Today’s mailbox: Firearms debate and the Millenium Trail

Letters to the editor published May 6

Former MP calls for debate over firearms ban

The following is an open letter to MP Larry Bagnell

Dear Mr. Bagnell,

I write to you today in response to the Liberal government’s recent announcement banning some 1,500 models of firearms in Canada. I have seen a few replies that you have sent to concerned Yukon citizens which beg more questions than answers. Much of the rationale provided by you and your government is deeply contradictory and appears to have no coherent value for public safety. Furthermore, many Yukon and Canadian residents are concerned by the manner in which this legislation is being implemented. Using an Order in Council for legislation with such broad outreach and impact, criminal consequences for otherwise law abiding Canadians, and significant fiscal implications, must go through the Parliamentary process. To rob Canadians of oversight and debate on such a serious topic is unheard of.

I have read in some of your “stock” replies to constituents. You express to them that you feel the Liberal government has a mandate to impose this ban because it was an election promise. This is a scary bit of logic, Mr. Bagnell. To assume that your party needs only make a commitment during an election as an allowance to bypass the entire parliamentary process is abusive. May I also remind you that your government does not enjoy the majority of support from Canadian voters. Even to assume the 31 per cent of voters who voted Liberal in 2019 support every measure outlined in your election campaign is a breach of logic and a pathway to political abuse.

All this to say, Mr. Bagnell, there is much to discuss and Yukon has been denied an opportunity to hear our Member of Parliament debate the issue at hand. To that end, I would like to extend you the invitation to debate me in a public radio broadcast — respecting all social distancing parameters, of course — to provide you the opportunity to educate Yukon residents on the public safety benefits of this Order in Council and to face counterpoints in discussion, like all Liberal MPs should have in parliamentary debate. Your constituents deserve this opportunity.

I understand you have a busy schedule, so if you accept this invitation in principle I will make the necessary arrangements and communicate with your staff to find a suitable time and date as soon as possible that fits your availability. As an added bonus, I propose we use the debate to raise funds for a Yukon violence prevention organization. Several Yukon residents have already committed hundreds of dollars should this debate occur. I suspect we could raise thousands and actually do one thing that will guarantee improved public safety outcomes.

Mr. Bagnell, I understand my request is unusual. These are unusual times; the process being used by the Liberal government is most certainly unusual. Further, you may recall a forum debate that I accepted as Yukon’s Member of Parliament where you and I along with Lois Moorcroft and John Streicker debated public safety policy and victims rights at Yukon College.

Hopefully, you see the value in providing Yukon constituents with an opportunity to hear from you in a format that exposes your knowledge and understanding of the legislation being pushed through without parliamentary debate and committee review. Hopefully, you will do as I did when challenged to debate issues in a public setting — you accept!

I look forward to your expedited reply and anticipate the good news of your willingness to participate in this important public debate.

Ryan Leef

Former Member of Parliament — Yukon

Common sense and the Millenium Trail

Step 1: Parks Canada closes the parking lot at the SS Klondike.

Because they are concerned about our safety? Might people get infected by parking there?

Then we would need to close all parking lots.

Step 2: The City imposes one-way traffic along the Millennium Trail, asking people to walk along the road — thereby inhaling dust, enduring vehicle noise, walking with the traffic instead against it, and subjecting little kids on bikes to traffic hazards.

With zero active cases the risk of getting infected along the trail is next to nil. We are very fortunate that the Yukon does not have a crisis that deserves the name, such as Quebec and New York.

Yukoners in crisis are those who lost their job or had to close their business.

How can we restart the economy ASAP using common sense? Not by listening to the very few who might find the trail to narrow. They have a choice to walk along the road.

Stefan Voswinkel

Whitehorse

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

Just Posted

Submitted
Artwork by Grade 2 student Faith showing her thanks for everyone.
Artwork by Grade 2 student Faith showing her thanks for everyone. (Submitted)
Yukon kids express gratitude for nature, pets and friends in art campaign

More than 50 children submitted artwork featuring things they are grateful for

Team Yukon skip Laura Eby, left, directs her team as Team Northern Ontario skip Krysta Burns looks on at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Calgary on Feb. 22. (Jeff McIntosh/CP)
Team Yukon reports positive experience at Scotties

Team Yukon played their final game at the national championship in Calgary on Thursday afternoon

A sign indicating a drop-off area behind Selkirk Elementary school in Whitehorse on Feb. 25. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Parking lot proposal for Selkirk Elementary criticized

Parents and school council are raising concerns about green space and traffic woes

adsf
WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World for Feb. 26, 2021

Josi Leideritz, the executive director for the Yukon Quest International Association (Canada), poses for a photo in Whitehorse on Oct.1, 2020. The Quest announced plans for its 2022 race to start in Fairbanks on Feb. 5. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
2022 Quest planning gets underway

Race would begin Feb. 5 in Fairbanks

Tom Ullyett, pictured, is the first Yukoner to receive the Louis St-Laurent Award of Excellence from the Canadian Bar Association for his work as a community builder and mentor in the territory. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News)
Tom Ullyett wins lifetime achievement award from the Canadian Bar Association

Ullyett has worked in the Yukon’s justice ecosystem for 36 years as a public sector lawyer and mentor

The Blood Ties outreach van will now run seven nights a week, thanks to a boost in government funding. Logan Godin, coordinator, and Jesse Whelen, harm reduction counsellor, are seen here on May 12, 2020. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Blood Ties outreach van running seven nights a week with funding boost

The Yukon government is ramping up overdose response, considering safe supply plan

Ranj Pillai speaks to media about business relief programs in Whitehorse on April 1, 2020. The Yukon government announced Feb.25 that it will extend business support programs until September. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Government extends business relief programs to September, launches new loan

“It really gives folks some help with supporting their business with cash flow.”

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
A look at decisions made by Whitehorse City Council this week

Bylaw amendment Whitehorse city council is moving closer with changes to a… Continue reading

Susie Rogan is a veteran musher with 14 years of racing experience and Yukon Journey organizer. (Yukon Journey Facebook)
Yukon Journey mushers begin 255-mile race

Eleven mushers are participating in the race from Pelly Crossing to Whitehorse

Legislative assembly on the last day of the fall sitting in Whitehorse on Nov. 22, 2018. As the legislature prepares to return on March 4, the three parties are continuing to finalize candidates in the territory’s 19 ridings. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Nine new candidates confirmed in Yukon ridings

It has been a busy two weeks as the parties try to firm up candidates

David Malcolm, 40, has been charged with assaulting and attempting to disarm a police officer after an incident in Whitehorse on Feb. 18. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
Man resists arrest, assaults officer

A Whitehorse man has been charged with assaulting and attempting to disarm… Continue reading

Yukon Energy in Whitehorse on Aug. 4, 2020. A site on Robert Service Way near the Alaska Highway has been selected as the future home of Yukon Energy’s energy storage project. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Site selected for Yukon Energy battery project

Planned to be in service by the end of 2022

Most Read