Response to Liberal-led Idle No More business boycott over my column

cherish clarke

To Yukon media and Whitehorse Chamber of Commerce:

It’s come to my attention that the opinion piece I wrote in the Midnight Sun News about Idle No More has generated quite a bit of controversy and discussion.

As a political observer and writer, I consider this a success. What purpose, other than generating discussion and argument, should an opinion piece in a newspaper serve?

Where I am disappointed, however, is in learning that the Liberal Party official, Cherish Clarke, has decided to attack the newsmagazine and organize a boycott of local advertisers over her personal dislike and disagreement of the column. Such a blatant partisan attack under the subterfuge of a grassroots movement is
unsavoury behaviour, to say the least.

Worse still, a current executive member of the Whitehorse Chamber of Commerce approved of this ridiculous boycott which doesn’t say much for his appreciation of the purpose of his position.

I wish I could say I’m surprised. This is rather typical of the “bully tactics” I described in my column, both of the political left and of the Idle No More movement in a general way. Most reasonable people can agree to disagree without trying to stifle the other person.

The sad thing is in this instance is that it’s not even me being stifled, but an unfair and unjustified attack on businesses and the Midnight Sun News. Firstly, it’s a Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms right for a news organization to publish opinions that may seem disagreeable to other people. Shocking, I know. I would even argue it is the responsibility of a news organization to do so. And trying to coerce a newspaper to censor or omit a variety and diversity of opinions under threat of financial ruin is misguided at best, and prone to totalitarian tendencies at worst.

It isn’t the job of the media to publish only those stories that the Idle No More approves and agrees with. That’s one of the reason that Chief Theresa Spence so rapidly lost public support among us, the
ordinary Canadians, who were informed that we were either with them or against them. Friend or foe.


Some have suggested I am a “self-proclaimed reporter” with “no journalistic merit.” I’m not a reporter, I’m an ordinary Canadian with an opinion the Idle No More movement doesn’t like. I never pretended to be anything else.

I applaud the Midnight Sun News for having the courage to publish opinion columns like mine, from ordinary Canadians, despite the “Idle” threats of leftists to harm businesses in Whitehorse. But truthfully, I think the threat of an Idle No More boycott has the force and effect of a vegan threatening not to buy bacon. Let’s not pretend these people have a discretionary spending habit in anything other than whining.


Dean Skoreyko


18 Responses to “Response to Liberal-led Idle No More business boycott over my column”

  1. Bubba Brown Says:

    Excellent reply Dean!
    I am not a Journalist either.
    Just a taxpayer who is fed up with the waste of tax dollars by these whiny, entitled, bulling idlers.
    That they would attempt to silence a truthful voice says much about them and the rest of the idlers.
    As phony as the tee pee fish soup starvation diet the CBC just could not blather enough about.
    Me, I want to see a copy of the 4 star hotel bill.
    What culinary delights were wheeled in by room service?
    Did Theresa have her nails done there.?
    Did we the tax payer pay her bill?
    Keep on writing Dean, Canada needs more Skoreyko!
    Cheers Bubba

  2. Harold Stothart Says:

    Good going. About time people learned that living in a free country means freedom of speech for everyone, not just a few.

  3. jmw Says:

    Good for you Dean. Time for some pushback against the “tolerant left”.

  4. Loren Maluorno Says:

    Well said Dean…..If anything, this whole fiasco will, and has blown back in their face. It only shows, that the Yukon Liberal’s have absolutely no issues to ride on and have to stoop so low as to put the children in front of the firing line. As to this executive member of the WCOC jumping in on side of attacking and boycotting local business’s, he obviously doesn’t understand what the job of the organization is. His tenure, I imagine, is on very shakey ground. We know for a fact that the majority of the Exec. know what their job is and it’s certainly not to applaud cause’s that undermine the small business’s in the Yukon! If there’s any good that comes of this, it’s that the profile of the Midnight Sun News has been raised…and that the Liberal Party has driven another fatal nail in it’s own desheveled coffin….Keep up the great writing!

  5. Jen Says:

    You Dean are a better reporter/jpurnalist than most CBC reporters wish to be.

  6. patsplace1 Says:

    Well said Dean and as you mentioned, Good on the Midnight Sun for printing your column. We need more of these honest views of what is going on, not less.

    • BC Blue Says:

      Yes, I have a lot of respect for the people at Midnight Sun as they have to take the full brunt of these attacks. shows how much guts they have!

  7. Stewart Burnett Says:

    Ah, that’s what your tweet was referencing. I have not had an official boycott. Congratulations! You are generating interest and challenging the mainstream dialogue, which means you’re doing a great job as an opinion writer.
    In the end, boycotting over opinions just makes the boycotters look bad. I don’t like to quote Obama, but I completely agree that the answer to speech you don’t like is more speech. People upset with you should take the time to write a letter about how wrong you are and extend the dialogue, not try to shut you up.
    I remember one email I got from someone upset about a story I did giving ink to a religious group’s views. It said that a reporter’s job is to “bring their citizens’ thoughts forward, not back in time.” This truly upset me more than the names I’ve been called for other work. I suggested to the writer that she might prefer a paper like Xinhua.
    It’s a shame they would take out their anger on you onto the paper. I encourage you to do more columns. I had a very strong negative reaction when I started, but eight months into my new job, people have gotten used to me now. I still get letters and calls that I should be fired but the whole town isn’t ready to burn down my home anymore, haha. In fact, I have gained a very engaged readership that is not used to seeing opinions that reflect theirs in the media. There are many people out there disenfranchised with the media, and a columnist like you can win them back to reading the paper. Good luck.
    *Thinking back, we did have some people threaten to pull advertising/support because of things I wrote, but the interest I generated has far outweighed the negative effects.

  8. Peter M Says:

    Where the hell is my LIKE button for this!!!

  9. Brian Mouland Says:

    See the rent-a-mob is back to non-work

  10. A Yukoner For Life. Says:

    Dean Skoreyko and Krysta Meekens should receive an award for there steadfastness in the exercise of freedom of speech. For the Chamber of Commerce who supported the “Idle No More I would strongly suggest that individual should be removed from any position he/she holds with the Chamber.

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