Last December Yukoners learned that yet another capital project managed by this Yukon Party government was over budget.
Yukoners were informed not by the Minister but by the President of the Yukon Energy Corporation that the new LNG facility being built in Whitehorse was $6.4 million or 18% over budget. We can add this to a long list of projects that have cost more than they were supposed to under this government’s not so watchful eye. The new estimated cost is $42.9 million.
When I raised this question in the legislature this week the Minister refused to accept any responsibility for this major cost overrun.
We know this Yukon Party government, like its predecessor, is good at spending taxpayers’ money. There are numerous examples all around us of over budget projects, including the new ambulance station, the new F.H. Collins School and two rural hospitals that the Auditor General of Canada was so critical of. Despite repeated promises to do better this government just keeps going over budget on new builds and in this case left the President of the corporation to explain the cost over runs to the public.
Just because Ottawa continues to send us over 85% of our budget is no excuse to be wasteful with it. This is another major capital project that has gone way over budget and it is not even finished yet. The Yukon Party claim that it manages Yukoners money carefully has taken yet another hit as these cost overruns have come to light.
At the same time it was busy blowing the budget on the LNG facility the government has dropped the ball on alternatives to more fossil fuel use, such as the creation of an independent power producer (IPP) policy or exploring the potential of geothermal energy. It has been 6 years since the government announced an IPP policy was on the way and despite some flowery words about geothermal energy we have seen no progress on this option in the last decade.
These events demonstrate the government is equally inept at managing current energy project AND finding viable solutions for our energy solutions.
Leader, Yukon Liberal Party
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