Yukon budget reveals clear contrast between government and Yukon NDP caucus
The desperate spending outlined in the Yukon government’s 2015-16 budget is an open attempt to cover up for years of inaction on critical files like housing and the consequences of its bullish attitude towards First Nations on economic issues, says the Yukon NDP caucus. The budget also reveals a clear contrast between the Yukon government’s slap-dash approach to spending and the Yukon NDP caucus' plan to listen to the community and co-operatively assess needs before committing funds to projects.
“By attempting to cover up years of inaction with ‘shovels in the ground’, the Yukon Party government is trying to convince Yukoners that they have a plan for Yukon’s future,” said Yukon NDP leader Liz Hanson. “Yukon’s economy needs more than a government that jumps from mega-project to mega-project. Our shared prosperity depends on whether Yukon’s government has a vision -- and the Yukon government just isn’t up to task.”
The Yukon government’s budget, clearly designed to set the table for next year’s election, is a sharp contrast to the priorities that would form the core of a Yukon NDP government budget. Over the course of the Yukon NDP caucus’ 17-stop Sustainable and Prosperous Communities Tour this spring, Yukoners from all corners of the territory expressed a strong desire for more investment in home care, recreational infrastructure in the Communities, and better resources for volunteer emergency services. The government’s lack of consultation was also a common theme across nearly all tour stops.
The Yukon government’s style of capital project management offers limited opportunities for Yukon’s small businesses to benefit from mega-projects. The sheer scale of the government’s controversial 300-bed continuing care complex has already led them to outsource support for the project’s procurement and management process to British Columbia’s Partnerships BC.
Ongoing tensions with First Nation governments over mining and development rights continue to pose unnecessary economic risks. Premier Pasloski’s preference for court actions and a selective reading of Yukon’s final agreements are preventing meaningful, long-term, government-to-government economic cooperation -- a deficit that no amount of one-off project announcements can ever replace.
The Yukon NDP’s government track record shows a commitment to meaningfully consulting stakeholders and community members before announcing major infrastructure projects like the government’s controversial 300-bed continuing care facility in Whitehorse. And unlike the Yukon government, a Yukon NDP government would make increased affordable housing funding, invested according to an affordable housing strategy, a cornerstone of its social support program.
“This budget offers Yukoners a preview of the choice that we will face as a territory next year,” added Hanson. “Yukoners can choose between a Yukon government without a plan, or a Yukon NDP government that listens to Yukoners, respects its partners, and makes choices that support a fairer and more sustainable Yukon for everyone.”
For more information, please contact:
Mike Fancie, Yukon NDP Official Opposition
867-689-4866 or mike.fancie [at] yla.gov.yk.ca
Photo: morbocat / flickr. Used under a Creative Commons BY 2.0 licence.