Letters to the editor.

Today’s mailbox: Transfer stations, RCMP thanks, and election platforms

Letters to the editor published April 7

Letter to the Editor regarding Johnson’s Crossing Transfer Station planned closure by Yukon Liberal Government

During the election in 2016, one of the Yukon Liberal Party’s promises was to support Yukoners no matter where they live. We, Johnson’s Crossing residents, thought we were included in that promise. It seems we were mistaken. However, early in their mandate, the government announced they would be closing our local solid waste Transfer Station located on the Canol Road near the Alaska Highway.

During a public meeting on June 6, 2019 in Johnsons Crossing Lodge, the residents of the Johnsons Crossing clearly made their concerns known to John Streicker, then Minister of Community Services, regarding the closure of the Johnsons Crossing waste Transfer Station. We, the residents of Johnsons Crossing, have sent letters about our concerns to this Minister; have presented alternatives to what the government is planning but to no avail.

The Liberal Government proposed the closure without properly consulting with the local residents and taxpayers. The decision process taken by this Government was seriously flawed. The data used to support the proposed closure was not accurate; there was no meaningful consultation with residents and facility users. The lack of communication on the government’s part is appalling and disappointing.

The Yukon Government’s (YG) analysis focused on the costs per residents, however they didn’t even use the accurate number of residents. There are 54 full time users of the Transfer Station. There are also over 100 part time users who also pay taxes. The many other Canol Highway users such as miners, hunters, trappers, outfitters, dog mushers, park users, recreational campers, tourists and other Government of Yukon departments including Highways, Environment and Parks were not factored in. Another major factor that wasn’t considered is the new subdivision of 29 lots on the old Alaska Highway between Lone Tree and Deadman Creek. We would hope the government would have, at the very least, included these in their analysis. Where do they think the waste would go?

The Minister and his staff ignored the hundreds of people affected in losing this essential service.

We understand the government’s concerns regarding the cost of illegal dumping, site maintenance, environmental responsibilities. However, the closure of the facility will not resolve these issues instead it will lead to an increase in illegal dumping, create problems with wildlife which in turn will increase costs as well as decrease an essential service to Yukoners.

The government failed to offer an alternative to the proposed closure. They expect residents to drive 100 km return to Teslin at our own expense to dispose of our garbage. We are an unincorporated community. To be clear, we pay taxes, yet we are not given the same consideration as other communities.

We have done our homework and we shared our findings in good faith and presented viable solutions. We have reanalyzed the data utilizing the YG methodology and also used the accurate number of users. We have also obtained cost information from other transfer stations. Our findings show that the real per user costs are significantly lower than YG’s numbers AND lower than other transfer stations that are not slated for closure.

The former minister Streicker said that he was willing to hear our concerns and take those concerns and additional information back for consideration. He also asked for our input for alternatives and solutions. To date, the closure decision remains, and the Transfer Station is scheduled to close March 31st, 2021.

However, YG has not come to an agreement with the Village of Teslin to accept our waste so the Transfer Station remains open for now.

We can only hope that a new government will consult in good faith and try to find reasonable solutions to this issue. What could have been a positive outcome for everyone has become a dark mark on former minister Streicker and the Liberal government.

Questions for you, former Minister Streicker:

• Why were we asked to comply with the principles of a gated, attended transfer station with fees, and then when we agreed, it didn’t make any difference to your decision of closing the Transfer Station anyway?

• Why did the Liberal Government not listen to the recommendation of their steering committee to consult with non-incorporated communities, as they didn’t have all the facts?

• When the Liberal Government realized they had faulty information why didn’t they try to gather accurate information?

• Why did the Liberals not include in their analysis the new developments (29 lots on the old Alaska Highway) proposed for the area?

• Why tell cottage owners, who pay taxes in the Johnsons Crossing area, that they must take their garbage to Whitehorse and that they are not entitled to use the JC Transfer Station?

• Why say options would be offered to mitigate the impact of the decision to close the JC Transfer Station yet the only option presented was to provide names of waste management companies in Whitehorse?

Clifford Evans and Patricia Wiens, JC residents

Line Gagnon and Chris Rodgers – Little Teslin Lake Cottage Larry Leigh and Donna Sippel – Little Teslin Lake Cottage

Barry Hassard and Sukie Sidhu- Resident

Dave Keenan – Resident

Doug Hogan- Resident

Robin Smarch- Resident

Pat Hogan – Resident

Richard Newell – Resident Brooks Brook

Glenn and Tricia Toovey- Little Teslin Lake Cottage

Adam Green – Little Teslin Lake Cottage

Greg Charlie – Little Teslin Lake Cottage

James Clark – Resident

Dave and Tracy Bendera – Little Teslin Lake Cottage

Tim Dowd and Karen Illerbrun- Little Teslin Lake Cottage Penny and Allan Prysnuk – Little Teslin Lake Cottage

Kim Chapman and Scott Casselman – Little Teslin Lake Cottage Sandy Ruether – Resident

George Bahm – Local Trapline Holder

Bert Goodvin – Resident

Keno City Residents’ Council supports this letter

ATAC road decision

Dear Sir or Madam,

I read with interest on March 22 that the ATAC Resources was forced to write-off their entire $118,783,685 investment in the Rackla Gold Project. They did so at the direction of their auditors who concluded the Yukon Government’s decision to deny ATAC road access to their mineral deposits north of Mayo rendered the asset worthless. YG’s road ruling wiped out ATAC’s investors and over a decade of work with the stroke of a pen.

The Yukon has been two-faced about minin. The Yukon Government has spent millions over the past few years telling investors what a great place this is while steadily removing land from exploration; strangling the industry with red-tape; and now —with a stroke of a pen — turning ore into waste. Investors have been taken for a ride and won’t soon forget it.

Mike Power

Whitehorse

THANK YOU RCMP MAYO

Generally it is not a good sign when uniformed RCMP officers turn up at your door. It is rarely good news they are delivering. A death in the family comes to mind.

The police have not had good PR lately. It is time to look at the thankless job they do. Time also to honor the sacrifices they make, to acknowledge they often risk life and limb and are away from their own families.

The police see humans at their worst. They see gruesome motor vehicle accidents. They see violence perpetrated on family members the offender professes to love. They see homicides, violent drunks and paranoid whacked out druggies. They see armed standoffs and even parents who kill their children in custody battles.

In the North RCMP are often involved in Search and Rescues and Body Recoveries. If the police are lucky they survive their time on the force without developing PTSD.

I for one would like to thank the officers who gave us a happy ending on Easter weekend.

In closing I would like to quote Anglican Minister Hilda Hellaby who was doing a funeral service for a young man in Mayo years ago.

“It is folly to take on Nature, even God cannot save you. Nature too often wins!”

Sincere thanks

Marcia MacDonald

Mayo

Platforms

Seems like a lot of people have woken up the politicians finally on housing in the Yukon. The different political platforms are kind of a funny documents. It’s a place for the leaders to promise the world at no thought of expenses it seems.

One just has to look at the NDP platform on housing, pages 27 to 29. Lots of solutions but none that will help the housing crisis, I mean no one in the private sector wants to see a government freezing rent and rent on trailer pads. It doesnt work. It is a supply and demand problem. Build more to make sure there is more supply than demand.

I do like the the statement that housing is healthcare.

One only has to look at the Trondek Hwech’in government housing projects in Dawson City to see how that government helped relieve the housing pressures in Dawson and I believe made a better community.

Again the document has no mention of how to pay for the promises except a few place in where it mentions moving funds around. Nor a plan to help the communities get more lots built. Their platform plans to help Whitehorse but not much for the communities when it come to lot development.

Yukon Party has an interesting comment on their platform on page 20 . “We need to ensure that a growing and prosperous Yukon means growing and prosperous communities. The investment that flows into the Yukon cannot stop in Whitehorse.” Then on page 22, strengthening investment in Yukon communities.

This what was on the table when I sat on the Dawson City council. I felt we were gaining on decentralizing government positions from Whitehorse into the communities which Yukon communities need if they are going to survive.

Government is the biggest employer in the Yukon and have you ever wondered what percentage are based in Whitehorse and making decisions for our communities?

The YP on page 27 does talk about protecting future generations of tax payers but doesn’t appear to have a plan to balance the budget. With saying that, I think no one has any idea where the budget is actually at today. So, hard to make a plan to balance the budget when the budget hasn’t democratically been approved.

The YP has issued page 27 which is some hope for the future of kids and grandkids.

The Liberal party ,wow, they have a Las Vegas style platform, all the glamour.

One of the things that caught my attention on housing on page 41 was the numbers they put out on lot development. So before the liberals took over, the average lot price based on there numbers was $100,346.02. Since they gained power according to there figures $149,819.49 to build a lot. Why is that? Why would one want to brag about those numbers. Wonder how the affects of more exspensive lot development prices add to first time home owners mortgages.

What really has driven up housing prices? I think in the Yukon is the fact YG since 2016 has increased their employees from 5518 and by 2018 there is 9300 employee’s.

These numbers are from the Yukon News articles I have saved and the Whithorse Star. So when one adds up the Liberal government cost on lot development from there platform and all the empoloyees they have hired is there any question why the Yukon has high housing prices? Will the new procurement policy drive lot prices even higher? It appears to me this government is responsible for lack of housing and high prices.

This government has not invested in the communities of the Yukon on lot development. Remember housing is a form of heathcare.

In Dawson there has not been a country residential subdivision built for about 20 years. The commercial lots sold out long ago. For a community to grow, one needs a variety of lots avaible for people to purchase and this is called planning. YG is responsible for lot development in the comunities. It appears the planning for the Liberal government has been focused on Whitehorse and positioning most of the 3700 new postions there.

When one looks for accountability regarding the budget or money that is going to be spent because of this platform, page 22 and 29 talk about what they have budgeted and there are other pages with big numbers but there is nothing showing if this will cause bigger deficits and add to the debt. Then to cap it off page 46 is impressive. One has to wonder how that ties into page 48 to be more accountable and transparent.

Sandy will there be more deficits and adding to the debt?

No government should be allowed to put future generations into debt. This way of thinking has failed many civilazations in the past. We as Canadians should not allow politicians to get away with this method of governing.

Rick Riemer

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