Whitehorse: A three and a half hour debate on the Yukon’s housing crisis provided plenty of opportunity for the government and Official Opposition to fight with each other and little discussion about finding solutions, says Klondike MLA Sandy Silver.

“Unfortunately both the government and the Official Opposition spent most the day fighting and people looking for housing are no better off than when the debate started,” he said.  “The priority seemed to be one-upmanship and scoring political points and not on finding common ground to help people who are being squeezed out in our current housing situation.”

As a new member of the Legislature Assembly, Silver walked away from his first Private Members’ Day deeply disappointed.

“Both the New Democrats and, in particular, the governing party promised to improve decorum in the legislature and neither has managed to get through two weeks of a legislative sitting without being right back at each others throats,” he said.  “Wednesday is supposed to be about an honest debate of a pressing issue facing the Yukon.  Today’s events just reinforce the public’s perception that partisan politics is more important than getting along and finding solutions to problems.”

Silver focused his brief remarks on the housing situation in Dawson City.

“There has been some excellent work done by NGO’s in the Klondike that could address the housing shortage residents and businesses are facing,” he said.  “If anything comes out of the afternoon I would hope the Government of Yukon takes some of the suggestions that we offered and turns them into reality.”  

Silver added the Standing Committee on Rules, Elections and Privileges should look at changes to the format for Wednesday’s debates.

“It is obvious the taxpayers of the Yukon are not getting their money’s worth out of Wednesday afternoons,” he said.  “As a member of that committee it will certainly be on my priority list when we meet for the first time.”  


Contact: Jason Cunning 667-8942