Whitehorse: The Liberal Caucus is commending all MLAs for their unanimous support for Liberal motions on Nutrition North and technology and trades training.  Both Motion #80, standing in the name of Darius Elias, and Motion #106, standing in the name of Sandy Silver, passed yesterday with full support from all three political parties.

“In all my years in the Legislature, I don’t think I have seen an opposition party successfully pass two motions in one day with unanimous support,” said Darius Elias, Interim Liberal Leader.  “All parties had committed to more respectful and more productive behaviour in the House, and we thank the government and Official Opposition members for working together with us on behalf of Yukoners.”

By passing Motion #80, the Yukon Legislative Assembly calls upon the federal government to implement its new Nutrition North program in such a way that Old Crow residents can continue to access fresh, healthy foods at a reasonable cost.  Residents’ shipping costs have increased substantially since the switch from the previous Food Mail program. 

While food costs have always been high in Old Crow, the new program makes healthy groceries increasingly unaffordable.

“Shipping costs of the most nutritious foods have doubled under the new program,” said Elias.  “Not long ago, I shipped $100 worth of groceries up to a constituent, and the shipping cost them $90.  Under the old Food Mail program, that would have been about $40.  Quality food in an investment in our communities’ health, and families can’t afford to pay double the Whitehorse price for groceries.”

Plentiful career opportunities in technology and trades makes now the time to offer comprehensive training available to Yukoners, believes Sandy Silver.

All MLAs supported Motion #106 for the development and implementation of a comprehensive plan for skills, trades and technology training in the Yukon.

“Technology and trades training is key to positioning Yukoners for Yukon opportunities,” said Silver.  “Like all jurisdictions, we’re facing a skilled labour shortage.  Our mineral and construction industries need skilled workers and companies are on the same page as our educators and community members: let’s get Yukoners ready for these jobs close to home.’

Skilled trades training also helps keep students engaged in school.  “It has been demonstrated that attendance improves when trade and technology streams are incorporated within the education system,” added Silver.  “We’ve seen it in Ross River, Pelly Crossing, and Dawson City for a number of years.”

In addition to their unanimous support for the motion, Silver welcomed friendly amendments from both government and Official Opposition members.  “Yesterday’s debate provided an excellent example of all parties working together on behalf of issues important to Yukoners.  I’m proud to bring this success back to my constituents in Klondike and thank all members for their input and cooperation.”

For additional information contact: 

Shay Kokiw 667-8942