Whitehorse:  Next week’s Mineral Exploration Roundup would be a good place to make public proposed changes to The Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Act (YESAA) that the Government of Yukon has been working on with its federal counterparts, says Klondike MLA Sandy Silver.  The Premier referenced the amendments in discussions with investors at the recent Cambridge House Vancouver Resource Investment Conference.

“The amendments were developed in a silo in the Department of Energy, Mines and Resources but have not been shown to the public or First Nation governments,” said Silver.  “Instead of working in secret, like it did with Bill 66, let’s have this discussion in an open and transparent way.”

Silver said he supports changes to legislation that would clarify the roles and jurisdictions of the Yukon Water Board and YESAB and is interested to see what the government is proposing.  He has already asked questions in the legislature about the lack of progress on this issue and the government indicated in May, 2012 that it was working towards a solution.

“The government has been doing a lot of talking about regulatory reform and that’s a good thing,” he said.  “At some point however, the talking has be replaced by action and that should be done in broad daylight, not behind closed doors with the government’s Conservative friends in Ottawa.”

Silver noted the issue of regulatory reform has been on the agenda of the Yukon Mineral Advisory Board for some time and the Government of Yukon has been aware of the problem since the 2010 rejection of a water license for the Carmacks Copper project.

‘For a government that prides itself on being helpful to the mining industry there has been no progress on this major concern over the last three years,” said Silver.  ‘Instead the government coasted on high mineral prices and ignored underlying problems like regulatory certainly.  We are now seeing the cost of that approach.”

The Roundup begins on Monday, January 27, 2014.


For additional information contact:

Jason Cunning 667-8942