Action needed to meet government’s promise to bring a more collaborative approach

Government must put reducing poverty ahead of cutting taxes on corporate profits

The Yukon NDP concluded the first sitting of the 34th Legislature today by highlighting successes and shortcomings of the Yukon government and by challenging it to live up to its commitment to listen to all Yukoners.

Yukon NDP Leader Liz Hanson pointed to some positive steps taken by the government. “It’s important to give credit where credit is due. Making National Aboriginal Day a statutory holiday and protecting the rights of transgender people were the right things to do. We championed these issues in the last Legislature and we are glad the government acted on them,” said Hanson.

MLA for Takhini-Kopper King Kate White questioned the government’s priorities when it comes to reducing poverty. “The government has refused to review Yukon’s minimum wage. At $11.32 per hour, our minimum wage is a poverty wage. Yet the government thought it was important to give a 20% tax cut on corporate profits over half a million dollar. These are not the right priorities for Yukon workers.”

White also urged the government to take action to protect mobile homeowners. “The consultation document released by the government is clear. Mobile homeowners need protections against eviction without cause and unlimited pad rental increases. The Premier has a chance to show his government is truly listening to all Yukoners by bringing forward these changes to the Landlord and Tenant Act.”

Hanson concluded by reminding the Premier of his election commitment to act on good ideas, no matter who they are coming from. She pointed to the fact that even when the Legislature unanimously urged the government to expand presumptive PTSD coverage to all workers, the government’s consultation document released last week clearly shows it is planning to restrict it to some workers only.

“We have proposed increases to the operating grants for daycares that have been frozen for nearly a decade. We have proposed to review the minimum wage and protect mobile homeowners. These simple ideas would make life better for Yukoners but so far, we haven’t seen the Premier take action on anything that doesn’t have a liberal stamp on it. I challenge him to change course and truly collaborate with all parties for the benefit of all Yukoners,” said Hanson.