Whitehorse: Carrying the momentum of his March leadership victory, Yukon Liberal Party leader Sandy Silver continued his hard work during the spring sitting holding the Yukon Party accountable. Now at the half way mark of its five year mandate, one thing is clear: the Cathers/Nixon government is looking tired.
“This government has shown us for twelve years that they thrive on secrecy and photo opportunities,” said Silver. “I have been using my time in question period to ask about the government’s poor record on fiscal planning and its consistently bad relationship with First Nations.”
In question period Silver asked why Yukon Energy had already spent $17 million on the Whitehorse LNG facilities before the project was approved by regulators. “Why would the government spend taxpayer’s dollars on the generators before we know if the plan is going forward?” The minister was unable to answer whether there would be penalties for cancelling the already ordered generators.
During one of his Private Members’ day, Silver put forward a motion to help our local agriculture sector, by creating a tax rebate system for local farmers who donated any unsold product to food banks, and declaring a territorial local food week. “The intent was to financially support our agriculture sector and spread awareness of the food we grow in Yukon,” said Silver. “It was disappointing to see the government reject the proposal.”
On behalf of his Klondike constituents, Silver brought a number of important issues to the legislature including: the need for proper 911 service in Yukon communities, the lack of permanent home for the Child Development Centre, and continuing issues with the new Dawson Waste Water Treatment Facility. Silver also used one of his private members days to put forward debate that emphasized what government can do to help private sector succeed, encouraging the government to meet of all Dawson City airport stakeholders at the end of the summer tourism season to ensure that the facility is meeting the needs of businesses and residents.
This summer, as part of the Select Committee Regarding the Risks and Benefits of Hydraulic Fracturing, Silver will be travelling across the territory to meet with Yukoners to discuss fracking.
Silver opened the spring sitting by asking the Premier about the Yukon Party’s Yacht Cruise Fundraiser at January’s mineral roundup in Vancouver – an event where mining industry delegates paid $300 for an intimate evening with the Premier and EMR minister.
Silver refused to support the bloated capital budget put forward by the government.
“This kind of pre-election spending binge leads to rushed, and poorly planned, over-budget projects,” he said. “The Nisutlin River bridge is a good example. Before the budget was even passed this project was cancelled because of the government’s poor planning.”
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