WHITEHORSE – Currie Dixon and the Yukon Party continue to be confused about where they stand on the housing file, putting partisan politics ahead of Yukoners once again.
On May 2, 2023, Yukon Premier Ranj Pillai and Ontario Premier Doug Ford signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), agreeing to share best practices in creating a strong, investment-ready housing ecosystem in the Yukon, explore opportunities to increase the flow of investment in housing development between Ontario and the Yukon, and promote trade, commerce, and information sharing in the housing sector across jurisdictions.
After a short radio interview on the morning of August 15, 2023, Currie Dixon left Yukoners scratching their heads and wondering if he and his party understand the text of the MOU, and if the Yukon Party has an actual position on housing development at all.
In the interview, Yukoners heard from Currie Dixon that he:
- Believes more rental units should be turned into short term rentals for tourists, not residences for Yukoners, despite research from McGill University and the University of Toronto that says short-term rentals contribute to higher rents and housing shortages;
- Does not support working with the Government of Ontario or Premier Doug Ford, criticizing the Government of Yukon signing an MOU with the Government of Ontario, despite saying he “learned a lot” from Premier Ford after getting his picture taken with the Ontario Premier in December;
- Does not believe government should act to protect renters from no-cause evictions and unaffordable rent increases, calling them an “unwarranted intervention into the housing market”; and,
- Does not believe government should make supportive housing units available to vulnerable Yukoners, saying that “the sale of the High Country Inn is taking hotel rooms off the market… that’s [an example] of the government hurting, rather than helping.”
“This is the same Yukon Party that sat on $11.5 million in federal housing funds for eight years while in office, and cancelled a $13 million affordable rental housing program at the last possible minute,” said Premier Ranj Pillai, Minister Responsible for the Yukon Housing Corporation and MLA for Porter Creek South. “Currie Dixon and the Yukon Party were wrong on housing in 2015, they voted ‘no’ on the more than $70 million in Budget 2023-24 for housing, and bet they will continue to be wrong on housing,” he added.
Premier Ranj Pillai and the Yukon Liberal Caucus are working hard to ensure that all Yukoners have a place to call home. The government has released a record number of new lots for development, is working with the public and private sectors across the country to increase the housing supply across the territory, has taken real action to protect renters, and is building new housing for the most vulnerable in our communities.