Dawson City, Yukon Friday, November 23, 2001

Jim Reilly leads the Colout Party out of the school gym. Photo by Dan Davidson

Feature Stories

"We Will Remember Them"
Keep those Boardwalks Clear
Yukon Chamber of Commerce AGM Does Well in Dawson
Yukon Chamber Awards Go to Dawson and Whitehorse
Finding the Ingredients for a Perfect Pie
In the Kitschy
McDonald Lodge and Nutrition Program Join for Lunch
Notes from a New Resident of McDonald Lodge
Board Protests Library Cuts: An Open Letter

Welcome to the November 23, 2001 edition of the online Klondike Sun, which reproduces a selection of the 27 photographs and 21 articles which were in the 24 page November. 20 hard copy edition. The hard copy also contains Doug Urquhart's famous "Paws" cartoon strip, our homegrown crossword puzzle, and obviously, all the other material you won't find here. See what you're missing by not subscribing?

Seriously, we do encourage viewers of this website to consider subscribing to the Sun (details on the home page). It would help us financially and you would get to see everything closer to when it's actually news. About 600 people read each issue of this paper online, and we'd love to be sending out that many more papers.

"We Will Remember Them"

by Dan Davidson

It has been eleven years since Canada approached a Remembrance Day celebration with quite such a sense of what war can be about, that awareness refreshed by the events of September 11, just two months to the day before our annual commemorative ceremony.

That might explain why so many chairs had to be added to the number which the Legion had set out in the Robert Service School gymnasium, though, in truth, there is always a pretty fair turnout in Dawson when this event rolls around.

The colour party of RCMP and Canadian Rangers helped to underscore the solemnity of the occasion. Father John Tyrrell's prayers reminded those present that it is possible to pray for the welfare of those in the field and those who have gone before without, at the same time, glorifying the act of war.

The sound of a lone trumpet opening and closing the two minutes silence with the "Last Post" and "Reveille" has been Mitchell Strid's contribution to this event for quite a few years now.

The Robert Service School Choir led the singing of "O Canada" and the hymn " Eternal Father, Strong to Save", as well as providing the anthem, "Freedom is".

In his address to the assembly Mayor Glen Everitt tried to sum up the ideas of many who have never worn a uniform.

"As time goes by it becomes more and more difficult for younger generations to understand what impact the war had on the country, what impact the wars have on everyday society. It's almost as if it was a bad dream one had as a child, many years ago, but something deep inside lets you know it was real."

Unfortunately, he continued, such conflicts are not always in the past.

"Today we see ourselves at war again. Although it is a different situation, it is still a war. Two cultural differences meeting head to head, one whose values and beliefs are so different than the other that it has caused some of the most horrific acts in he modern world to be launched against the foundation of our humanity. The world has united once more to eradicate society of such extremists, extremists that believe they are right and are prepared to fall in order to meet their objective."

In closing, he reminded people to nourish and demonstrate respect for veterans and those who are still serving.

"Thank you, each and every one of you, for defending my generation, for defending the generations of my children and future children."

The ceremony concluded with a laying of commemorative wreaths, first in the gymnasium and then, about 15 minutes later, at the cenotaph in Victory Gardens.

There was a luncheon at Saint Mary's Catholic Church following these events.


Keep those Boardwalks Clear

by Dan Davidson

Dawson's business community, even those which aren't open in the winter, will have to clean up the snow on the boardwalks this year. Photo by Dan Davidson

Now that the snow has arrived in the Klondike one could normally expect the streets to to firm up for the rest of the year and the boardwalks to become intermittently passable. The checkerboard of seasonal and year round businesses tends to create that effect.

Maybe not this year. This year there is a bylaw, finally firmed up after years of being an election issue, and passed last spring, which obligates owners and residents to clean up, "to remove snow, ice or rubbish from a sidewalk adjacent or abutting any highway..."

This is to be done immediately after it becomes a problem or "when requested to do so by a bylaw enforcement enforcer."

"Now," said Mayor Everitt at the November 5 council televised council meeting, "as a bylaw enforcer I'm requesting you to do so."

That includes the town itself, which owns quite a few of the boardwalks in town. It also includes businesses which are not open in the winter.

"The ones that are seasonal that aren't here are being contacted to find out who they hired to clear the snow off the sidewalks."

Everitt hopes that some of the clearing will be done by offenders who have been sentenced to community service work by the courts.

"This is definitely community work."


Yukon Chamber of Commerce AGM Does Well in Dawson

by Dan Davidson

Meals at the YCC meeting were at the Downtown Hotel. Photo by Dan Davidson

Despite weather problems that had some delegates passing back and forth over in what they later referred to dryly as "Joe's Northern Tour", those who made it to the Yukon Chamber of Commerce's annual general meeting in Dawson City last weekend pronounced themselves pleased to be there and accomplished a great deal in their day long sessions.

Action alternated between the Oddfellows Hall, where the meetings took place, and the Downtown Hotel, where the meals were.

At a breakfast session on Saturday, greetings were delivered by Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in Chief Darren Taylor, Mayor Glen Everitt, and Jorn Meier, past president of the Dawson chamber.

Taylor pronounced his people fully involved in the economy of the area, indicating that there members employed in just about every sector and citing Han Construction as the largest local contractor.

Everitt spoke of the need for government to streamline its processes so that business could work more effectively. This was especially important he said, because the current outlook is grim.

"The impact of September 11 on top of what the economy was doing in the first place on paper is being felt across this country. The outlook for next year is gloom and it is important that governments act now to protect the foundation of the Yukon's economy from collapsing."

The major item on the morning agenda over at the Oddfellows' Hall was a couple of presentations from the Workers Compensation Board. Tony Armstrong, the president of WCB, established that the board was in a strong financial position and Barry Enders, who represents employers on the board, made a presentation in favour of balance.

It seems that after years of giving workers a difficult time, as attested to by protests and stories in the press, the WCB is now finding that the pendulum has swung the other way. One hundred per cent of all appeals of previous board rulings have been overturned by the tribunal set up under YTG Bill 83. Employers are maintaining that they are in need of an advocate to balance the way the system now functions.

A Whitehorse Chamber motion to that effect was passed at the business meeting later in the afternoon, asking for a staff person to do for business what the worker's advocate's office does for employees.

Other members issues tackled in the morning included updates on the future of a gas pipeline and a railway across the territory. Member of Parliament Larry Bagnell was there to speak on both issues, indicating that he was doing his best to "debunk" the federal bias towards the "Over the Top" route.

Bagnell said he was glad to see Land Claims moving again, and indicated that he was pushing for a financial incentives program to replace the expired Economic Development Agreement which did so much for the economy a decade ago. Bagnell said that EDA type agreements currently exist in every area of Canada except in the north and that was a strong point in his arguments so far.

There were also presentations by Foothills Pipelines' Brian Love and on the Liberal Government's renewal initiative by Roland McCaffrey.

This members issues forum was a new feature on the chamber agenda and past president Lynn Odgen said it was received very well.

"I think that gave everybody a sense of 'what does the Yukon chamber do?' and also what we're working on and what we need to work on. Certainly the new executive got some direction there."

At lunch Scott Kent, the Minister of Economic Development, gave an overview of the various files in his portfolio and indicated where he was in terms of mining, forestry, oil & gas, pipeline, railway and trade. His staff had provided him with a speech which would have taken at least an hour to read, but it appeared that the audience appreciated most the fact tat he was there and that he returned their calls.

The afternoon sessions got off to a shocking start with the announcement of the Downtown Accord on the YPAS process by Rick Nielsen and Don Hutton. (See separate story) and continued with a sprightly overview of the Development Assessment Process by Ron McIntyre.

He advised members that they must accept the idea that this was going to happen, since it was mandated by the Umbrella Final Agreement and was going to become federal law. He reminded them that similar legislation existed for the provinces already, and that it was really a question of how well it was made to work.

Two major concerns had been expressed earlier. The first was that projects which had already passed Canadian Environmental Assessment screening should not have to be DAPed as well. The second was that there should be firm timelines for DAP screening, otherwise projects could just be delayed to death.

Past president Lynn Ogden characterized all of the meetings as being very successful and noted that Dawson had proved to be a great place to hold them.

From the meeting, Odgen sees the chamber focussing its attention over the next year on DAP, pipelines and railways, the new Workers Advocate position and government renewal. Odgen himself thinks that the biggest thing government could do for business would be to put all business related matters under the purview of one minister, who could then get the big picture.

"Right now we have seven different ministers and departments involved in various aspects of business."

At the afternoon business meeting, a new executive was elected, as follows:

President: Don Cox, Northern Metallic Sales
Past President: Lynn Ogden, Aurora Financial Services
1st Vice President: Paul Goguen, Yukon Electrical Company Limited
2nd Vice President: Curtis Shaw, NorthwesTel
Secretary: Boyd Gillis, Northern Superior Mechanical
Treasurer: Rob McIntyre, Access Consulting Group
VP at Large: Ken Shelton, MicoAge Computers
Associate Member at Large: Dave Kalles, Watson Lake


Yukon Chamber Awards Go to Dawson and Whitehorse

by Dan Davidson

All the gang at Arctic Inland Resources. L-R: Garth Hnetka, Louise Blanchard, Garry Kennedy, Heinz Naef, Max the dog, Bill Bowie and Daryl Buckley. Photo by Dan Davidson

A Dawson business was the winner of the Yukon Chamber of Commerce's Business Service Award at the the chamber's annual general meeting on November 3.

Arctic Inland Resources, owned and operated by Bill Bowie, was nominated by the Dawson City Chamber of Commerce. In the DCCC's nomination ran as follows.

"With Beaver Lumber closing and the added demand, Bill Bowie and his staff rose to the occasion. All the staff is friendly, pleasant, informative, helpful and accommodating.

"Arctic Inland has been a key player in the community of Dawson; they have sponsored many events for the Hockey Club, Curling Club, Youth programs, Dawson City Museum and the Klondike Run.

"Bill Bowie has done many things to ensure that his staff is well trained and informative about the product and services that Arctic Inland provides. He has sent many employees to training courses to enhance the development of his staff.

"Arctic Inland donates firewood to the churches of Dawson as well as to the old-timer miner's who live far out of town."

Bowie himself was previously the winner of the Business Person of the Year Award back in 1988.

This year's Business Person of the Year Award went to Mike Stanock of Byers Transportation Systems, who was nominated by the Whitehorse Chamber of Commerce.

"Mike is a long time member of the Whitehorse Chamber, having joined in 1984. Over the past seventeen years, Mike has been involved in many of the programs of the Whitehorse Chamber of Commerce. We can count on Mike to attend every Luncheon and Business After Hours where possible, and to be a keen advocate of the benefits of networking with fellow business people. During the past year, Mike has also assisted the Whitehorse Chamber in preparing a response to the Federal Government on proposed changes to the Canada Transportation Act. Mike is a two-time recipient of the Whitehorse Chamber's Outstanding Chamber Member Award (1994 and 2001)."

These awards were presented at the chambers' banquet on the Saturday night.

Earlier in the day Lynn Ogden, the outgoing president of the Yukon Chamber, presented a special award to Rick Nielsen, spokesperson for the Business Coalition which has been the chamber's voice in the discussion surrounding the development of the Yukon Protected Areas Strategy.

"Rick," Ogden said, "on behalf of the executive and members of the Yukon Chamber, we would like to say thank you for taking on the Business Coalition.

"Rick chaired that all this year, and they've been an unruly group, partly because they had an unruly chair." The audience, who obviously knew their man, laughed with appreciation.

"We want to recognize that and we want to make a little presentation here just to commemorate ... that Rick has made that exceptional contribution - and we'd like to say thanks."


Finding the Ingredients for a Perfect Pie

by Dan Davidson

Mary Sloan, Jamie Lee Shebelski, Amber Borotsik, Sally Clark. Photo by Dan Davidson

How do live theatre and a baking come together? The answer would be when the play is called "Perfect Pie" and the Dawson City Arts Society celebrates its presentation in the Klondike by have a perfect pie contest.

That's what happened in Dawson when Nakai Theatre came to the Oddfellows' Hall with its performance of Judith Thompson's play on November 3.

The four person drama concerns the relationship between two women from a small town who have not seen each other for many years, though they were once inseparable friends.

Patsy is the one who stayed behind, doing what she had always wanted: getting married, raising a family, and living on the farm where she grew up. This might seem an uncomplicated existence at first glance, but it has many levels of strength and tragedy. Patsy needs to remain grounded in her spirit to overcome the trials she has had to suffer since the traumatic day she and Marie had their accident.

Marie has gone to great lengths to become not-Marie. The ugly duckling, poor white trash adolescent has rechristened herself Francesca and found some measure of fame in the theatrical world. In the process, she's buried most of her unpleasant memories, almost everything, in fact.

When she receives an audio tape from Patsy she is moved to visit her old haunts and the two spend a day reviewing the lives they once lived, reliving the intensity of their bond and moment of their separation.

Now, if all this sounds simple enough, you may be wondering why there are four cast members. Thompson decided that just having Patsy and Francesca talk to each other wasn't dramatic enough, and that having alternating sequences of present talk and past memories wouldn't quite convey the emotional overlapping which occurs when you encounter someone you haven't seen in ages.

So, there are two Francescas and two Patsys - present and past - on the stage for most of the play. While Patsy senior (Sally Clark) and Francesca/Marie senior (Mary Sloan) rediscover each other, Patsy junior (Amber Borotsik) and Marie junior (Jamie Lee Shebelski) ages from pre teen to late teen and live through some of the events that the women talk about.

The interweaving of the two levels of story is quite a trick to pull off. The two sets of actors have to move around and through each other as if they don't exist and the audience must decide if it is watching the girls, with ghosts of the future, or the women, with ghosts of the past.

With the youngsters we discover the secret spots on the farm before the women actually leave the kitchen. So when it is the elders' turn to explore the fields, barn, skating pond and railway tracks we already know what they are. The juxtaposition of memory and rediscovery picks up the beat as we move through the crises of youth to the big moment, the climax on the railway tracks that put Patsy in a coma and sent Marie off to become Francesca. At this point the four actors occupy the same space and moment of memory in a dramatic scene which reveals a few surprises after all.

Another highlight is Patsy's monologue about the stalker that brings on her seizures. While not at all an accurate description of any form of epilepsy I am familiar with, it nevertheless conveys the feel of the thing well.

Francesca has a trauma before the train comes, which is a moving account of a girl coping with bullying and sexual assault.

The actors did a great job on stage, and the technical crew backed them up very well.

In between acts, the audience was off to sample the 18 pies entered in the contest, vote for the favorite of their choice and watch as professionals Dianne Roy (Riverwest coffee shop) and Jayne Fraser (Tintina Bakery) passed judgement on the goodies. Awards were given out in both categories.


In the Kitschy

By Palma Berger

Photo by Dan Davidson

In this day and age we are constantly bombarded with ever changing images, whether they be from the television, the store displays, the new purchases for our kitchen and resulting garbage, or the magazines we buy. They constantly hit us. What we used to consider art is rather lost as it has the difficulty of competing with the manipulated, changing images of the present day.

The artist, Heather Passmore, whose work is on display at the Odd Gallery, has reproduced by photography samples of imagery that hits us constantly. She quotes Jean Baudrillard who says, "It is the idea of art that we like, not art."

This could be so, as in her work developed by double exposure in photography, she has developed images that the mind mentally translates into reminders of art work that we know or love, or new colour and positioning that pleases us. That is when it is viewed at a distance. Up close one can sort out what the colours or shapes really are. The interesting black shape of a man curled up on a gold coloured background is really the photograph of a black plastic bag of garbage superimposed on the yellow colour.

The nicely placed abstract of a large black circle next to orange shapes, proves to be on closer inspection, a black frying pan next to orange coloured plastic containers.

The nice colour of blue/green emerging from a white/grey background when viewed from a distance, turns out to a white bath tub with blackened grouting and walls turned green by the spray on cleaner. The photo of the Queen we recognize, and mentally we know that that red beside her, is a Canadian Mountie. No, it is really a bright red door. Our mind automatically made the picture from what we assume.

For those who want the facts, maam, straight and simple, you are going to be a little unnerved by the present show in the Odd Gallery. The art on show here is definitely not the work of an artist who laboriously, joyfully, carefully or creatively applied paint to surface to create a picture."In the Kitschy" primarily addresses the issues of over consumption, resulting waste, and damage to the environment. She tries to "make sense of the overabundance of landfill of ideas and objects in our world." She does this with photography. She makes double exposures, and soaks them in an emulsion and layers them with plastic, so that the colour is in the image, and the plastic at times drips off the pieces. They are placed on plastic to avoid the glossy appearances of regular photographs.

While we in the Yukon are not hit as much as the folk further south with so much overabundance, it still strikes home. As someone observed, "It gives you room for thought, doesn't it?" While another Yukoner said, "They look like someone threw their old negatives in the wood stove, then changed their mind, and hastily retrieved them."

Another wondered at the waste involved in the process of producing the images that depict our overabundance and resulting waste. Another says she was surprised at herself at what she could see in the photos of everyday kitchen stuff.

This Sechelt born artist, says in her statement, that "She hopes the work questions the way we value images and ideas. In such an environmental plethora of imagery, I believe we are beyond aesthetics. Aristocratic forms of art such as painting are no longer better than a bag of garbage."


McDonald Lodge and Nutrition Program Join for Lunch

From the Lodge

It was wonderful to see the 17 moms, dads and grandmothers with 17 little ones ranging from 3-week infant twins to big kids who go to day care. The residents shared a lunch of minestrone soup, cheese buns and blueberry cobbler cooked by CPNP's Carol Tyrrell and McDonald Lodge's Sandy Pilon. The kids cooed and smiled at the residents and elders of McDonald Lodge and they in turn were thrilled to have so many babies and toddlers to visit and hold.


Notes from a New Resident of McDonald Lodge

by Annetta Hendley Gleason

Photo by Dan Davidson

I came into McDonald Lodge three weeks ago. I have a husband and son here in Dawson City. I came to the Yukon from Ontario to Ross River 34 years ago and then moved to Drury Creek and now I have been in Dawson City for 3 years.

All the workers here are friendly and very caring. I have a private room and go into the dining room for meals and to watch TV. I can see the clinic from my window. Fresh fruit, snacks and drinks are available for us at all times. A staff member will take my mail for me and do any shopping that I need on Fridays. Visitors come at any time and I come and go with my family as I want. I love to play scrabble and the staff and other residents play with me when they can. I am always ready for a scrabble game and a new scrabble partner!

On Saturday night there is Bingo at 7 pm and on Wednesday at 12:30 there is a Church service led by Rev. Tyrrell and the other ministers. One evening lately a local band came in to play for us and that was a nice evening. On my birthday, Sandy, our cook made me a birthday cake and everyone sang Happy Birthday and we all enjoyed the cake! Today was special because we had the children and parents here for lunch. It's been a long time since I've seen a 3-week-old baby! It was nice to see the children and it made for a good change for us. I feel like I am settling in and this is my home.


Board Protests Library Cuts: An Open Letter

Dear Mr. Eftoda,

We are writing to appraise you of changes that will be occurring to the library hours at the Dawson City Community Library as a direct result of the proposed funding formula for rural libraries.

The library has recently received an interim report for the new funding formula. According to this formula, the Dawson City Community Library will potentially lose 15 open hours per week. This represents a significant loss in service for our community. When the Whitehorse Library was faced with cutbacks in hours there was an outcry from the community, which caused the cutbacks to be reconsidered. As evidenced by the enclosed petitions (250 signatures) our community is in full support of retaining our open hours. More signatures will be forthcoming. Our community needs more library hours, not less. We are hoping that by presenting you with the facts, you will be able to help prevent this loss.

The rural library funding agreement was dated January 26, 2001. It was presented at the Spring Territory-wide Board Meeting in March. It was our understanding at that time that this agreement was a draft proposal and that further consultation would occur at the local level. Board representatives at that meeting only agreed to revisit the funds allocation issue; there was no agreement in principle.

This new formula was first presented to the Dawson City Community Library Board at our April meeting. We were informed that this agreement was final; there was no room for further consultation or negotiation, despite the vigorous protests from the board members. The policy stated that statistics would be gathered starting in April 2001. These statistics would be reflected in the funding for open hours of the library, starting in April 2002. We were then told that statistics would in fact be taken from January 2001 to December 2001. Because they have backdated their statistical analysis, we have effectively lost four months that we could have used to effect a change in library usage.

At the Librarian's conference this past September, our Librarian was again presented with the formula. The librarians were told that the Boards had unanimously agreed to this formula, which was not true. There was no input from rural librarians and there was no further discussion with the library boards, even though this had been promised at the spring meeting.

Notification concerning these statistics for January to August 2001 was received late in October. This gives us precious little time to rectify the situation. Although suggestions were given on how to improve our statistics it does not alter the fact that we take issue with the kinds of statistics that are being used in the formula. We are not able to count the number of visitors or users of the library, for example, people who come in to read the paper, a magazine, or write a letter. We are not able to count temporary members even though they represent a large portion of the library usage in Dawson. And finally, the preparation time for programming is not taken into consideration. The base hours need to be increased to allow libraries in areas with a smaller population base, time to provide services. People in the rural areas of the Yukon need their libraries, as much, if not more than people in larger centers.

As a rural library board, we feel that one blanket funding agreement does not take into consideration the fact that each community has different needs, and changes to hours should reflect these diverse needs. Dawson City has particular needs. Our population doubles in the summer as students, miners, and summer workers return to the area. In this community we rely on temporary residents coming to our community to fill the positions that run the tourism industry. They are a necessary part of our economy. This population extensively uses our library and yet because of the formula we must provide for their needs without counting them as patrons. This need will exist again next summer, in fact, every summer, yet we are told that we must meet this need with less time and resources. Does this make sense?

Many tourists visit our town throughout the summer and quite often they are in the library to use the free Internet access, for paperback book exchanges, and to get information about Dawson. With a substantial reduction in hours we would not be able to provide the kind of service we have in the past. With the government's "Stay another day" campaign don't we want to keep this resource available to the tourists?

Preparation time for programming is not included in the formula. How can appropriate and beneficial programming be provided for the community of Dawson, without adequate time being taken to effectively plan an event? At present our librarian has spent many hours of her own time to produce some excellent events. Now we are told that we must increase our programming without an equivalent increase in time. In fact, this must now be done with even less time. This does not make even mathematical sense.

The Library is very active in supporting and working with the Berton House Writer-in-Retreat program, in conjunction with the Yukon Arts Council, the Berton House Writerís Retreat Association, and the Klondike Visitors association. This program has received national recognition and major funding from the Canada Council. We are eager to continue our association with this program, but would find this difficult with fewer hours. We consider it to be part of our programming.

We are asking, Mr. Eftoda, that you meet with us and with your Libraries and Archives personnel and work out a just and equitable funding agreement that takes into consideration the needs of the rural areas: counting of temporary members, tourist use and services, providing adequate time for planning for special programming at the Library, and counting of actual library users. We are appealing to you to act with haste in this matter.

Respectfully submitted,

Bonnie Barber
Dawson City Community Library Board


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