Silver receives unanimous support for mental health strategy

WHITEHORSE – Liberal Leader Sandy Silver received unanimous support for his motion urging the government to fulfill its commitment to a Yukon mental health strategy.

“I brought forward the motion yesterday, because I know how important mental health issues are to Yukoners,” said Sandy Silver. “In my speech I highlighted the many issues that Yukoners have been bringing forward to me, and what our health care professionals are facing in rural Yukon. I know there are many more issues that I wasn't able to touch on, but I know a strategy would be able to properly identify these and ensure that adequate resources are allocated.”

Silver also noted that a strategy should have implications across many departments and not just focus in on Health and Social Services.

“I am happy that the motion received unanimous support in the house, but the real work still needs to be done to deliver a mental health strategy. We are one of only two jurisdictions in Canada without one,” said Silver. “Given the government’s track record on implementing private members’ motions, I will reserve my judgment on the success of the motion until we see a strategy.”

In a previous motion that received unanimous consent, Silver called on the government to adopt JJ van Bibber’s book I was born under a spruce tree into Yukon’s education curriculum.

“The government supported an amended version of the motion, but did very little beyond placing the book in school libraries,” said Silver. “Given their inability to incorporate a book into the curriculum I certainly have my doubts about the government’s recent announcement to develop a brand new made in Yukon curriculum. It also demonstrates private members’ motions do not guarantee government action.”

A mental health strategy was something promised by all parties in the 2011 election, but the current government has yet to deliver upon. It is the first time an un-amended motion Silver introduced has received the support of all members of the house.


For more information call:
Brad Weston, 393-6430