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

Places of worship able to reopen this Sunday, YG says

Update includes new guidelines for sports, places of worship and updates to essential services rules

Yukon border control measures constitutional, YG says in reply to CCLA letter

“As Canadians, we also acknowledge that our rights must have ‘reasonable limits’”

Whitehorse city councillor looking into origin of the naming of Spook Creek

A member of Whitehorse city council is looking into a claim that… Continue reading

Sport Yukon hands out annual major awards

Sport Yukon handed out its major awards for 2019 on May 28,… Continue reading

Yukon Government issues tender for bioethical resource review

The Department of Health and Social Services (HSS) is looking for a… Continue reading

Yukon Party argues school councils should be consulted about next school year

The Yukon Party claims teachers and school councils have not been consulted… Continue reading

Today’s mailbox: Emergencies and emergency room workers

Letters to the editor published June 5

Road tests for Class 5 driver’s licences to resume in phase two of reopening

Road tests for all non-commercial vehicle licences, such as Class 5, are… Continue reading

City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week. Final… Continue reading

Yukon RCMP see increase in domestic assault, mental health cases

Police in the territory have seen an increase in those areas compared to the same time last year

Poor Creature ordered to pay Yukonstruct legal costs

A judge has ordered the owner of the Poor Creature café to… Continue reading

City tickets 50 on day one of return to parking meter enforcement

A total of 50 parking tickets were issued June 1 by the… Continue reading

Most Read