Whitehorse: The Government of Yukon should examine the potential of moving energy planning in-house, away from the Yukon Energy Corporation, says Klondike MLA Sandy Silver.
“Yukon Energy has spent more than $20 million in recent years on a variety of energy options and has little to show for it,” said Silver. “Most of this money is recovered through higher energy bills. It makes sense to protect ratepayers by moving this type of work into the deeper Government of Yukon pocketbook.”
Money spent on energy planning in the Energy Corporation is not debated in the legislature.
“There is less scrutiny by the public of this spending because it is not debated in the legislature. In recent years, the Government of Yukon has even refused to allow officials from the corporation to appear in the legislative assembly to answer questions. With the amount of money being spent I believe it should be done in house, by government,” Silver said. “Moving this spending into a department would allow for more oversight and that is always a good idea when it comes to public funds.”
If the funding was moved in-house it would also allow for broader public policy concerns to be part of the decision making process.
“The Energy Corporation really has no mandate to bring environmental considerations into their planning processes. It’s mostly a dollars and cents exercise,” said Silver. “Producing policy that balances economic development with environmental concerns is best handled by government. This would result in a more integrated approach to energy decisions that take in all public considerations.”
Silver plans to raise the issue in the legislature later today.
“There’s a change in policy needed – both to improve accountability to the public and to protect ratepayers,” he said. “We’ll see if the government is interested in engaging in this debate.”
For additional information contact:
Jason Cunning 667-8942
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