Mr. Silver: I have a question for the Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources. At this year’s mineral Roundup in Vancouver, the head of the Yukon Prospectors’ Association had some interesting things to say about the outlook for mining in the Yukon. One of them is that people are saying things aren’t quite as rosy as we have been led to believe over the years in the Yukon. The boom enjoyed during record high mineral prices is now over. However, the underlying problems still do exist. We lack infrastructure, particularly in regard to power. We lack skilled workers. The governments relationship with the governments that own a lot of the Yukon —the First Nations — is now at a low point. Our regulatory regime has also been subject to a great amount of criticism as of late.
What is the government doing to start addressing some of these underlying issues?Read more
Mr. Silver: Mr. Speaker, I have another question for the Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources. The Yukon has depended on diesel fuel for energy production for many years. We have also known for many years that the now 45-year-old diesel generators would be in need of replacement. There was plenty of time for the government to research and to understand the different options available to provide this backup energy.
Why did it take the government so long to initiate a plan to replace the aging diesel generators, therefore eliminating some very valuable options?Read more
Mr. Silver: Last summer the Premier announced that the government was moving forward on building a new hydroelectric dam. After the Yukon Party government and the former energy minister spent several years trying to sell our hydro system to Alberta, this is a welcome change in direction.
However, since the formal announcement in November, there has been no word from this government on how it intends to proceed. Mr. Speaker, last fall the minister did ask the Yukon Development Corporation to start planning. He gave them a 90-day period to prepare a report. The minister should have had that report by late February. We did hear of an extension earlier this year, in the spring legislative session.
Has he received it and will he make it public?Read more
Mr. Silver: I have question for the Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources.
Last year the Government of Yukon lost another round in the courts as it continued its antagonistic approach with the First Nation relations. As a result of this court loss, the government was under a court order to find a way to work with the Ross River Dena Council on what land would be available for staking in their traditional territory.Read more
Whitehorse: Next week’s Mineral Exploration Roundup would be a good place to make public proposed changes to The Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Act (YESAA) that the Government of Yukon has been working on with its federal counterparts, says Klondike MLA Sandy Silver. The Premier referenced the amendments in discussions with investors at the recent Cambridge House Vancouver Resource Investment Conference.Read more
Whitehorse: Sandy Silver said he is disheartened, but not surprised by the Government of Yukon’s new Peel Land Use Plan.
“I guess we all knew this day was coming but I hoped the Yukon Party government would do the right thing and adopt the recommended Peel Land Use Plan,” he said. “Instead the government has chosen to go it alone and ignore the views of First Nation governments and hundreds of Yukoners who participated in the land use planning process.”Read more
Hansard, December 18, 2013
Mr. Silver: Earlier in this sitting, I asked the minister why Bill No. 66 goes beyond implementing the Ross River court decision. The minister responded at that time — and I quote: “The amendments to each of the acts that are before the House right now are designed to meet the declarations of the Yukon Court of Appeal.”Read more
Hansard, December 16, 2013
Mr. Silver: I have a question for the Premier. As we begin the final week of the fall sitting, it is becoming very obvious that the government does not want to debate Bill No. 66, legislation to make several changes to the Yukon mining legislation. There are four days left and the only place so far where we’ve had an opportunity to ask direct questions about this bill is here in Question Period.Read more
Hansard December 12, 2013
Mr. Silver: Earlier this sitting, I asked about the Premier’s July announcement that the government was working on a new hydroelectric dam. At the time, the Premier admitted that he had no specific project in mind and no idea when it might be built. He also had no idea where the money to build it was coming from. He did tell the Globe and Mail this summer that he thought the project would cost at least $100 million.Read more
Hansard December 4, 2013
Mr. Silver: Earlier this week, the Premier received a letter from the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in First Nation in Dawson regarding Bill No. 66. This bill is the government’s response to the 2012 Ross River court decision.
The letter from the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in is only the latest in the string of correspondence the Premier has received from First Nations and from the mining industry. A common message in all of the mail the Premier has received concerns a lack of consultation because of a rushed nature of the government’s actions. The letter from Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in begins, and I quote, “We write this letter under the pressure of an unrealistic deadline imposed by the Yukon Government.”
The Premier had 12 months to meet the court deadlines, but didn’t talk to anyone until the first six months were over and now we’re out of time. Another option available to the government was to ask for an extension from the courts.
It’s not only the Ross River Dena Council who is looking for these timelines. Why was an extension never considered as an option?Read more