In recognition of Yukon Mining and Geology Week

Mr. Silver:   I also rise today on behalf of the Liberal caucus to pay tribute to Yukon Mining and Geology Week. This tribute was written by a constituent of mine, who is from a family who has been mining in Dawson City for four generations.

Yukon is a vastly diverse territory with many defining aspects, such as tourism, outdoor recreation and culture, but this week we are celebrating mining. Mining plays an integral role in how the world views Yukon and continues to be our economic mainstay. Over 100 years ago, when gold was discovered in Rabbit Creek — now known as Bonanza Creek — by Skookum Jim, George and Kate Carmack and Tagish Charlie, news of the Yukon and its mineral wealth spread around the world. Many people within Yukon have worked very hard to maintain this reputation.

Placer gold mining has not only survived, but it has thrived through the last century and has particular effect in the Klondike riding and its constituents, whom I am very proud to represent.

The territory’s placer mining industry spreads from large-scale to mom-and-pop-style mines, providing a livelihood for families through the Yukon. Since the early 1900s, Yukon has expanded its mineral resource base beyond placer gold. We now have known hardrock gold, copper, silver and lead-zinc deposits throughout the territory, many of which have become productive and lasting mines. These mines have not only provided jobs but economic growth throughout the history of this beautiful territory. I would like to voice my appreciation and pay tribute to the many prospectors and geologists, construction workers, operators and miners whose expertise has profiled Yukon’s successful mining sector.

Many organizations, both private and public, have provided much-needed education and support for these workers, including, but not limited to: the Chamber of Mines, Yukon Women in Mining, the Yukon Mine Training Association, the Yukon Geological Survey, Yukon Prospectors’ Association and the Klondike Placer Miners Association. The Yukon Chamber of Mines and the Yukon Women in Mining have paired up to host the 2014 Yukon Mining and Geology Week, which will include the Yukon mining procurement forum on May 7, aimed at linking producing mines and exploration companies with local suppliers and service providers, along with the exploration and discovery camps in Shipyards Park on May 9 and 10, aiming at educating the public about mining, exploration and geology.

This month also marks the 28th annual Dawson City gold show, hosted by the Dawson City Chamber of Commerce on May 16 and 17. This is North America’s largest industry and consumer trade show focused on the placer mining industry. The gold show is an industry and consumer trade show encompassing the diverse and interconnected sections of our regional economy, with mining as its hub. Celebrating the gold show has become a springtime tradition — a great place to chat, network, and share ideas with fellow miners and prospectors. Mining and exploration connect us to our heritage in the Yukon, Mr. Speaker. Yukon has developed a successful and profitable sector that the Yukon Liberal Party believes can be balanced, create jobs and protect the environment.

With modern technology and sound regulation and public education, the mining sector will continue to thrive in the Yukon, contributing to the world’s economy and creating a prosperous Yukon community. The Liberal Party looks forward to a positive and healthy relationship with the mining industry for years to come.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.