Question re: Mineral development strategy - May 11, 2016

Mr. Silver: Thank you, Madam Speaker. In early March, the Yukon Party had taxpayers foot the bill for a flyer that was mailed across the territory. It was a report to Yukoners that tried to make the case that this government is growing our economy. The Conference Board of Canada recently confirmed that our economy shrank last year and in fact has been shrinking the last three years in a row.

In a few months’ time, the territory’s last hard rock mine will be shutting its doors. Our hard rock mining industry has flatlined. In mid-November 2014, the government announced a mineral development strategy would be in place by November 2015. Madam Speaker, why is the mineral development strategy not yet completed?

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Question re: Local procurement - May 10, 2016

Mr. Silver: After ignoring the concerns of the local business community over local hire and procurement for the last four years of the mandate of this Yukon Party, with an election on the horizon, they have finally agreed to talk about improving contracting rules. Last week, it released a glossy brochure that confirmed that a good share of the contracts go to Outside companies and that the Yukon Party has ramped up capital spending over the last two years, as the election approaches.

It failed to mention the fact that the two largest projects being built this summer have gone to contractors outside the territory. The government followed up by inviting local businesses to a conference and, for a $320 fee, they would be told by the Yukon government how the private sector can develop proposals to pursue government business.

Madam Speaker, what is the justification for such a high cost for this conference?

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In remembrance of Yukoners in the First World War - May 10, 2016

Mr. Silver: Thank you very much. I rise today on behalf of the Liberal Caucus to pay tribute to the Yukon and it’s role during the First World War. This week, Heritage Yukon is hosting a conference called, “The North and First World War Conference”, which includes a two-day study tour in Dawson City to explore the roots of the Yukon’s involvement in the Great War.

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In response to the Mental Wellness Strategy

Mr. Silver: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I would like to start by expressing my disappointment in the government for their lack of commitment in improving the mental wellness in our territory. It took them over a year to produce a wellness strategy, and yet I can’t seem to point to anything tangible in the actual report. Where are the steps of implementation, for example? Where is the money to fund such a vast effort? These questions remain unanswered.

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Question re: Tourism marketing funding - May 9, 2016

Mr. Silver: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Earlier this spring, the Premier went downtown to buy a brand-new pair of shoes for budget day and sent an e-mail to all Government of Yukon employees reminding them to buy local. If only the government practised what it preaches when it comes to local purchasing and contracting. The two largest contracts underway in Yukon this year, for example, were both awarded to Outside companies. At the same time as the Premier was trying on his new shoes, the government was busy awarding a multi-million dollar contract for tourism marketing to a company from Vancouver. There has, of course, been no e‑mail to the government employees announcing this decision. There wasn’t even a news release.

Mr. Speaker, what is the value of the contract this government awarded to Cossette Communications, a Vancouver agency for tourism marketing?

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In recognition of National Nursing Week 2016

Mr. Silver: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I would also like to rise today on behalf of the Liberal caucus to pay tribute to National Nursing Week. This year’s theme is, as mentioned: “Nurses: With you every step of the way” — and it could not be more accurate. This week, we pay tribute to the many contributions of nurses, emphasizing just how important nurses are to every stage of life. Nurses play a vital role in our health care system and are often the first persons we meet and, sadly, the last people we see on our journey through life.

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Question re: First Nation participation in mining sector - May 5, 2016

Mr. Silver: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Earlier this week, the Premier received a scathing letter from the Chief of the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in that accuses the Government of Yukon of “bargaining in bad faith” over mining rules. The chief went on to say, “As the 2016 mining season commences, TH is weighing the value of our continued participation in the negotiation process. We cannot point to any concrete gains from our months of engagement. Unless Yukon takes quick action to address the issues that we have been raising, we will be forced to conclude that the political will is just not there.”

Mr. Speaker, if the Government of Yukon’s relationship with Yukon First Nations is as good as it claims, why are we seeing letters like this arriving in the Premier’s mailbox?

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In recognition of International Day of the Midwife 2016

Mr. Silver: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I would like to rise today on behalf of the Liberal caucus to pay tribute to International Day of the Midwife. Each year on May 5, we mark International Day of the Midwife. This year’s theme is “Women and Newborns: The Heart of Midwifery”. The theme highlights midwives, ensuring women and newborns receive the quality of care that they deserve during and before and after delivery.

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In recognition of Yukon Mining and Geology Week 2016

Mr. Silver: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I’m also happy to rise today on behalf of the Liberal caucus to pay tribute to Yukon Mining and Geology Week. Mining and exploration are such an important and integral part of our community. Both contribute greatly to our economy, bringing jobs and wealth and supporting our local businesses. They provide the opportunity for community members to educate and train themselves, creating a more diverse and successful workplace. More often than not, mining and exploration companies will pair with the nearest communities to create a community wellness program. These types of initiatives are just the beginning. The list goes on and on, Mr. Speaker.

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Question re: Dawson City recreation centre - May 4, 2016

Mr. Silver: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Before the 2011 election, the Yukon Party candidate for Klondike held a sod-turning ceremony with a former minister of Community Services to announce that a re-elected Yukon Party government would build a brand new rec centre in Dawson City. As the government’s mandate winds down, it’s now clear that this long-standing Yukon Party commitment will not be fulfilled.

Mr. Speaker, why has the government broken the promise that it made with residents of Dawson City?

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