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Community Services Minister John Streicker

Minister questioned on tree removal

Community Services Minister John Streicker was challenged Tuesday for personally removing snow-laden trees from powerlines in his Marsh Lake neighbourhood.

By Whitehorse Star on October 9, 2019

Community Services Minister John Streicker was challenged Tuesday for personally removing snow-laden trees from powerlines in his Marsh Lake neighbourhood.

“Taking trees off powerlines is an extremely dangerous job and should only be done by professionals,” Yukon Party MLA Geraldine Van Bibber told the legislature during question period.

“Can the minister tell us how many trees he removed from powerlines and who advised him that this was an acceptable thing to do?”

In his response to the Speech from the Throne on Monday, Streicker had explained that he’d helped his neighbours remove the trees near his Marsh Lake property after last weekend’s wet, heavy snowfall.

Van Bibber referenced a widespread campaign by ATCO Electric Yukon, beseeching citizens not to approach downed trees near power lines.

“I don’t think I’m rising as the minister of Community Services except to say that I think safety is very important,” Streicker responded. “I will certainly check to make sure that things were done safely.”

Streicker explained the power was out for a full day where he removed one felled tree from the lines connecting his and his neighbour’s property.

He then helped neighbours remove ice and snow from several other trees and tried to put supports under the trees to stop them from falling.

Streicker pledged gratitude to ATCO Electric, Yukon Energy and the Highways and Public Works department for their work in communities during the snowfall.

Van Bibber did not respond with a follow-up question.

Comments (17)

Up 0 Down 1

Sarah on Oct 15, 2019 at 4:34 pm

It's one thing to go do things on your own time, stupid or not. It's another to brag about them in the House, when people are listening and may think it's ok to go do it themselves. As a Minister you have to be a role model. Calling Geraldine out isn't going to help this. He should not have said it. I think it was good that she raised it, especially since ATCO has been telling Yukoners to avoid doing these stupid things. Stay away from the power lines. And if you want to go near and take matters into your own hands, don't make it look like its "ok to do because the power was off". Stupid.

Up 4 Down 6

Irresponsible from a leader on Oct 15, 2019 at 8:27 am

There is no way he could have known that the power wouldn't have come back on. A leader should not be bragging about such dangerous behaviour. I cannot believe that this person has been put in charge of a department! How dumb. Wow!

Up 18 Down 2

plywood on Oct 14, 2019 at 12:36 pm

This isn't something worth bringing up in the legislative assembly...you have concerns, just see the guy in the hallway.

Up 16 Down 4

Moose on Oct 12, 2019 at 11:03 am

I would expect such pettiness from some of the other MLAs, but not you Geraldine. Shameful. Hold yourself to a higher standard.

Up 9 Down 10

Yukon Party cries foul on Oct 11, 2019 at 10:36 pm

Hey John that's not the way it's supposed to be done according to Yukon Party doctrine. Your not supposed to do things for yourself, your supposed to get the work on a one person bid process from the Yukon Party. Remember the one million dollar plus contract handed out to Total North Communications by the Yukon Party?

Up 12 Down 9

G H on Oct 11, 2019 at 1:33 pm

Gotta agree with Terry there..this streicker guy sounds like a future darwin award winner for sure.

Up 10 Down 11

Werner Rhein on Oct 11, 2019 at 12:52 pm

Bla, bla, bla, is not a solution.
Put the bloody powerlines in the ground and they would be much safer from increasing severe weather situations.
I pleaded for this at every power out, if I don't get someone on the phone in who knows where.
When possible I tried to get a so called manager on the phone and asked him to put the lines in the ground.
Problem, I always get the same answer, Oooooh that is way to expensive.
For whom? For all the ATCO customers who lose their electronics, for the businesses who loose business, for people who lose their freezer content, for the one with frozen pipes after a prolonged power out. For all the ATCO customers who got inconvenienced by these events over and over again.
Even Minister Goodale told the power grid owners in the Maritimes after one of the last big storms there, to find a way to make these power grids more resistant to severe weather.
It can be done, it just needs some will to do it and don't be so greedy and look out for your customers.
If that would be done, nobody would have to cut down snow loaded trees anymore.

Up 16 Down 10

Juniper Jackson on Oct 11, 2019 at 8:34 am

When I read this.. I thought, so many many strangers in the Yukon. The Minister can go cut down tree's..Maybe the party jumping Liberal knows how to do that safely.. after all it doesn't look hard, just cut the thing down.. Can Tire had some lady size saws on sale.. just get one of those and cut 'er down..
There is a reason people are not supposed to walk in water with a power line down, a reason people are not supposed to cut trees or buildings down that could go into power lines.. a horrible example should some one get fried because John did it and everyone said.. good on you John... NOT.

Up 21 Down 14

Terry on Oct 10, 2019 at 8:28 pm

This is actually very dangerous and this guy is supposed to be a role model representing the government?? This is worthy of a darwin award!

Why is he bragging about doing something so stupid in the first place? Atco literally tells you not to go anywhere near these things!

Up 24 Down 25

Jay on Oct 10, 2019 at 4:27 pm

John Streicker is always making things up or not thinking before he talks. You are paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to be a Minister. Think before you speak buddy. Glad he finally got called on it.

Up 36 Down 14

Just sayin' on Oct 10, 2019 at 12:36 pm

Umm, how about the jersey barriers that were installed on the Alaska Highway that cost over 1 million dollars in Mr. Strickers riding.? How about the chip seal overlay placed where there is heavy traffic and then fresh blacktop near Mr. Strickers turnoff from the highway? How about the 200 K spent on the Marsh Lake Waste Facility that also happens to be in Stricker's riding.. these are the questions you should be asking...Him removing trees is a form of Natural Selection, let it happen.

Up 45 Down 13

Olaf on Oct 9, 2019 at 10:08 pm

Surely there are more important issues Ms. Van Bibber.

Go after the health minister, that department is out of control with their spending. They are about to announce a solution that is going to have a financial impact on each working Yukoner.
Someone better be prepared to defeat the plan.

Up 33 Down 9

Codename Striker on Oct 9, 2019 at 7:42 pm

The horror - Van Bibber Stumps Streicker...

Up 40 Down 14

moe on Oct 9, 2019 at 5:54 pm

Geraldine, with all respect, get a life. "Can the minister tell us how many trees he removed...and who informed him this was a safe thing to do..."

We have removed trees leaning on power lines as well. Ooooohhh! Aren't we bad! Generally when this sort of thing happens, it's small trees that just need to be pushed over in the other direction.

John, good for you and don't let the b-s-rds get you down! Like the Whitehorse Star logo says! Maybe it was a little mistake, but your heart was in the right place. It makes me like you more.

Up 36 Down 12

Michael Miller on Oct 9, 2019 at 5:21 pm

Removing trees can be dangerous but bringing it forward is too personal even for the legislature.

John will always sincerely apologize and we should not waste his time.

Up 53 Down 10

Edie Rue on Oct 9, 2019 at 4:58 pm

This is very strange. I chalk this up as simply trying to make him look bad, and not in a political sense, but rather using a vital institution for a personal attack. I’m confident that this attack has blown up in her own face, and that she will be paying for this for some time. I find it appalling that she’s wasting Yukoner's time that could be better used with serious issues.

Up 92 Down 25

JayDangles on Oct 9, 2019 at 4:24 pm

Geraldine, you are my MLA. I've been pretty onboard with you for the last few years... But going after Streiker for removing trees? Come on.. seriously? Pretty petty, even for a politician.

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