Whitehorse: The Yukon Party’s Speech from the Throne contained few surprises and was about as exciting as an empty net goal, says interim Liberal Leader Darius Elias.  The government’s blueprint was long on generalities and short on specifics but did contain measures the Liberal caucus can support.

“We’re pleased to see the government moving forward with a youth shelter and a water strategy for the territory,” he said.  “These are both priorities we have been encouraging the government to move forward on for some time.”

Klondike MLA Sandy Silver was pleased to see the emphasis placed on the issue of affordable housing.

“Involving the private sector in fixing our housing shortage is obviously something we can support and we’re happy to see the government moving in that direction,” he said.  “While there are several measures aimed at addressing the housing shortage in Whitehorse there is little in the way of action in rural Yukon, particularly in my community of Dawson.”

The commitment to ‘plan the construction of large-scale hydro-electric projects’ was news to the MLA for Vuntut Gwitchin.

“This is certainly something the public will be interested in hearing more about and something we will be asking questions on in the days ahead,” he said.  “It was not something the Yukon Party committed to in the recent election campaign.”

Elias said the speech was thin on measures to improve the workings of the Legislative Assembly or address the issue of good governance.

“I was disappointed to hear the tone of the opening of the speech,” said Elias.  “After the Premier stressed over and over again his interest in co-operating with the opposition the speech began with attacks on previous governments.  This was completely uncalled for and certainly not conducive to promoting an atmosphere of co-operation.”

“There was no road map for how to improve the proceedings of the house or address concerns raised about improving the procedures that Yukoners have to follow on voting day,” he said.  “I am optimistic that the government will be coming forward with specific plans to involve all members in finding solutions to these problems.”

Elias says the Liberal caucus will use the fall sitting to raise community priorities and promote new initiatives in the areas of family law, natural gas development and economic diversification.


Contact: Jason Cunning 667-8942