Whitehorse: Eight months after the introduction of the new Nutrition North Canada Program (NNCP) Old Crow residents are paying more than double to have a personal food order shipped to their community, says Darius Elias, MLA for Vuntut Gwitchin.  The program is not meeting is own objectives which are to ‘ensure that healthy foods are more accessible and affordable’.

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Whitehorse:Liberal Community Services Critic Sandy Silver made the following statement today on the Ecojustice drinking water report card:

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Whitehorse: Interim Liberal Leader Darius Elias announced critic responsibilities for the Liberal Caucus today.  At the top of the list of responsibilities for the Vuntut Gwitchin MLA will be the Executive Council Office and the areas of land claims and self government.

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Red Tape & Access to Services

Yukoners need to be able to access government services in a timely and convenient manner. Similarly, Yukon businesses require an environment that facilitates their ability to operate in a modern, responsive regulatory environment.

A Yukon Liberal government will:

  • collaborate with businesses to identify barriers to competitiveness and modernize the existing regulatory environment;
  • reduce red tape and regulatory burdens for small business while maintaining standards for business operations;
  • reduce red tape for Yukoners accessing services and enhance the availability of services online, and
  • expand opportunities to introduce/provide more eHealth, eJustice, eEducation and e-Commerce services to Yukon’s communities.

Sustainable Environment

In order to diversify Yukon’s economy in the future, we need more energy than we currently have. However, that need for energy must be balanced with lessening our carbon footprint and other negative impacts on our environment. Reducing the use of energy and expanding the availability of renewable energy make achieving this balance possible. The sustainability and preservation of Yukon’s environment, its wildlife and its resources is critical to our future.

A Yukon Liberal government will:

  • protect our environment by increasing the availability of renewable energy through measures such as:
    • promoting and developing energy policies, initiatives and programs that source future needs from renewable technologies, such as small-hydro, wind, solar and geothermal sources;
    • launching pilot projects in renewable energy storage (e.g. liquid hydrogen) which enable excess summer energy (hydro) to be used in the winter;
    • examining the feasibility of connecting to the British Columbia or Alaska grid, and
    • re-examining the current Independent Power Production Policy to provide stable pricing mechanisms for renewable energy projects;
  • protect our environment by reducing the use of energy through measures such as:
    • updating Yukon’s Climate Change Action Plan and Energy Strategy to establish greenhouse gas reduction targets, including intensity-based targets for industry;
    • allocating up to $30M per year to implement an energy retrofit program for residential, government, and commercial buildings, working with federal agencies to access funding sources;
    • working with communities and the utility companies to convert all street lighting to LED;
    • working with the Government of Canada to ensure that all funds collected in Yukon through a federal carbon pricing mechanism will be returned to Yukon to be distributed back to individual Yukoners and businesses through a rebate, and
    • accurately and transparently tracking Yukon’s greenhouse gas emissions;
  • protect our environment through working collaboratively to implement government policy, regulation and public consultations including, but not limited to:
    • accepting the final report of the original Peel Watershed Planning Commission;
    • restarting the land use planning process in consultation with First Nations, communities and stakeholders and immediately take steps to restart the Dawson Land Use Plan;
    • placing an immediate, long-term moratorium on, and issuing no permits for, fracking in Yukon;
    • continuing the moratorium on oil and gas development in the Whitehorse trough;
    • removing LNG from qualifying under the Independent Power Production program;
    • establishing an Independent Task Force on Economic Enhancement and Environmental Sustainability, and
    • working with Yukon’s mining industry to establish strong environmental stewardship programs;
  • protect our environment by supporting communities in their “reduce, reuse, recycle” efforts through measures such as:
    • developing and implementing community-centred, integrated waste management and diversion plans, with full participation of Yukon’s municipalities in order to resolve outstanding waste management issues, including recycling and illegal dumping.