NUTRITION NORTH PROGRAM NOT MEETING OBJECTIVES SAYS ELIAS

Whitehorse: Eight months after the introduction of the new Nutrition North Canada Program (NNCP) Old Crow residents are paying more than double to have a personal food order shipped to their community, says Darius Elias, MLA for Vuntut Gwitchin.  The program is not meeting is own objectives which are to ‘ensure that healthy foods are more accessible and affordable’.

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STATEMENT BY COMMUNITY SERVICES CRITIC SANDY SILVER ON THE ECOJUSTICE DRINKING WATER REPORT CARD

Whitehorse:Liberal Community Services Critic Sandy Silver made the following statement today on the Ecojustice drinking water report card:

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LIBERALS OUTLINE CRITIC RESPONSIBILITIES

Whitehorse: Interim Liberal Leader Darius Elias announced critic responsibilities for the Liberal Caucus today.  At the top of the list of responsibilities for the Vuntut Gwitchin MLA will be the Executive Council Office and the areas of land claims and self government.

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Red Tape & Access to Services


Yukoners need to be able to access government services in a timely and convenient manner. Similarly, Yukon businesses require an environment that facilitates their ability to operate in a modern, responsive regulatory environment.

A Yukon Liberal government will:

  • collaborate with businesses to identify barriers to competitiveness and modernize the existing regulatory environment;
  • reduce red tape and regulatory burdens for small business while maintaining standards for business operations;
  • reduce red tape for Yukoners accessing services and enhance the availability of services online, and
  • expand opportunities to introduce/provide more eHealth, eJustice, eEducation and e-Commerce services to Yukon’s communities.

Sustainable Environment


In order to diversify Yukon’s economy in the future, we need more energy than we currently have. However, that need for energy must be balanced with lessening our carbon footprint and other negative impacts on our environment. Reducing the use of energy and expanding the availability of renewable energy make achieving this balance possible. The sustainability and preservation of Yukon’s environment, its wildlife and its resources is critical to our future.

A Yukon Liberal government will:

  • protect our environment by increasing the availability of renewable energy through measures such as:
    • promoting and developing energy policies, initiatives and programs that source future needs from renewable technologies, such as small-hydro, wind, solar and geothermal sources;
    • launching pilot projects in renewable energy storage (e.g. liquid hydrogen) which enable excess summer energy (hydro) to be used in the winter;
    • examining the feasibility of connecting to the British Columbia or Alaska grid, and
    • re-examining the current Independent Power Production Policy to provide stable pricing mechanisms for renewable energy projects;
  • protect our environment by reducing the use of energy through measures such as:
    • updating Yukon’s Climate Change Action Plan and Energy Strategy to establish greenhouse gas reduction targets, including intensity-based targets for industry;
    • allocating up to $30M per year to implement an energy retrofit program for residential, government, and commercial buildings, working with federal agencies to access funding sources;
    • working with communities and the utility companies to convert all street lighting to LED;
    • working with the Government of Canada to ensure that all funds collected in Yukon through a federal carbon pricing mechanism will be returned to Yukon to be distributed back to individual Yukoners and businesses through a rebate, and
    • accurately and transparently tracking Yukon’s greenhouse gas emissions;
  • protect our environment through working collaboratively to implement government policy, regulation and public consultations including, but not limited to:
    • accepting the final report of the original Peel Watershed Planning Commission;
    • restarting the land use planning process in consultation with First Nations, communities and stakeholders and immediately take steps to restart the Dawson Land Use Plan;
    • placing an immediate, long-term moratorium on, and issuing no permits for, fracking in Yukon;
    • continuing the moratorium on oil and gas development in the Whitehorse trough;
    • removing LNG from qualifying under the Independent Power Production program;
    • establishing an Independent Task Force on Economic Enhancement and Environmental Sustainability, and
    • working with Yukon’s mining industry to establish strong environmental stewardship programs;
  • protect our environment by supporting communities in their “reduce, reuse, recycle” efforts through measures such as:
    • developing and implementing community-centred, integrated waste management and diversion plans, with full participation of Yukon’s municipalities in order to resolve outstanding waste management issues, including recycling and illegal dumping.

Government-to-Government Relationships


Since the effective date of the modern Yukon Self-government Agreements in the early 1990’s, a new order of government has existed in law in Yukon which establishes First Nation law-making authority and control over various programs and services on settlement land and traditional territory.  Yukon Liberals understand that strong, effective, transparent government-to-government relationships are absolutely necessary in modern Yukon. 

A Yukon Liberal Government will:

  • within 30 days of forming government, have the Premier and Cabinet meet with First Nation Chiefs to establish initial priorities;
  • hold bi-lateral Premier/First Nation Chief meetings as requested;
  • hold a revitalized Yukon Forum up to four times annually as agreed with Yukon Chiefs, and
  • support First Nations governments in bilateral initiatives they have with the Government of Canada.

Life-Long Health and Wellbeing


An active, healthy society improves standards of living and economic outcomes as well as reduces strain on our healthcare system. We need to invest in people, in affordable housing, in alternative methods of care, in people’s mental health and in active living.

A Yukon Liberal Government will:

  • streamline and refocus the implementation of the Yukon Mental Wellness Strategy and include comprehensive after care services in Yukon communities;
  • recruit an adequate number of in-patient and out-patient mental health workers to meet the mental health needs of the territory;
  • increase the Yukon College licensed practical nursing program from an intake every 18 months to every 12 months;
  • engage with the Government of Canada and the Mental Health Commission of Canada on the implementation of the National Mental Health Strategy;
  • modernize and integrate alcohol treatment programs and services to reflect advances in treatment and services and First Nations culture – including land-based programming, community-based care and aftercare;
  • create adequate hospital infrastructure for Yukoners by ensuring that Yukon hospitals have sufficient capacity including beds, equipment, services, and qualified staff;
  • examine options to improve the delivery of front line health care services through a collaborative care model;
  • fund health and wellness peer champions in each community to encourage healthy lifestyle and participation in existing, yet undersubscribed, programs;
  • work in partnership with the francophone community to find practical short and long term solutions to provide more services in French; especially in the priority areas of primary, emergency and mental health care;
  • address community concerns on cancer incidence by obtaining reliable information and enhancing health promotion and prevention initiatives;
  • update and enhance the FireSmart Program;
  • adopt a Housing First Strategy for vulnerable populations such as those affected by poverty, addictions or mental health problems, and
  • work with municipalities and First Nations governments to implement the Housing Action Plan.

Facilitate Yukon Business


Yukon businesses create jobs. With lower taxes, employers can invest in marketing, training, and innovation to create more good jobs for Yukoners. With fair procurement processes, Yukon businesses can compete and grow. With more Yukon government spending staying in the territory, all Yukoners benefit.

A Yukon Liberal government will:

  • eliminate the small business tax;
  • reduce the corporate tax rate to 12% from 15%;
  • increase the ceiling for the Yukon Small Business Investment Tax Credit from $1 million to $5 million and increase the asset limit to allow larger companies to qualify;
  • fast track the implementation of the recommendations of the Procurement Advisory Panel Report (i.e. within two years);
  • collaborate with major industry including mines and large infrastructure projects to ensure they have local-purchase programs  that complement government procurement initiatives, and
  • commit to transparent Yukon Government capital planning by creating a detailed five-year Capital Plan and developing an inventory of “shovel-ready” projects that will be tendered well ahead of each construction season.

Traditional Knowledge, Language & Culture


First Nations make enormous contributions to Yukon based on their history in the territory.  Revitalizing, maintaining and celebrating First Nations knowledge, language and culture are core to a modern Yukon.

A Yukon Liberal government will:

  • establish National Aboriginal Day as a Yukon statutory holiday;
  • support Yukon First Nations in establishing and administering archives of traditional knowledge;
  • market First Nations arts and culture initiatives in partnership with Yukon First Nations;
  • incorporate First Nations’ culture into the Standing Orders, customs, and practices of the Legislature;
  • in consultation with First Nations and First Nation Heritage Centres, establish an Indigenous Fine Arts Program, and
  • work with linguistic experts and First Nations to develop, preserve and enhance traditional knowledge, First Nation languages, and First Nation culture.

Early Childhood


Child care, development and education from birth to age eight must be co-ordinated to maximize the benefits to our children.

A Yukon Liberal Government will:

  • research, develop and implement a Yukon Early Childhood Strategy (childcare, development and education), in consultation with early childhood education and health care professionals, parents and First Nation governments, in order to improve developmental and educational outcomes, and
  • create structures that close the gap in responsibility between the Departments of Health and Social Services and Education.