April 20, 2023 – WHITEHORSE – The Yukon Liberal Government is disappointed, but not surprised, that the Yukon Party has failed to respect taxpayers, public servants, and His Majesty King Charles III.
Today in the Legislative Assembly, the Yukon Party voted against Bill No. 23, References to the Sovereign Statute Law Amendment Act (2023). Supporting this bill would automatically recognize in legislation the reign of Canada’s sovereign, King Charles III, who ascended to the throne when his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, passed away on September 8, 2022.
Unfortunately, every member of the Yukon Party Caucus voted against Bill No. 23.
By voting against Bill No. 23, the Yukon Party is:
- refusing to recognize that Canada’s Sovereign has changed from Queen Elizabeth II to King Charles III;
- refusing to accept that Yukon Legislation needs to be updated in light of the Queen’s passing; and
- requiring Yukon Government staff to review and update every piece of legislation and regulation, line-by-line.
This shows contempt for their work and a lack of respect for taxpayers who would foot the bill for this lengthy process. Rather than waste time and resources, the Yukon Liberal Government wants to deliver results for Yukoners.
The Yukon Party stated that they objected to clause 23 of Bill No. 23, which adds a regulation-making power to the Regulations Act to allow Cabinet to update references to the sovereign in other statutes and regulations in the future. However, previous Yukon Party governments used similar legislative clauses in several pieces of legislation passed during their time in office, including:
- In 2012, the Yukon Party Government passed the Act to Amend the Financial Administration Act (2012), which granted all Cabinet ministers the powers to create offences, prescribe penalties, and delegate authorities regarding the exercise of that legislation to another person. (4(a-c))
- In 2007, the Yukon Party government gave the Minister responsible for the administration of the Securities Act the power to make rules varying Part 9 of the Act without limitation. (169 (d) (xxiv)
- In 2003, the Yukon Party government amended the Forest Protection Act to empower Cabinet to make regulations to adopt the Yukon Forest Protection Regulations (Canada) to apply despite any other provision of the Act, with any changes Cabinet considered necessary, to all territorial lands covered by the Lands Act. (1.1)
- Also in 2003, the Yukon Party government included a clause (81(1)) in the Environmental Assessment Act that allowed Cabinet to repeal the entire Act without going through standard legislative channels, if they felt that similar environmental protections were enacted through other legislation. The Yukon Party government later repealed the entire act through a 2005 OIC.
As we stand on the precipice of the Yukon’s 125th anniversary, the Yukon Party has again decided to remain in the past rather than look to the future, this time by refusing to recognize the need to change references to the sovereign in legislation.