Following last week’s delivery of the 2018-19 Budget, this week in the Legislative Assembly saw four new Bills tabled. MLAs also debated motions about the government’s five-year capital plan and commitment to tender major seasonally dependent construction projects no later than March of each year. Additionally, debate of the Supplementary Budget for 2017-18 uncovered a questionable $39 million loan to the Yukon Development Corporation by the Yukon Party government, leading to calls for a forensic review from the Third Party.
New Legislation Proposed
Four new Bills were tabled this week:
On March 6, Klondike MLA Sandy Silver tabled the Order of Yukon Act, which would create the Order of Yukon to formally recognize those who have made a significant contribution to the territory. An advisory council would review nominations and make appointment recommendations. Learn more about the Premier’s Bill here.
On March 7, Mountainview MLA Jeanie Dendys tabled the Gender Diversity and Related Amendments Act, which reinforces our Liberal Caucus’s commitment to support Yukon’s LGBTQ2S+ community by making the territory’s legislation more inclusive. The Bill promotes more cultural, regional and gender diversity on four Government of Yukon boards and committees, and reduces discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. Learn more about Minister Dendys’s Bill here.
On March 7, Riverdale South MLA Tracy-Anne McPhee tabled the Technical Amendments Act, 2018. The Bill is intended to address and correct unclear and problematic issues in five existing Acts, including the Motor Vehicles Act and the Condominium Act, 2015. Learn more about Minister McPhee’s Bill here.
On March 8, MLA Tracy-Ann McPhee tabled the Cannabis Control and Regulation Act, which would govern the production, distribution, sale and consumption of legalized cannabis in Yukon. The Bill reflects months of research and public engagement with Yukoners. Learn more about Minister McPhee’s Cannabis Bill here.
Five-Year Capital Plan
This week MLAs debated two motions in the House about Liberal campaign commitments designed to increase transparency and accountability around capital investment in the territory and support Yukon’s economy.
Copperbelth North MLA Ted Adel put forward Motion no. 229:
THAT this House supports a five-year capital plan as a means of promoting transparency and predictability about the Yukon government’s capital planning.
During the debate, MLA Adel addressed criticism from the Official Opposition about an anticipated $30 million lapse in capital spending in 2017-18:
“We will have to wait for the 2017 -18 actuals to know for sure, but assuming that it is true, we will have lapsed fewer capital dollars than each of the last five years under the Yukon Party government. The closest fiscal year was 2012-13, when the Yukon Party government lapsed nearly $40 million in capital, and that was the low mark. The following year, they lapsed over $84 million in capital, before hitting their high mark in 2014-15, when the Yukon Party government lapsed over $100 million in capital — over $100 million. The next year, they lapsed $74 million, and then they lapsed nearly $60 million the following year.” – Copperbelt North MLA Ted Adel
Our Yukon Liberal Caucus was proud to deliver on this commitment to Yukoners and we were very pleased to receive unanimous support in the Legislative Assembly for the new five-year capital plan, the first in Yukon government history. Read the five-year capital plan here.
Major Seasonally Dependent Construction Contracts
MLA Adel also put forward Motion no. 230:
THAT this House supports the Yukon government tendering major construction projects that are seasonally dependent no later than March of each year.
The 2018-19 Budget includes $46 million in seasonally dependent contracts to be tendered by March 31, 2018. Our Liberal Caucus is proud to deliver on this commitment to Yukoners and we were also pleased to receive unanimous support of the Legislative Assembly for this commitment.
“The early release of seasonally dependent contracts is of benefit to Yukoners, including First Nations, businesses and development corporations, because this process gives an opportunity for all to bid on projects that suit their capacity or plan for future projects to build their capacity. No matter how we look at it, it’s good for Yukoners, it’s good for jobs.” – Copperbelt North MLA Ted Adel
Supplementary Budget Debate Reveals Hidden Loan Decision
The Supplementary Budget for 2017-18 was debated this week revealing a questionable $39 million loan to the Yukon Development Corporation by the Yukon Party government. Read about the surprising details here.
Last week Klondike MLA Sandy Silver delivered a tribute in recognition of the 45th anniversary of the presentation of Together Today for Our Children Tomorrow.
This week saw several tributes from Liberal MLAs:
Old Crow MLA Pauline Frost paid tribute to United Nations World Wildlife Day.
Mount Lorne – Southern Lakes MLA John Streicker paid tribute to the Yukon recipients of the 2017 Arctic Inspiration Prize.
Porter Creek Centre MLA Paolo Gallina paid tribute to the Pacific Northwest Group peewee hockey team, who were semi-finalists in the national Chevrolet Good Deeds Cup.
Mountainview MLA Jeanie Dendys paid tribute to International Women’s Day.