Letter to the Editor: Fall 2014 Priorities

Dear Editor:

The Yukon Liberal Party has been working hard to prepare for the legislature’s fall sitting. As part of this process, I have been talking to Yukoners about their hopes, aspirations and concerns. This is why I entered politics – to make sure Yukoners come first.  As an opposition MLA, my job is to ensure the government is held accountable, so we have outlined several important issues for the fall sitting.

  • Changes to YESAB – In the spring, I warned the Yukon Government’s unilateral approach to amending this legislation would further strain the relationship between the territory’s public and First Nation governments.  Now, the government faces the prospect of yet another lawsuit stemming from its failure to co-operate with others.  I will be calling on the Government of Yukon to wield the influence it claims to have in Ottawa to see these legislative changes withdrawn until there have been more discussions with both the Yukon public and First Nation governments. 
  • Affordable Housing – This summer we saw several Whitehorse projects get kyboshed by the Community Services Minister. The Northern Housing Trust money has sat for eight years, a full housing cycle. We need to plan, not wait until the next crisis before we start building affordable housing.
  • Intergovernmental Relations – This government’s three years in office have eroded relationships with other levels of government. We have seen this repeatedly with Yukon’s First Nation governments and more recently with the City of Whitehorse. The only government the Premier listens to is the Conservatives in Ottawa.
  • Yukon’s Energy Future – After another summer of feasibility studies, is the government any closer to deciding how it will meet rising demands for power or made any progress on securing a renewable energy future?  
  • Our Economy - A stable, diversified economy is my number one priority and I have a number of questions about our economic future and where this government is headed.

The common theme is the lack of trust in this government.  In my travels, I have heard repeatedly that Yukoners no longer trust this government on these and many other issues.

On the legislative front, I look forward to debating Whistleblower legislation, if the government decides to bring it forward.  After three years of delays, I hope the government is ready to proceed.  Finally, the Premier noted, “After three years in office, we have fulfilled many of the commitments we made to Yukoners.” That’s an interesting comment that tells me the government is adrift, floating along not knowing what its priorities are or what to do next. 



Sandy Silver

MLA, Klondike