A busy fall sitting comes to its close

Darrell Pasloski, Premier, MLA for MountainviewAs submitted to the Whitehorse Star on Friday, December 18, 2015
by Premier Darrell Pasloski

The fall sitting of the Yukon Legislative Assembly came to a close on Tuesday. As Premier, I am proud of the work accomplished throughout this sitting and over the past four years.

If you compare the Yukon Party’s election platform in 2011 to our work in government, you will see that we do what we say we’re going to do. We’ve either met our commitments or are working to complete them now. And we have fulfilled those commitments while spending Yukoners’ tax dollars carefully and wisely.

One of our main priorities during this sitting was debating and passing our supplementary budget. The Yukon Party government’s strong fiscal management helps us manage our economy, both through good times and through times of economic uncertainty. We have demonstrated our ability to deliver on our commitments without mortgaging Yukoners’ futures.

The Yukon Party is the only party with a plan for Yukon’s future and the only party that is committed to building Yukon’s economy. That’s what we’ve always done, and that’s what we did during this sitting. We have focused on short-term needs by tabling record capital budgets to provide economic opportunities for Yukon companies and workers. We have also focused on long-term goals, including our vision of a Yukon that is a net contributor to Canada’s economy, with abundant renewable energy, excellent education and training programs, a diversified economy, and strong regulatory and assessment regimes that will bring opportunities and prosperity.

This sitting was a productive and successful one. Six new or amended acts were passed, all of which make Yukon’s laws more current, effective, and responsive to the needs of Yukoners.

The new Land Titles Act, for example, reflects our government’s commitment to modernize the land titles system and legislative frameworks that support Yukon’s economic development. The new act includes provisions that allow for registration of First Nations Settlement Land with the Yukon Land Titles Office while safeguarding Aboriginal title, which we believe is a first for Canada. This is something all Yukoners can be proud of.

Another important piece of legislation was the Act to Amend the Municipal Act, which brings to a close several years of hard work and extensive consultation with stakeholders. It addresses recommendations set out in the Municipal Act Review Findings Report (2014) and will support healthy, sustainable Yukon communities and provide a stronger foundation for local governance.

Last month, I was privileged to chair a meeting of Canada’s Premiers, just prior to representing Yukoners at the first meeting between premiers and the prime minister in nearly seven years. This was a significant day for me as Yukon’s leader and an important day in Canadian politics. I was pleased to speak on behalf of premiers after the First Ministers’ Meeting, as well as sharing Yukon’s priorities for the years ahead.

Earlier this month, I led a Yukon delegation to the COP21 climate change meeting in Paris. We were the only Canadian delegation to include Opposition leaders, and we were also joined by the Grand Chief of the Council of Yukon First Nations and a Yukon youth delegate. Prior to departing, we released our Climate Change Action Plan Progress Report to Yukoners, which shows that the majority of the 33 government actions are either completed or ongoing.

In closing, I’d like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas, Joyeux Noël and happy New Year. May 2016 bring all of us peace, prosperity and happiness, as we continue to work together to make Yukon the best place to live, work, play and raise a family.