Whitehorse – Despite a suggestion from the Premier that there was ‘not a lot’ left to be done before the end of its mandate, it is obvious after the fall sitting that the next government will have its hands full with unfinished projects, says Liberal leader Sandy Silver. Citing a sagging economy, vague commitments about a new Francophone school, unfinished reconciliation agreements, incomplete infrastructure projects, a lack of action to address climate change and a failure to address mining uncertainty Silver demonstrated the Yukon Party claim it has almost completed its work is just wishful thinking by the government.
“It was clear by the Premier’s opening statements that the government believes it has accomplished what it can and thinks it deserves a hand for a job well done,” said Silver. “When your GDP is projected to shrink for a third straight year I would argue there is a lot of work left to be done. The list of incomplete actions is a long one and it will certainly be left to the next government to address them.”
Silver began the session by asking about the secretive budget consultations that were announced on the eve of the sitting.
“One of the first decisions of Yukon Party 2.0 was to scrap public consultations on budgets,” he said. “This death bed selective revival is not the kind of public consultation that encourages more people to get involved in politics. Yukoners who aren’t on the Yukon Party’s handpicked, secret list should be asking themselves why the Premier doesn’t want to hear their opinions.”
Silver also raised concerns about the botched attempt to pass Bill S-6.
“After initially insisting it wanted the changes to stand the Premier changed his mind and said the best contribution the Yukon Party could make would be to stay out of the way as First Nations deal directly with the incoming federal government,” said Silver. “I could not agree more. The Yukon Party created this mess with its four secret amendments and now the new federal government will fix it.”
Silver also pointed out the Yukon Party government trotted out a ready-made excuse for anything it has failed to accomplish in more than 13 years in office - blame the new federal government.
“From the Ross River Bridge to the new fiber optic link to the Dawson airport the government is already trying to blame Mr. Trudeau for failing to complete these projects,” said Silver. “Yukoners know the real story and understand the Yukon Party is desperately trying to shift the blame for its own inaction.”
On the health care front, despite promises in the spring that a mental health strategy was almost ready to be released, another six months have now passed with no action being taken. Finally, Silver voted against new spending plans that include more money for the 300 bed senior’s warehouse in Whistle Bend.
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