Despite Liberal Peel Watershed submission, Yukon NDP caucus still hopeful
The Yukon Liberal government’s decision file court papers backing a Peel Watershed land use do-over has the Yukon NDP caucus challenging progressive Yukoners to speak out. The document, known as a factum, stands in contrast to the Liberals’ election promise to adopt the original Final Recommended Peel Watershed Regional Land Use Plan.
“The Liberal government needs to tell Yukoners that they still stand behind protecting the Peel through the final recommended plan they promised to adopt,” said Yukon NDP Environment Critic Kate White. “We stand with the First Nation governments, environmental groups, and individual Yukoners who have been fighting for over six years to protect the Peel.”
The Yukon NDP caucus recognizes that the government changeover has left the Peel Watershed court saga at a strange juncture: affected Yukon First Nation governments and environmental groups want the Supreme Court of Canada to strike down the precedent-setting 2015 Yukon Court of Appeal decision that offered the Government of Yukon a second chance at a negotiation process they undertook in bad faith by withholding proposed plan changes. To do so, the court requires government arguments that present the alternate perspective – ironically, a legacy handed down from the Yukon Party government that refused to negotiate the 2011 Peel plan in good faith.
“We are nearing the end of our long battle to protect the Peel, but there’s still work to do,” added White. “Many of us thought this long fight was over, but the Liberal government wants us to keep fighting. Write to Premier Sandy Silver and to your legislative representative and tell them how you feel. You’ve spoken out before and I know you can do it again.”
Photo: aaranged / flickr.