Whitehorse woman questions premier's Mandela trip

A Whitehorse city councillor says Yukon Premier Darrell Pasloski’s trip to Nelson Mandela's memorial service in South Africa was ‘an extravagant waste of money.’
'What close connection did the premier have to Mandela? None,' says Betty Irwin of Whitehorse, who questions Yukon Premier Darrell Pasloski's decision to attend the funeral for Nelson Mandela in South Africa. (CBC)

Hundreds of world leaders gathered in Johannesburg this week, to pay tribute to the legendary Nelson Mandela, but Betty Irwin doesn't think the Premier of the Yukon should have been one of them.

The Whitehorse City Councillor insists she’s speaking as a taxpayer when she says that she considers the trip a waste of taxpayers' dollars.

"This is the season when we are supposed to be looking at people who are less fortunate than we are, and I think it probably was an extravagant waste of money."

Irwin says Prime Minister Stephen Harper capably represented Canada at Mandela's memorial.

"What close connection did the premier have to Mandela? None."

She feels that Darrell Pasloski should have attended the funeral for the late Father Jean-Marie Mouchet instead.

"I was a little disgruntled I guess because we had a local Yukon hero... I thought it would have been more appropriate for the premier to have been here for his funeral.”

She says Pasloski should have saved taxpayers dollars, and stayed home.

Irwin says she wants to be clear that she is speaking as a disgruntled taxpayer — and does not speak for city council on this issue.



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