Yukon NDP Calls for More Jobs in Rural Communities
Government is the largest employer in the Yukon. Yet the majority of government jobs are located in a single community, Whitehorse. Many people have to choose between living with their families or seeking a ‘good government job’ in the city as a result. For many Indigenous people, this comes with the added loss of having to leave their traditional territories in order to access government jobs.
“If even 1% of government jobs were decentralized that would be 50 new jobs in rural communities,” says Kate White, leader of the Yukon NDP. “These jobs bring significant economic spin-off benefits for communities. We saw in Haines Junction how cuts to Parks Canada negatively impacted the community, we are asking the territorial government to do the opposite of what happened there.”
The Yukon NDP is calling for change. In a motion that will be debated on Wednesday in the legislative assembly, White will call on the government to:
1. Implement its own decentralizing policy.
2. Support current employees who wish to relocate to a Yukon community through remote work arrangements.
3. Relocate community-focused positions (including but not limited to regional economic development officers and community advisors) when these positions become vacant.
4. Work with First Nation governments and municipal governments to ensure lot and housing availability to support decentralization efforts.
“We already have the tools in place to make decentralization a reality,” White continues. “There’s no substitute for people on the ground working in the communities they know best – there’s no excuse for failing to include more Indigenous people in the government workforce.”
The Yukon NDP stresses that this motion will not force any government employees to relocate, but it will open up the option for existing employees who wish to work in their home communities.
UPDATE: We got this motion passed!