Whitehorse Daily Star

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Photo by Vince Fedoroff

DEFENDING OUR NGOS – Participants of Thursday afternoon’s rally listen to a speaker outside the Yukon legislature. Inset Max Fraser

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Photo by Vince Fedoroff

LACK OF MONEY CREATING PROBLEMS – Barbara McInerny, the executive director of the Yukon Women’s Transition Home, says the shelter has been forced to operate at 2011 funding levels.

Protesters rally outside legislature

Decked out in T-shirts identifying themselves as a “Proud Yukon Feminist” or a “Proud NGO Supporter”, protesters gathered outside the Yukon legislature early Thursday afternoon, just before the first day of the spring sitting.

By Stephanie Waddell on March 8, 2019

Decked out in T-shirts identifying themselves as a “Proud Yukon Feminist” or a “Proud NGO Supporter”, protesters gathered outside the Yukon legislature early Thursday afternoon, just before the first day of the spring sitting.

Some carried signs showing their support for the laid-off staff at Many Rivers Counselling and Support Services and other organizations facing funding issues, like the Yukon Women’s Transition Home Society.

They called on Yukoners to call their MLAs for action on the issues.

“We need a dialogue,” Max Fraser of the Friends of Many Rivers organization told the crowd.

He spoke after acknowledging the presence of Community Services Minister John Streicker and Health and Social Services Minister Pauline Frost in having come out earlier to speak to the protestors.

The two ministers also told him they would meet with the Friends of Many Rivers in the near future to discuss the situation, he said.

Staff for the counseling service were laid off just after getting back to work following a three month strike that began in early November 2018.

Because Many Rivers is in non-compliance with the territory’s Societies Act, it cannot receive Yukon government funding.

As Fraser pointed out though, if it was the same situation at a hospital, the government would be taking quick action to deal with it.

He went on to argue that the more Yukoners who call their MLAs and push for action, the more likely they are to come to a quick resolution.

He then handed out sheets bearing the names and numbers for each MLA in the territory.

Also on hand for the event was Heidi Marion of the Yukon Status of Women Council, who encouraged everyone who wants to support local NGOs to call their MLAs.

“Let’s get a dialogue going,” she said.

The Yukon Women’s Transition Home Society operates Kaushee’s Place and Betty’s Haven, providing housing to women and children fleeing domestic violence.

Executive director Barbara McInerny reiterated the position the group is in, given that funding levels haven’t risen since 2011.

“We will not make the fiscal year of ’19-’20,” she told the crowd.

While the Yukon government has responded to the organization recently, McInerny added, they now want a full review of the program, why clients stay there, whether they are really experiencing domestic violence and so on.

Like Marion and Fraser, she called on those attending to contact their MLAs.

“We need your support,” she said.

Following the rally, those on hand put down their signs and headed into the legislature to sit in the gallery and make their presence known during question period.

After some applauded a question on NGO funding from NDP Leader Liz Hanson, Speaker Nils Clarke cautioned them to maintain order.

Comments (14)

Up 0 Down 0

Mainstream Liberals are Pernicious Purveyors of Psychological Poison on Mar 16, 2019 at 10:17 pm

@ The only choice is anything but Liberal - Many people have been advocating that government replace NGOs. Did you just get to town?
Do you understand the irony of your statement on neo-cons? You might wanna crack a book or two. LOL.

Neo-cons are actually educated, thinking liberals who have a sense of reality. They are not the rabble you see today engaging in the distortions of a postmodernist, reductio-absurdum, of the sort that creates the dysregulated chaos you see in YG today.

Up 6 Down 4

There is only one choice, Liberal on Mar 14, 2019 at 1:09 pm

Let's be clear here, no one is suggesting that government do anything that NGO's are doing. What needs to happen is a review to see if there can be some stream lining of a lot of outfits that seem to do the same thing.
Leave it up to the neo cons to try to make their own truth or create fake news.

Up 5 Down 6

Counter to My Opinion on Mar 13, 2019 at 7:10 pm

@ My Opinion - Damn! Yes, voters regret... There is plenty of stupid to go around. Liberals are chaos and their supporters - just, plain old caricatures of ugly-stupid.

They are actually advocating to save money by getting rid of NGOs and expanding government services... Can’t get much more liberal than that...

Up 8 Down 11

Ed Norton on Mar 12, 2019 at 1:24 pm

I like what the Liberals are doing here, we should expand it and they probably are, having a good look at all aspects of government spending. Way overdue, looking at government contracts where suppliers/contractors "top up" cause it is for the goverment. Yukon needs to spread out the wealth, let everyone have a piece of the pie, not just the chosen few.

Up 11 Down 7

My Opinion on Mar 11, 2019 at 9:29 pm

Haha I bet you voted for them. Are your eyes opened? LOL. Thought they would be better, right?

Up 24 Down 4

North_of_60 on Mar 11, 2019 at 5:43 pm

If you can't get a govie job then your friends will help you find a spot at some NGO. Too many of the "new Yukon" just want a big fat govt teat to suck on; a real job or self employment would be way too much work.

Up 30 Down 4

Just Sayin' on Mar 11, 2019 at 5:10 pm

To speak specifically to Kaushee's place, being a woman, I refuse to support a place which encourages the premise that women are only victims. I have seen it time and time again where my male friends have been verbally abused, yet they have nowhere to go and must suck it up as society paradigm of men must be strong continues. If they would accept abused men and those are are non-binary, they would get my support, however, they do not and perpetuate the notion that women and children are weak and men are strong.

Up 36 Down 4

EJ on Mar 10, 2019 at 10:12 pm

I've heard that some of these places including Kaushees recently unionized. If that is the case, then it seems odd how they were running along fine and now after becoming unionized are running short of funds. I would like to see where all the funds are going and why they are all now demanding increased funding from YG when there have been no recent cutbacks. At least not that I've heard about. I wouldn't be surprised if the reason they are now running short is because they've demanded huge pay increases for everyone assuming YG will just have to keep giving them more money.

Up 2 Down 36

Peter Cambridge on Mar 10, 2019 at 10:48 am

Way too many people making negative comments just because they can.
I call them spammers and wish they would be quiet and become social justice warriors somewhere else.

Up 48 Down 8

Dave on Mar 10, 2019 at 8:25 am

It’s funny as I’ve lived in the Yukon for going on 50 years and can’t remember needing or using an NGO once. I’ve also observed that during that time the overall population here is changing from being tough, self reliant orientated people into a coddled, needy group of people. Everyone is trying to play the bigger victim and get latched onto the taxpayer teat these days. Sooner or later this gravy train of government money funded by ever increasing federal debt is going to come crashing down and it’s going to be a shock to many when it does.

Up 16 Down 12

Convenient Truth on Mar 9, 2019 at 4:54 pm

Wow - I can see Counter Opinion was right on the money about intelligence in the Yukon.
At Inconvenient Truths - You just described the exact nature of government. NGOs are the bandaid to stop the bleeding caused by the government, especially expensive, self-serving, tax-grabbing, Liberal governments.

Let me guess - You are an MLA using a nom-de-plume?

Up 39 Down 8

Inconvenient truths on Mar 9, 2019 at 5:57 am

Way, way too much of a sense of entitlement... to jobs, to scheduling, to an everlasting and forever "help me, help me, help me;" to help on demand, i.e. demand on public dollars and resources; to victimhood, victim mentality, victim rights to a never ending source of understanding, help, help, help me. There is a parasitic relationship between NGOs and the clientele they serve, and between the "I'm a victim; I've been victimized" populace and the NGOs that serve them. One can't live without the other. Problem is they bleed off of the rest of us.

Up 8 Down 39

Counter to My Opinion on Mar 8, 2019 at 6:06 pm

There are not enough NGO’s in the Yukon to meet the actual needs of those in need.

The Territory is in chaos and the morons are in charge of running things they know the least about. Everything is political when it is not supposed to be - The fundamentals of democracy have been upended with the Yukon resembling more of an autocracy of the self-anointed, self-important, big fishes in a little pond...

We live in a territory where intelligence has become a handicap and impulsive, dysregulation a virtue.
@ My Opinion - Should we give you a while to see if your eyes will open?

Up 50 Down 10

My Opinion on Mar 8, 2019 at 4:40 pm

Way, Way too many NGO's here. About time the money dried up.

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