Question re: Economic outlook - May 12, 2016

Mr. Silver: Thank you, Madam Speaker. Earlier today, Statistics Canada confirmed what many Yukoners already know: our economy has stopped growing under this Yukon Party government. Statistics Canada announced that Yukon’s economy shrank for the third consecutive year in 2015. Alberta led the way and Yukon was second as the two worst performing economies in Canada. This is the third year in a row for Yukon’s economy to shrink. The Department of Economic Development produces its own report on our GDP, and the minister has that data.

Can the minister confirm that Yukon’s own GDP estimates for 2015 show our economy shrank for a third year in a row?

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Question re: Mineral development strategy - May 11, 2016

Mr. Silver: Thank you, Madam Speaker. In early March, the Yukon Party had taxpayers foot the bill for a flyer that was mailed across the territory. It was a report to Yukoners that tried to make the case that this government is growing our economy. The Conference Board of Canada recently confirmed that our economy shrank last year and in fact has been shrinking the last three years in a row.

In a few months’ time, the territory’s last hard rock mine will be shutting its doors. Our hard rock mining industry has flatlined. In mid-November 2014, the government announced a mineral development strategy would be in place by November 2015. Madam Speaker, why is the mineral development strategy not yet completed?

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Question re: Local procurement - May 10, 2016

Mr. Silver: After ignoring the concerns of the local business community over local hire and procurement for the last four years of the mandate of this Yukon Party, with an election on the horizon, they have finally agreed to talk about improving contracting rules. Last week, it released a glossy brochure that confirmed that a good share of the contracts go to Outside companies and that the Yukon Party has ramped up capital spending over the last two years, as the election approaches.

It failed to mention the fact that the two largest projects being built this summer have gone to contractors outside the territory. The government followed up by inviting local businesses to a conference and, for a $320 fee, they would be told by the Yukon government how the private sector can develop proposals to pursue government business.

Madam Speaker, what is the justification for such a high cost for this conference?

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In remembrance of Yukoners in the First World War - May 10, 2016

Mr. Silver: Thank you very much. I rise today on behalf of the Liberal Caucus to pay tribute to the Yukon and it’s role during the First World War. This week, Heritage Yukon is hosting a conference called, “The North and First World War Conference”, which includes a two-day study tour in Dawson City to explore the roots of the Yukon’s involvement in the Great War.

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In response to the Mental Wellness Strategy

Mr. Silver: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I would like to start by expressing my disappointment in the government for their lack of commitment in improving the mental wellness in our territory. It took them over a year to produce a wellness strategy, and yet I can’t seem to point to anything tangible in the actual report. Where are the steps of implementation, for example? Where is the money to fund such a vast effort? These questions remain unanswered.

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