Yukon North Of Ordinary

News archive for February 23, 2012

Peel principles branded as ‘a slap in the face’

The Wilderness Tourism Association of the Yukon (WTAY) says it’s “shocked, disappointed and outraged” by what it calls the Yukon government’s betrayal of the recommended Peel Watershed Land Use Plan.

By Whitehorse Star on February 23, 2012 at 4:21 pm

The Wilderness Tourism Association of the Yukon (WTAY) says it’s “shocked,  disappointed and outraged” by what it calls the Yukon government’s betrayal of the recommended Peel Watershed Land Use Plan.

“For seven years, WTAY has contributed to the planning process in good faith,” the association said in a statement released Wednesday.

“To find out that the Yukon government is changing the principles at this late stage is unprecedented, and a slap in the face to a public process that is mandated under the Umbrella Final Agreement.”

The government’s eight controversial principles, released on Valentine’s Day, provide for road access to some areas of the region and rule out the expropriation of existing mining claims.

“The government has also clearly ignored the wilderness tourism industry and has chosen mining as the best use of the land,” said Christoph Altherr, also speaking for the association.

“The Peel watershed is a globally significant region and critical to the future of our industry. The recommended plan will also help the territory contribute to ensuring a truly diverse and sustainable economy for the Yukon.

“To say that roads, airstrips and industrial development can take place in the watershed and not drastically impact the integrity of the region is absolutely ridiculous.”

Jill Pangman, a co-chair of WTAY’s environment committee, said what the territory needs is “a more co-operative and visionary approach to land management.

“We have an opportunity to make wise choices — choices that respectfully reflect the wishes of our First Nations people and the majority of the Yukon public.

“Instead, we have a government that is easily manipulated by the inconsistent resource extraction industry.

“This decision is unwise, unreasonable, and completely at odds with the sustainable future of our land, our water, and our people.”

The recommended final plan for the Peel is already a significant compromise, Pangman said, ‘but we have been willing to support it.

“We insist that the Yukon government accept the plan as it is, and not try to re-create a new one that undermines the Peel planning process and makes a mockery of all current and future land use planning initiatives in the territory.”

The First Nations affected by last week’s release of the government’s eight principles for the Peel have not ruled out court action against potential development in the region.

The Star was told this week that Premier Darrell Pasloski will not be made available to discuss the torrent of opposition the release of the eight principles has precipitated.

The Yukon Chamber of Mines has also declined to comment on the principles’ release.

CommentsAdd a comment

Patrick

Feb 23, 2012 at 6:27 pm

Whats more suitable, a court action or RCMP investigation?

How about a court action with First Nations and all disgruntled parties acting together to protect the Peel.

At the same time, campaign contributions to the Yukon Party should be investigated. I guess failure to be honest during an election campaign may technically not be illegal.

Heather

Feb 23, 2012 at 6:37 pm

Well said Jill. Thank you.

bobby bitman

Feb 23, 2012 at 7:20 pm

Pasloski and the Yukon Chamber of Mines refuse to comment.  That’s because their mouths are full of canary feathers.  What a disgusting abuse of public trust, Premier Pasloski.

tony carson

Feb 23, 2012 at 11:03 pm

Cowards

Add a comment

In order to encourage thoughtful and responsible discussion, comments will not be visible until a moderator approves them. Please add comments judiciously and refrain from maligning any individual or institution. Read about our user comment and privacy policies.

Your full name and email address are required before your comment will be posted.

Commenting is not available in this section entry.

Comment preview