Statement by Yukon NDP Leader Liz Hanson on today's Supreme Court agreement to hear Peel appeal

Early this morning, the Supreme Court of Canada granted leave to appeal in the Peel Watershed case, as requested by several Yukon First Nation governments and environmental groups. The decision by the Supreme Court, a win for Yukon First Nation governments and the Yukon public, will prompt a review of the Yukon Court of Appeal’s decision.

The court of appeal decision essentially offered the Yukon Party government a do-over despite the bad faith it showed through the planning process towards First Nation Governments and Yukon citizens. This is a second chance that they do not deserve. Premier Darrell Pasloski and his government have failed to honour the letter and spirit of the Final Agreements and they have set the land use planning process back by years.

But there is good news: we are heading into an election this fall. This time, the Yukon Party will not be able to hide its position on the Peel from you like they did in 2011. The fate of the Peel – one of North America’s last pristine natural ecosystems – will be up to the Yukon people who will choose Yukon’s next government. Under a Yukon NDP government, that means a Peel decision that reflects the Final Recommended Plan, respects the balance struck by the land use planning process and upholds the spirit and intent of the Yukon’s Final Agreements with First Nations governments.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission says that reconciliation is about an ongoing process of establishing and maintaining respectful relationships with all levels of government. A Yukon NDP government would put this vision at the core of our work.