Whitehorse: Poor planning is the common denominator behind the main issues that dominated discussions in the spring sitting – the impending energy cliff, the construction of two new hospitals in rural Yukon and the accompanying $27 million bailout and the construction of a new F.H. Collins school, says Klondike MLA Sandy Silver.
“A lack of planning has put the government in trouble on all of these issues,” he said. “Yukoners are paying for these mistakes in higher energy bills and, in the case of the construction projects, millions of extra dollars have been spent because of political promises being given higher priority than common sense and proper planning.”
In Question Period, Silver also raised concerns about the government’s poor relationship with Yukon First Nation governments, internal audits, the Peel Watershed, seniors housing, Shakwak funding, improvements to broadband services and the future of Parks Canada assets in Dawson City.
“This government has been in office more than a year and a half. It is long enough for the public to see that its confrontational approach to First Nations governments is not working,” he said. “It is time for the government to re-assess its approach to the most important intergovernmental relationship that it has. The divide-and-conquer tactics are counter-productive.”
On behalf of constituents in Dawson, the Klondike MLA spoke to the need for more housing and lot development, concerns about the over-budget and long-delayed new hospital, the need for a new recreation centre and search and rescue capabilities at Tombstone Park.
During the sitting Silver was a member of the committee that selected a new Ombudsman and he has been appointed to a committee that will be consulting with Yukoners on the issue of fracking.
Silver used his private members’ allocation to ask the Government of Yukon to allow Dawson residents to find a new use for the old McDonald Lodge and to encourage the government to bring officials from the Yukon Hospital Corporation and the Yukon Development Corporation to the Legislative Assembly.
“The former was readily agreed to and the latter took months of lobbying,” he said. “It had been two years since either of the corporations had appeared and there is no shortage of issues in both these areas. It is unfortunate that because of the command and control approach of the Cathers government these officials do not appear as a matter of course.”
With regard to the spring legislative agenda Silver described it as reactionary and said he is looking forward to debating whistleblower legislation during the fall sitting.
“The whistleblower committee I was a member of has delivered its report recommending the government move ahead on this legislation and there is no reason to delay it,” he said. “It is now a political decision and we’ll see if the Yukon Party lives up to its word or not.”
For additional information contact:
Jason Cunning 667-8942
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