WHITEHORSE –Liberal leader Sandy Silver is participating in an all candidate’s debate in his home riding of Klondike on Wednesday night. The debate is being organized by the Dawson City Chamber of Commerce.
“I’d like to thank the Chamber for organizing this event as it presents all the candidates with an opportunity to speak directly with voters about their priorities,” said Silver.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
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
This past Wednesday the Yukon Legislative Assembly unanimously passed a motion I introduced supporting the designation of the Klondike as a UNESCO world heritage site.
The Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in First Nation is leading the way on working towards this designation. A diverse community-based advisory committee has been assembled for this project and it is reflective of the significant economic opportunity that a UNESCO designation would present at a local and territorial level. A UNESCO world heritage site is defined as “places on Earth that are of outstanding universal value to humanity and as such, have been inscribed on the World Heritage List to be protected for future generations to appreciate and enjoy.” I think we can all agree the Klondike fits this description.Read more
Mr. Silver: Last year, the Government of Yukon completed a risk assessment of the territory’s search and rescue capabilities. The objective was to assess the capabilities of the territory’s search and rescue program to respond to incidents, to identify areas of greatest concern and to address those concerns.
This is an issue that I have raised before with the Minister of Environment about what types of services were available in Tombstone, for example. The report made several recommendations and said — and I quote: “The existing level of service for search and rescue may not meet the perceived needs in the future.”
How has the government responded to this report?Read more
Mr. Silver: Yesterday, I tabled a motion calling on the Government of Yukon to help find a permanent home for the Child Development Centre and the Canada Prenatal Nutrition Program in Dawson. These programs have move four times in the last two years as office spaces or homes they have rented have literally sold out from underneath them.
They are, once again, on the move as the house that they were renting has been sold and, as of the end of May, they will be homeless. The minister and I have exchanged letters over this matter several times over the past two and a half years.
I have also raised this matter in the House, including during Question Period in the spring of 2012, where the groups were in the same position that they are now. The minister said at that time — and I quote: “My answer to the member opposite is quite simple: Sorry, but we are working on it.”
Mr. Speaker, what assistance has the government provided to this group in their search for a more permanent home?Read more
Mr. Silver: I have a question about the Klondike Valley fire hall. Recent renovations to the fire hall have turned it into more of a water distribution centre than a fire station. A project to drill a well was delayed several times and missed many completion dates. The renovations caused considerable disruptions to the activities of the volunteer fire department. When I asked the minister about a possible solution to this issue last fall, he said that, number one, moving the volunteer fire department across the highway to the airport would not be considered, and, two, he did recognize the problem and said — and I quote: “Certainly if there are pressures on the space requirements at the fire hall … we will give consideration to that and we will not rule out the possibility of considering renovations or additional storage space.”
Does the one-billion dollar budget contain any funding for this proposal?Read more
Mr. Silver: I have a question for the Minister of Highways and Public Works about the Dawson waste-water treatment project. Earlier this year, officials from the minister’s department put the operating cost to run this new facility at $340,000. People I’ve spoken to in Dawson think that this number might be a little bit unrealistic and don’t believe that the amount will even cover the fuel bill, let alone operations of the facility. The municipality of Dawson should not be left on the hook if the costs to operate this building are higher than expected.
If the bill does come in higher than $340,000, will the Government of Yukon cover this extra cost?Read more