Dear Mr. Editor:
I began the fall sitting by calling for the resignation of Community Services Minister Brad Cathers, over his bungling of the affordable housing file. On October 27, Whitehorse Mayor and Council echoed my call for Cathers’ resignation due to his failure to work with municipalities on this important issue.
For eight years, the Cathers/Pasloski government sat on millions of federal housing dollars while residents faced high rents and limited options. This spring announcements were finally made to move forward on partnership projects with the private sector. However, in the face of pressure from special interests closely linked to the Yukon Party, Brad Cathers cancelled plans for 75 new affordable rental units over the summer.Read more
Mr. Silver: I began this sitting with a call for the resignation of the minister responsible for the Housing Corporation over the mishandling of $17 million of affordable housing money. That was echoed, of course, only a few days later by the City of Whitehorse.
Again this week, there has been renewed criticism from the Chamber of Commerce and housing advocates over this government’s mismanagement plan to spend some of the money on energy-efficiency rebates.
When the minister went back to the drawing board this spring, after cancelling plans for affordable housing units, he said, “Stay tuned.” Yukoners are still waiting. I’ll give the minister an opportunity to explain the motion that he tabled here today. Does the government actually plan to spend any of the remaining funding on affordable housing?Read more
Mr. Silver: The community of Dawson is currently under a water-boil advisory. We know that the source of the problem is that basically the $25 million water treatment facility does not work properly. Here is what is going on — here’s the problem.
When the new facility was built, it was simply connected to an old discharge pipe to the river. This week, this connection from the plant to the old infrastructure failed — not surprisingly, I’m told. It was only a matter of time, I was told. “Predictable” was the word that was used today when talking to my constituents.
Why was this issue using old infrastructure to hook up a new facility not addressed when the government spent $25 million on this facility?Read more
Over a year ago, the Cathers/Pasloski government cut the ribbon on the new ambulance station at the top of Two Mile Hill. Today, the part of the building that was to be an integrated dispatch centre for emergency call outs still sits empty and unused. Instead calls go through the old and crumbling station in Riverdale. Why?Read more
Mr. Silver: Just over a year ago, the government cut a ribbon on the ambulance station at the top of Two Mile Hill. A year later, the space intended to be an integrated dispatch centre for ambulance services, still sits empty. Calls still go through the station in Riverdale. The reason the space is empty — and the minister admitted this himself — is because the government had no agreement in place with the RCMP to move in when the construction was started and no agreement when construction had ended. When I asked about this empty space last spring, the minister said negotiations with the RCMP to be a tenant were ongoing.
Mr. Speaker, it has been six months and the space is still empty. Can the minister please explain why?Read more
I rise on behalf of the Liberal Party and the Official Opposition to also pay tribute to Sports Day in Canada. This Saturday will mark the fifth annual Sports Day in Canada.
Sports Day in Canada is a national day to celebrate and recognize the important role that sports plays in our lifelong development. Events take place from coast to coast and showcase the value of sports, from the grassroots level all the way to professional. In the week leading up to November 29, there will be events held across the country, hosted by local organizations and schools, to help build momentum and encourage communities, including a number of local events here in Whitehorse.Read more
For 10 years now, Habitat for Humanity has been working hard to provide affordable homes to Yukon families. Habitat’s mission is to mobilize volunteers and community partners in building affordable houses and promoting home ownership as a means to break the cycle of poverty.
Habitat for Humanity empowers families by providing low-interest rates on homes priced below market values. They are able to accomplish this thanks to the support of volunteers and community partners who donate material, time and expertise. The families also get involved by providing 500 hours of labour to the project.Read more
Before the sitting began, the Cathers/Pasloski government told Yukoners it had fulfilled many of the commitments it made in the 2011 election. It certainly left the impression that the government thinks that its work is done. In Dawson there are still outstanding capital projects I ask the Premier to finish before he calls it a day.Read more
Mr. Silver: Mr. Speaker, before the sitting began, the Premier told Yukoners that the government had fulfilled many of its commitments during its last election. It certainly left the impression that the government thinks that its work is done and is trying to decide what it should do next. Well, here’s a suggestion.
Before the 2011 election, the Yukon Party candidate in the Klondike held a sod-turning ceremony with the former Yukon Party Minister of Community Services to begin construction of a new recreation centre in Dawson. Three years into the government’s mandate, the long-standing Yukon Party commitment to build that rec centre has fallen off the table.
This year’s budget contains no funding, and nothing is mentioned in the long-term plan either. Has the government broken this promise to my community?Read more
Mr. Silver: I’m going to return to a topic of great concern to my constituents. The Government of Yukon announced it was transferring the ownership of the Dawson waste-water treatment facility to Dawson City earlier this year. The transfer was supposed to happen mid-March. This didn’t happen. The samples taken at the time failed to pass the water quality test. The contractor who built the facility was supposed to operate it for one year and then turn it over to the city. Yukoners are well-aware that the $25-million plant has not operated properly since it has opened.
Can the minister confirm the hand-off to the City of Dawson has not in fact occurred because the plant still isn’t working properly?Read more