Monday, 14 March 2011

In Yellowknife, Yes we Con

-------- Original Message --------
Subject:        Yes we Con
Date:   Mon, 14 Mar 2011 11:21:21 -0600
From:   David Prichard <>


During the run up to the referendum to the Con Mine energy proposal a
group of Yellowknife citizens led by Mr. Andrew Robinson, formerly
Director, Arctic Energy Alliance, set up a Facebook page called Yes we
Con in order to promote the proposal. While Mr. Robinson and his
associates are to be congratulated for attempting public engagement, it
also sadly proved the pitfalls of social media.

While the site claimed no affiliation with the City of Yellowknife, a
number of City employees, contractors and elected individuals used the
site to comment on, promote and endorse the project. Those running the
site seemed to believe that such individuals were only offering their
opinions. Where this site may have served to better inform the public of
the issues, the moderators chose instead to delete the postings of some
of those critical of the proposal, advancing alternate plans or leaving
citizen's questions unanswered claiming it served as a pro proposal site.

It is intolerable that civic officials can advance a proposal publicly
without citizens having the right of reply. While citizens should be
free to challenge their governments, to allow officials to advance a
cause while denying all citizens a voice subverts the democratic
process.  Consequently the current council need pass a resolution
prohibiting employees and elected officials from commenting on civic
affairs via third party sites over which the City of Yellowknife has no

David Prichard
34 Trail's End

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