Whitehorse:  During the recent fall sitting Klondike MLA Sandy Silver used his time to press the government on a number of issues that are important to Yukoners. He also held meetings with constituents, industry groups, youth interested in climate change and attended the annual Geoscience Forum.

In Question Period my focus was mainly economic development and First Nation relations,” he said.  “The two issues are tied together obviously and I’m concerned the current government isn’t doing enough to plan for the future of our economy or to build a long term economic relationship with First Nation governments.”

He also raised concerns about increasing electrical rates, cost overruns at new hospitals, the future of F.H. Collins School, internet connectivity, the Peel Land Use Plan and the new Whistle Bend subdivision.

On behalf of constituents in Dawson the Klondike MLA spoke to the need for more housing and lot development, staffing issues at the new hospital, the need for a new recreation centre and the future of the Top of the World Golf Course.  Another issue that impacts Dawson, and indeed the entire Yukon, is the cuts made by Parks Canada.

“It was painfully obvious after listening to the Minister of Tourism that the Government of Yukon has done very little to try and have this decision reversed,” he said.  “Their entire lobby campaign has consisted of two letters, one of which said helping the federal government address its financial situation was a top priority.  The tourism industry has expressed the same frustrations.”  

With regard to legislation that was brought forward Silver did not support amendments to the Access to Information Act that will restrict public access to more government documents. He also voted against legislation that would strip the Kaska of a veto over oil and gas development in their traditional territory.

“The Premier’s fight with the Kaska highlights this government’s combative, poor relationship with First Nations,” he said.  “It’s a ham-fisted confrontational approach that has set back relations with First Nations across the Yukon and will not result in economic development in the southeast.”

He did support legislation to introduce a new tax credit that will assist families with children involved in music, arts and tutoring. He also supported changes to the Residential Landlord and Tenant Act.

On December 5 Silver brought forward a motion urging the Minister of Education to adopt the JJ Van Bibber memoir, I was born under a spruce tree, as part of Yukon’s education curriculum. After a friendly amendment from the government side the motion was unanimously supported in the Legislature. The book should be part of the curriculum for the 2013-2014 school year.

“This is a great book, a gift to all Yukoners that deserves a wide audience,” he said.  “I’m optimistic we’ll see it in all our schools starting next year.” 

Looking ahead to the spring sitting, there is no reason whistleblower legislation should not be on the agenda.

“The whistleblower committee I was a member of has delivered its report recommending the government move ahead on this legislation and there is no reason to delay it,” he said.  “It is now a political decision and we’ll see if the Yukon Party lives up to its word or not.”  


For additional information contact: 

Jason Cunning 667-8942