If you thought you'd return to the world after a two-week hiatus to find peace had finally returned to the valleys of the Peel watershed, you'd be wrong. Dead wrong.
Rather than use the festive season to spread goodwill and reconciliation, the mean-spirited Yukon government instead used the holidays to further fuel dissension and economic uncertainty: it filed its appeal of the historic Dec. 2 Peel land use plan court decision.
In a news release, it claimed it needs "clarity" on the issue of land authority, completely disregarding the deal it signed just 20 or so years ago in which it agreed to a co-management system. Cloaking what seems like a mission to "take out" the Umbrella Final Agreement, et al in an ill-disguised defence of so-called democracy, the government is turning to the Yukon Court of Appeal in a last desperate attempt to open the Peel to industrial development.
Here's a little "package" of Peel news stories for your reading pleasure:
Appeal has betrayed thousands, society says (Whitehorse Star, Dec. 31)
Public government must have a say: Kent (Whitehorse Star, Dec. 31)
Peel watershed: Yukon government files appeal (CBC Dec. 31)
Yukon government to appeal Peel ruling (Yukon News Jan. 1)
Here we go again (Yukon News editorial Jan. 1, 2015)
Peel watershed: Gwich'in Tribal Council unhappy with appeal (CBC Jan. 6)
And if you haven't read Yukon Supreme Court Justice Ron Veale's Dec. 2 ruling on the lawsuit by two Yukon First Nations and environmental groups, you really should:
Peel land use plan lawsuit judgment (92 pages, find a comfortable chair) or the Media summary (just 4 pages for those on the fly).
No date has yet been set for the appeal court hearing.