum wage workers in Yukon will continue to earn less than those in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, NWT and Nunavut.

To recap, three years ago, Community Services Minister John Streicker requested that the Yukon Employment Standards Board conduct an independent review of the minimum wage. The Board recommended a phased approach that would have resulted in an increase to $13.90 per hour on April 1, 2020 and to $15.12 per hour on April 1, 2021. The Board noted that this approach would help provide much needed assistance for minimum wage workers while giving businesses more cost certainty and sufficient time to prepare and adjust.

The territorial government rejected the proposed schedule and instead limited the increase to $13.71 per hour for 2020 and $13.85 per hour for 2021, a mere one per cent increase. These actions ensure that any Yukoner who works full time and earns a minimum wage will continue to face extreme challenges meeting their basic needs.

The Yukon Anti-Poverty has continuously advocated for a comprehensive approach to reducing the gap between the minimum wage and the living wage, (calculated at $19.70 for 2019.)For example, the recent announcement of the creation of a universal low-fee child care system will make a big difference for low- and modest-income households with children. Significant action is desperately needed to reduce the astronomical cost of housing in the territory and to ensure that other basics like food and fuel are not out of reach for minimum wage workers.

An increase in minimum wage will have a significant positive effect on families and their ability to recover from the pandemic. The schedule proposed by the Yukon Employment Standards Board was a responsible approach that reflected the evidence while balancing the interests of both businesses and workers.

Sincerely,

Bill Thomas, Charlotte Hrenchuk, Elizabeth Plishka

YAPC Co-Chairs

Disappointed

We feel we have to write to express our concern on why and when you called an election. Now we know the election had to be called this year, we also know you hold the power to call one. We respect that. But why now with the COVID-19 vaccine just really beginning to get legs. We don’t have herd immunity yet and not to mention the COVID-19 variants that Dr. Theresa Tams is concerned about. When one adds all the extra exposure risks due to an election we have to wonder what were you thinking? It doesn’t appear to be about the safety for Yukoners.

You have preached to Yukoners about having to be vigilant and follow COVID-19 rules. You just added another 90 days to your governments power to hold the people to the current COVID-19 rules in the Yukon, while knowing you were going to call an election. Shame on you.

It’s like COVID rules don’t apply to politicians or at least the Liberals. This is not fair to the people of the Yukon and devastating to the remaining businesses that had hope of getting their businesses up and running on all cylinders.

We wonder if this direction to call an election comes from advice from outside of the Yukon, as this is not the Mr. Silver we thought we knew.

Rick & Connie Riemer

Dawson City

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