Whitehorse: As the clock strikes March there is still no word from the Minister of Tourism or Yukon’s Member of Parliament regarding the future of Parks Canada services for the upcoming summer, says Klondike MLA Sandy Silver. In a January 21st conference call MP Ryan Leef told stakeholders they would be kept in the loop on his lobbying efforts and that an announcement would be made no later than March 1st.
“Stakeholders were told the call was to establish contact with everyone, open a discussion and keep people informed going forward. There has been no follow-up whatsoever from the late January phone call. It seems the real reason for the call was to buy time and silence while options were considered behind closed doors,” Silver said. “It is, therefore, very disappointing that the vast majority of Yukoners are still in the dark about the future of our Parks Canada sites and that our MP can’t even be bothered to keep everyone informed.”
Commitments by Leef to provide information on what lobbying he has done to reverse the federal Conservative cuts have not materialized either.
After meetings in Ottawa on February 11th Minister Nixon assured Yukoners an announcement would be made in two weeks’ time.
“After waiting almost a year to actually meet with his federal counterpart the Minister finally went to Ottawa to make his case and he seemed optimistic about an announcement,” Silver said. “Unfortunately, we continue to wait as the tourism season draws closer with no plan in place to address these Tory cuts. The special relationship between the Yukon Party and Stephen Harper has produced no results and left Yukon with a big hole in its tourism attraction portfolio.”
Silver is also concerned about the long term viability of the Dawson City artifact collection.
“There’s no one left caring for our history and it will slowly deteriorate from neglect unless some of the cuts are reversed,” he said. “Our MP agreed with those concerns during the conference call so I guess we’re left waiting to see what he comes up with.”
For additional information contact:
Jason Cunning 667-8942
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