Whitehorse: Despite the best efforts of the Yukon Liberals, consecutive Yukon Party majority Governments have continued to stonewall Whistleblower Legislation for almost ten years. The current Yukon Party Government is continuing this trend, by telling opposition parties that the issue requires further study.
“This is the same game that Yukon Party Governments have been playing for years,” says Interim Liberal Leader Darius Elias. “Here’s what happens: a Yukon Party controlled committee is formed to study this issue. This committee will receive no direction, no timelines and will only be convened a handful of times during the year. This is a deliberate stalling tactic, to ensure that this kind of legislation never sees the light of day.”
Elias says that the Liberals are strongly in support of legislation that will allow Government officials the freedom of voicing their concerns without repercussions. So much so in fact, that the Liberals tabled their own Whistleblower Legislation in the Legislative Assembly on February 8, 2011, in the form of the Disclosure Protection Act. The Bill was supported by both the Liberals and the NDP, but the Yukon Party used its majority to prevent it from going forward. The Bill was tabled by the Liberals again on December 8, 2011, but it was once again discarded by the Yukon Party Government.
“This Yukon Party Government would love to keep this issue on ice by forcing all of us to continue to study it for the next five years, just like we’ve done for the past five years,” says Elias. “The Government just tabled a Land Titles and Condominium Bill today – it didn’t need a Select Committee for that. Why is it continuing to hold things up with Whistleblower Legislation?”
During debate in the Legislative Assembly, Elaine Taylor, the Minister responsible for the Public Service Commission said that the Government was ‘committed to whistle-blower legislation.’ This sentiment was echoed in Yukon Party Platforms in 2002, 2006 and 2011.
During the fall sitting, Elias said: ‘it would appear all parties in the chamber are now on record with their support for this type of legislation so there is no need for further delay’. Elias reaffirmed this statement today, calling on the Government to show leadership by actually working on Whistleblower Legislation instead of just talking about it.
“As I said during the fall sitting, we will not be appointing a member to this committee, as we don’t see a need for the committee,” says Elias. “The time for studying Whistleblower Legislation via a Select Committee is over. It’s time for the Government to start acting like a Government: it’s time for it to finally take action.”
For additional information contact:
Blake Rogers 667-8942
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