Yukon North Of Ordinary

News archive for December 9, 2013

Pasloski is in South Africa for Mandela memorial

Premier Darrell Pasloski is part of the delegation representing Canada at the memorial for former South African president Nelson Mandela.

By Whitehorse Star on December 9, 2013 at 3:33 pm

Premier Darrell Pasloski is part of the delegation representing Canada at the memorial for former South African president Nelson Mandela.

After attending the official opening of Dawson City’s new hospital, the premier left Whitehorse on Saturday to join Prime Minister Stephen Harper and other members of the delegation in Ottawa.

The group departed for South Africa on Sunday and touched down late this morning (Yukon time) after a trip which took about 19 hours, with one refuelling stop.

“It’s a great privilege to represent Yukon people at a service of remembrance and celebration for one of the greatest leaders of our time,” Pasloski said in a statement.

“I am honoured to be able to help carry the condolences of Yukoners and all Canadians to Nelson Mandela’s family, the people of South Africa and others around the world.”

Harper invited Canadian premiers, as well as all former living prime ministers, to accompany him on this trip.

“Nelson Mandela inspired people around the world by setting an example of how to lead through a period of tremendous change,” added Pasloski.

“During his time as president of South Africa, he showed us how to effect change peacefully.

“By acting as he did, he saved lives and helped build South Africa into a better country for all its citizens. His sacrifice and dedication to the greater good is an example to us all.”

Harper and his delegation will attend a memorial service on Tuesday, scheduled to be held in a soccer stadium on the outskirts of Johannesburg.

Members of the delegation will also attend Mandela’s lying in state on Wednesday in Pretoria.

Yukoners can join other Canadians in expressing their thoughts and prayers by signing the book of condolences on the Government of Canada website at http://www.commemoration.gc.ca/index-eng.cfm.

Mandela died last Thursday at the age of 95.

“As people around the world pay their respects to a great leader, I wish to add my sincere condolences on behalf of the Government of Yukon to the people of South Africa on the passing of former president Nelson Mandela,” Pasloski added.

“He possessed a rare ability to unite and inspire people. The example he set by seeking a peaceful path after centuries of oppression in his country is a testament to his greatness as a leader.

“The legacy of Mr. Mandela will live on in South Africa and throughout the world. He exemplified what we can do if we have faith in each other, faith in ourselves and are always ready to defend human dignity and freedom.

“While we grieve his loss, we are uplifted by his personal integrity, his vision and the sacrifices he was willing to make in order to serve others.”

The premier planned to be back in Canada by Thursday.

Deputy premier Elaine Taylor, NDP Leader Liz Hanson and interim Liberal Leader Sandy Silver began this afternoon’s sitting of the legislature with speeches praising the late South African president.

CommentsAdd a comment

really Darrel

Dec 9, 2013 at 3:47 pm

Really I hope he paid his own way to Africa. Why are Yukoners paying for your expenses to go to this mans funeral. I understand Mandela was a great man and did good things for HIS country, but it’s nothing but a waste of money to go there Darrell, unless of course you paid out of your pocket. But I highly doubt that! That money you pay for hotel, food everything could go to a donation to the Whitehorse Food bank or another charity in the Yukon.
I am sure Mandela would have wanted it to go to a charity instead of you attending his funeral.

Brice Carruthers

Dec 9, 2013 at 5:30 pm

This appears to be an excuse for Premier Pasloski to spend some time on an airplane with some political power brokers.  The Yukon is a very small jurisdiction.  Will people at the funeral even know where the Yukon is, or if people even live up there?  Will they care that The Paz has come down to commiserate with them when the likes of President Barack Obama and Oprah Winfrey are down there?  It’s pretty sad that Premier Pasloski will be missing Father Jean-Marie Mouchet’s funeral to hobnob in South Africa.


Dec 9, 2013 at 5:46 pm

Brice, you beat me to it.  Yes, Mandela was a great man, but so, in his humble way, was Jean Marie Mouchet.  Father Mouchet was the kind of man I’m sure Mandel would have felt akin to.
And yet the Paz probably leapt at the chance to have a bro down with Harper rather than pay tribute to a great Yukon man who’s funeral is tomorrow night.  Maybe he’ll send Brad at the last minute.
Well, what do you expect.  At least I hope he doesn’t embarrass us.
Wonder how much this little junket will cost Canadian taxpayers?  What, couldn’t Chretian and the other former PMs pay their own way?

Thomas Brewer

Dec 9, 2013 at 5:49 pm

I am growing quite tired of the rhetoric surrounding this ‘great man’.

Comments such as “he saved lives”, “one of the greatest leaders”, and “he showed us how to effect change peacefully” show the intentional overlooking or simple plain ignorance of the fact that Mr. Mandela co-founded an organization “Spear of the Nation” that would resort to: (his own words!) “guerrilla warfare and terrorism.” Which they did by detonating 57 bombs on December 16th, 1961 and additional attacks on New Years Eve… If I recall correctly this led to the deaths of dozens of people.

THAT is why he was convicted and sentenced to life in prison, of which he served 27 years.
True, after he came to power he accomplished some good things, but the reverence piled on this man is unwarranted on the whole.
Research it yourself if you’re a doubter.

Adele Sandrock

Dec 9, 2013 at 6:23 pm

I hope sincerely that MP Leef will attend as well !!! That’s the way to go to rake up expenses.

June Jackson

Dec 9, 2013 at 7:11 pm

I think too, that the “Paz” as Mr. Carruthers has nicked him, has gone to Africa for political reasons.. network with Canada power brokers maybe? He might need a job after the next election.

As for Mr. Mandela, he was a great man who died of old age. He furthered the the development and human rights causes in Africa. However.. listen up Darryl.. Mandela was/is not even one tenth as important as every single Canadian youth who left his life on the alter of someone elses freedom.  How many of OUR hero’s funerals did you attend???


Dec 9, 2013 at 7:50 pm

Good things for HIS country? We sure have gotten small in the Yukon, going by these remarks.

James Wales

Dec 9, 2013 at 10:02 pm

The Premier has lost all of his honour, integrity, and sincerity by violating all that Fr. Mouchet devoted his life to.
The Premier of Yukon chose to bolster his ego by betraying a genuine local hero. Truth is, he is a rube adrift amidst the 100,000 mourners in South Africa.

In my mind that makes Paz a low life form and an incorrigible opportunist. Now the electors must decide if his bloated ego needs to be deflated.
Anyone with the slightest conscience and the faintest grasp of Yukon history has already decided.

north of 60

Dec 9, 2013 at 10:05 pm

@ really Darrel

Exactly, and well said.
Unless Mr. Pasloski pays for his expenses, this is a flagrant waste of taxpayer dollars that Dr. Mandela would have wanted to go to the poor in his honor.  It disrespects Dr. Mandela to use this for blatant political opportunism.

Steve O

Dec 9, 2013 at 10:51 pm

Sounds like a case of swelled-head syndrome.


Dec 10, 2013 at 12:19 am

Why aren’t the Mayor and City Council attending this funeral in South Africa?


Dec 10, 2013 at 5:53 am

What ? this is a classic case of brown nosing… so deep one can see the bottom of his shoes sticking out.

Mike Smith

Dec 10, 2013 at 11:37 am

I hope Darrell scored Bono’s autograph!  And got a duck-faced selfie with President Obama to throw on his Facebook page! In all seriousness, the invite to all premiers was sent out as a courtesy.  Very few premiers actually took the Prime Minister up on the invitation.  Sadly, our premier was only one of two others that accepted the invitation. The others that did accept the invitation had personal connections to Mandela.  For example, Alison Redford worked on Mandela’s legal team as an attorney.  I guess we have premier that will use his office and every perk that comes with it to the max, which is the exact opposite of the type of man Mandela was.

Frank Fisher

Dec 10, 2013 at 2:51 pm

I hope Darrell comes back with an understanding that he and his Yukon Party should work with Yukon First Nations and leave a legacy for everyone.

Darrell, can you reconsider how disrespectful your government has been with FN’s; step back and think of Yukoners from all backgrounds and races- protect the Peel and Yukon wilderness.

Betty Daniels

Dec 10, 2013 at 3:36 pm

What a frivolous and shameful waste of taxpayer dollars.  How much do you suppose was spent on this little vacation?  Will we ever know? We all helped pay for this little junket for the Premier and his “entourage”.  Shame we couldn’t enjoy our generosity.  Shame on our politicians in the Leg for allowing this to happen; there should have been an outcry.

north of 60

Dec 10, 2013 at 6:25 pm

Lets come up with a new nickname for Mr. P to commemorate this wasteful squandering of tax dollars.  One that will hang around his neck like an albatross till the next election.

Barbara Phillips

Dec 10, 2013 at 7:01 pm

I am disappointed that Darrel Paslowski chose to go to South Africa. He has had no connection there..  But here in the Yukon there was a memorial service for Father Mouchet, an individual who dedicated his life to empower First Nations and other young people to develop into outstanding individuals.  There was no government represented at the funeral service for this great man.  Darrel would have done more for Yukoners by showing his respect for a GREAT Yukoners.

Max Mack

Dec 10, 2013 at 9:10 pm

Our politicians, as usual, speak out of both sides of their mouths. This includes not only “the Paz”, but also the leaders of the opposition who have forgotten who Mandela really was vs the cultivated mainstream media image.

They have forgotten that Mandela and his organization were considered terrorists (because they were) by the West until it seemed apparent that South Africa was going to implode. Then, the US and its allies changed the narrative and voila. Terrorist becomes Saviour.

“The Paz” is nothing short of a sickening opportunist, but then so are the rest of the jump-on-the-bandwagon politicians in opposition.


Dec 11, 2013 at 2:19 pm

Would it not have been a wonderful gift to humanity if all these politicians would stay home and donate all expenses, to the dollar to poor and underprivileged people throughout the planet. I was watching a film crew in Africa visiting the homes of the country’s poor. They reminded me an awful lot of Canadian First Nations People. Living in substandard conditions throughout Canada. It is shameful to spend money this way when there are so many who could use it, what is the statistic… 1 out of 10 children in Canada live below the poverty line and these children are all under the age of six. Shameful.

True Blue Yukoner

Dec 11, 2013 at 3:08 pm

I am really surprised by all of these 19 comments. Obviously, all 19 of you have never been oppressed because of the color of your skin or spent 27 years in jail because you were the wrong color! You all need to take a course in Nelson Mandela 101 so you can understand the greatness of this man. If there were more Nelson Mandela’s in the world we would not have so many problems. I am glad Darrell Pasloski went to this funeral, he obviously new the true meaning of what Mandela meant to his country and the rest of the world. GOOD JOB, DARRELL. This is a good show of humanity for the Yukon.


Dec 11, 2013 at 3:36 pm

True Blue
He could have stayed at home and paid his respects to a man of whom it could also be said the world could use more of; Father Mouchet.
We’re (mostly) not debating Mandela’s greatness, but greatness can also be found close to home and should be acknowledged.  Quit throwing out the Red herring by insinuating that we don’t appreciate Mandela because we think DP should have stayed at home.

bobby bitman

Dec 11, 2013 at 5:54 pm

Can we make a choice and not split the vote next time?  Pasloski barely got elected by the skin of his teeth with about 35% of the vote in his riding.  Likewise the overall results for the Yukon party so-called majority.  The Greens, Liberals, and NDP have to stop sharing the same platform while splitting the vote.

This junket to South Africa just confirms how vapid Darrel is.

daryl johnston

Dec 11, 2013 at 6:11 pm

tell me what that cost

north of 60

Dec 11, 2013 at 6:16 pm

@bobby bitman

All that’s needed to oust the YP is for the opposition to put their inflated but fragile egos aside for the greater good of the Yukon, and only run one opposition candidate in each riding.

Kathleen Mantle

Dec 11, 2013 at 10:34 pm

So many comments and opinions which Nelson Mandela would have listened to and respected each and every one of you. That was the kind of man he was. Yes, he was a terrorist and bombed buildings and killed people. He was trying to protect innocent people from racism. He did this after the white people took all rights away from the “coloured” people. Was it right?  Absolutely not!  Did Nelson Mandela realize how wrong he was in doing these horrible acts of revenge?  Absolutely. How many innocent “coloured children and adults” did the white people kill?  How many coloured people were forced out of their homes, just because the white people said so?  The list goes on and on. Nelson Mandela learned from this and taught people…worldwide how to forgive. Could you forgive someone who forced you out of your home, took away all of your rights, killed friends and family because of skin color?  He taught the world many lessons…as he learned from his mistakes. Did the white people in South Africa at that time own up to their mistakes?
Do you think Mr. Paslowski should have gone to South Africa representing the Yukon on tax payers dollars? My opinion…..probably not. There was a very good representation of Canada there…..already on tax payers dollars.  But it’s just my opinion. Nelson Mandela left the world a great legacy and we should be humbled by it and learn from it.

Kathleen Mantle

Dec 11, 2013 at 11:37 pm

I also meant to say in my previous comment that DP did go to South Africa, represent the Yukon and spent tax payers money.  Right or wrong , what’s done is done.  Now it’s time to move Forward and forgive.


Dec 11, 2013 at 11:57 pm

It’s good that he went.  Imagine if the Yukon hadn’t been represented - it would have been noticed and commented upon for years to come.


Dec 12, 2013 at 2:50 am

Hey I have an even better idea. We all are aware of how our tax dollars are being spent. So how about we just all stop paying our taxes, until the politicians can learn to spend the money on something truly useful to Canadians.


Dec 12, 2013 at 10:25 am

Exactly, Bobby Bitman!  Not to mention that it’s the same reason that Ryan Leef got in—too many people switching to the Green Party (no offense to them because they do have a good platform) so Larry lost votes and Ryan barely made it in….

We need to not be Conservative anymore.  You’d think being the “conservative” party, they would spend their money the same way…?


Dec 13, 2013 at 5:19 pm

Yes we have lost another great human who touched our hearts from a long ways.  The world is small.
With all the bickering and I too agree with some of your comments. The next Territorial election, the Whitehorse area should think deeply as who they want for our next government. That is where the majority votes and seats are elected.  Unless you want the south people make your government than make the changes and keep it for the next election.  Father Mouchet left behind good memories of what he’s done.  To the people of Whitehorse you made a wonderful service for him in good memory.

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