Despite calling for a debate in the Legislative Assembly on funding the RCMP, the Yukon Party continues to vote against RCMP officers, firefighters, EMS, community nurses and health care providers.
“It’s incredibly cynical for the opposition to express concern about first responders, while also voting down wage increases for health care professionals and first responders and voting against funding for the RCMP,” said Minister of Health and Social Services and Minister of Justice Tracy-Anne McPhee, MLA for Riverdale South. “We’ll continue to express our support for all first responders during today’s Yukon Party-requested debate, and we hope that the Yukon Party will put actions behind their words and vote in favour of the wage increases for first responders included in the Supplementary Estimates,” McPhee continued.
The 2023-24 territorial budget significantly increased funding for the RCMP by $3.3 million. This was the largest increase in recent years, and resulted in the RCMP’s ability to add 7.5 full time staff positions – most of whom were police officers – and purchase updated equipment to keep officers safe.
Unfortunately, all Yukon Party MLAs voted against this increase in RCMP funding on April 27, 2023.
The Yukon Party continues their track record of failing first responders during the Fall 2023 legislative session, voting against the following priorities at second reading of the First Supplementary Estimates 2023-24 and the Third Supplementary Estimates 2022-23:
- $7.3 million in personnel costs for Yukon Government fire crews and management and crews contracted through agreements with other jurisdictions
- Wage increases of 10.5 per cent over three years for firefighters, nurses, social workers and EMS, in line with the recently negotiated agreement for federal public servants;
- Increase in Shift Premium from $2.25 to $3.00 per hour;
- Increase in Retention Allowance for Social Workers;
- New Retention Allowance for Correction Officers;
- New Nurse Pay Grids;
- New Midwives Pay Grid;
- New Retention Allowance for Primary Care Paramedics (PCP) and Critical Care Paramedics (CCP);
- New Retention Allowance for a Primary Health Care Nurse (PHCN) and Primary Health Care Nurse In Charge (PHCNIC); and
- Cultural leave for Indigenous employees to observe or participate in traditional activities.
“Yukoners value our first responders and they want to know that the government will have their back. The Yukon Party has one more opportunity to vote in favour of wage increases and back pay for Yukon’s first responders and front line health care workers. It’s not too late for the Yukon Party to reconsider their misaligned priorities and vote at third reading to support the Yukoners who keep our communities safe,” concluded McPhee.