This week in the Legislative Assembly
Yukon’s Farmers of the Year Scott and Jackie Dickson were honoured in the Legislative Assembly this week. Their fellow agricultural producers nominated Scott and Jackie, who were presented with the award at Yukon’s annual North of 60 Agriculture Conference by Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources Ranj Pillai.
“In nominating Scott and Jackie Dickson as the Yukon’s Farmers of the Year for 2018, fellow Yukon producers told us of the love, care and attention Scott and Jackie show the livestock in their mixed cow-calf operation, the Takhini River Ranch. They have built a viable operation based on hard work, resourcefulness and dedication to neighbours and community. The growing Yukon agriculture industry is built on the passion, resourcefulness and care of farmers and ranchers such as Scott and Jackie. “
-Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources Ranj Pillai
The proposed Lobbyists Registration Act advanced through Committee of the Whole this week. The proposed Act would create a publicly-disclosed lobbyist registry to ensure Yukoner’s know who is lobbying public officials in an attempt to influence decisions that are made by the government.
“The creation of a Lobbyist Registry directly supports our government’s commitment to openness and transparency.”
-Premier Sandy Silver
David Loukidelis appeared as a witness in the Legislative Assembly to answer questions about his Whitehorse Correctional Centre inspection report. In September of 2017, Minister of Justice Tracy-Anne McPhee appointed Mr. Loukidelis to conduct an independent inspection of the Whitehorse Correctional Centre after years of neglect under the previous Yukon Party government. The Yukon Party had no questions for Mr. Loukidelis and declined to participate in the debate on the future of the Whitehorse Correctional Centre. The final inspection report released in August 2018 includes recommendations to improve the delivery and programs and services at the correctional centre and better serve inmates who have mental wellness needs. While in Whitehorse, Mr. Loukidelis met with the Implementation Working Group comprised of government officials and territorial justice partners that is working to implement the recommendations of his final inspection report.
Mr. Loukidelis’s appearance as a witness comes a week after Yukon’s Information and Privacy Commissioner appeared for the first time in the Legislative Assembly to speak to the proposed amendments to Yukon’s Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act. Our Liberal government will continue to provide opportunities for Yukoners to hear directly from expert witnesses as part of our commitment to open, transparent and accountable government.
Mayo-Tatchun MLA Don Hutton brought forward a motion this week urging the government to support the renewal of Health Canada’s territorial health investment fund (THIF) which will invest $25.6 million over four years to support innovation in Yukon’s health care system. THIF supports our Liberal government’s people-centred approach to wellness, which is helping Yukoners thrive, and we were pleased to see the motion receive the unanimous support of the Legislative Assembly.
“As the MLA of a rural Yukon community, I’m happy to see our government receive funding that will improve my constituents’ access to in-territory services.”
-Mayo-Tatchun MLA Don Hutton
Porter Creek Centre MLA Paolo Gallina also received unanimous support for his motion to amend the Smoke-Free Places Act to include vaping. The recent rise in the popularity of vaping and the increased access to paraphernalia associated with vaping products suggest a need for government to update legislation related to smoke-free places.
Outside of the Legislative Assembly, Health and Social Services Minister Pauling Frost announced the appointment of an independent expert panel to conduct a comprehensive review of Health and Social Services. The review will assess programs and services delivered by Health and Social Services, the Yukon Hospital Corporation, as well as those funded by the department and delivered by non-governmental organizations.
“This review will provide us with the direction to improve programs and services so they can be delivered in an effective and sustainable way for years to come. The members of this independent panel bring a wealth of knowledge including expertise in health and social systems and an understanding of Yukon’s health care needs and challenges.”
-Minister of Health and Social Services Pauline Frost
Finally, Premier Sandy Silver rose in the Legislative Assembly this week to pay homage to the First Poppy as well also the contributions of veterans in advance of Remembrance Day. Minister Jeanie Dendys also paid tribute to National Aboriginal Veterans Day. Our Liberal Caucus will be paying our respect and honouring Remembrance Day with Yukoners in ceremonies across the territory this weekend.