Category: Caucus NR

2015 fall sitting of the 33rd Yukon Legislative Assembly concludes

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE December 15, 2015

2015 fall sitting of the 33rd Yukon Legislative Assembly concludes

  • Six acts receive assent
  • Important motions receive unanimous support

WHITEHORSE—The fall sitting of the 33rd Yukon Legislative Assembly came to a close today with the passage of the 2015/16 Supplementary Budget. Six pieces of legislation – both new acts as well as amendments to existing ones – passed with the unanimous consent of all members.

“Yukoners trust us to do what we say we will do. The legislation passed during this sitting will make our laws more current, effective, and responsive to the needs of Yukoners,” Yukon Party Leader Darrell Pasloski said. “We are very pleased to have accomplished most of the commitments set out in our 2011 election platform.”

The acts that were passed are: Act to Amend the Oil and Gas Act; Act to Amend the Municipal Act; Land Titles Act, 2015; Act to Amend the Elections Act and the Electoral District Boundaries Act; Act to Amend the Travel for Medical Treatment Act; and Act to Amend the Education Act.

“The Yukon Party MLAs focused on short- and long-term goals that will bring opportunities and prosperity to Yukoners,” Pasloski said. “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 economic future while also protecting the environment.”

The Land Titles Act, 2015 reflects this government’s commitment to modernize the land titles system and the legislative frameworks that support Yukon’s real estate market. “The new act includes provisions that allow for registration of First Nations Settlement Land with the Yukon Land Titles Office, while safeguarding Aboriginal title,” Pasloski added. “We believe this is a first for Canada.”

MLAs also unanimously supported a number of motions. Among these were motions urging the Government of Yukon to: work with Yukon First Nation governments to implement the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s calls to action; consult with Yukoners about declaring National Aboriginal Day a statutory holiday in Yukon; urge the Government of Canada to enhance and continue its Mineral Exploration Tax Credit program.

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Contact:
Dan Macdonald
Cabinet Communications
867-393-6470
dan.macdonald@gov.yk.ca

Yukon MLAs urge consultation on National Aboriginal Day holiday

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE December 9, 2015

Yukon MLAs urge consultation on National Aboriginal Day holiday

  • Motion receives unanimous consent
  • Consultation essential before moving forward

WHITEHORSE—A motion urging the Government of Yukon to consult with Yukon First Nations, employers, employees, and the general public about declaring National Aboriginal Day a statutory holiday in Yukon received unanimous assent today in the Yukon Legislative Assembly.

The motion, which was tabled by the NDP, was unanimously passed following an amendment by Copperbelt North MLA Currie Dixon.

“We encourage Yukoners to celebrate the unique heritage, rich culture and outstanding achievements of Aboriginal people in Canada,” Dixon said. “Following a constructive discussion in the Legislature today, it was agreed that consultation with the private sector, First Nations and other stakeholders is needed to fully understand the impacts that a new statutory holiday would have on the territory.”

Vuntut Gwitchin MLA Darius Elias added: “It is important that we celebrate the distinct heritage, language, cultural practices and spiritual beliefs of Yukon First Nations people. Recognizing this via a statutory holiday does warrant vigorous public engagement, as it will affect all Yukoners.”

There are currently three pieces of legislation that could be used to create a paid statutory holiday in Yukon: the Canada Labour Code for federal employees, Yukon’s Employment Standards Act for private businesses, and Yukon’s Public Service Act for Yukon government employees.

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Contact:
Dan Macdonald
Cabinet Communications
867-393-6470
dan.macdonald@gov.yk.ca

Yukon MLAs urge federal government to support northern infrastructure needs

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE December 3, 2015

Yukon MLAs urge federal government to support northern infrastructure needs

  • Important funding helps Yukon build vibrant, healthy, and sustainable communities

WHITEHORSE—A motion urging the Government of Canada to support the infrastructure needs of the North by providing new federal infrastructure funding was passed yesterday in the Yukon Legislative Assembly.

“I’m very pleased that this motion received so much support,” said Watson Lake MLA Patti McLeod, who tabled the motion. “Our communities are remote and require significant investments in water and wastewater infrastructure to service populations that are often smaller than a thousand people. The Building Canada Fund has been integral to upgrading and replacing that infrastructure to address our communities’ needs now and for future generations.”

The motion calls on the federal government to provide new infrastructure funding that builds on the success of the Building Canada Fund and meets the unique needs of Yukon communities. It asks the Government of Canada to: recognize the challenges of delivering infrastructure in the North with the current “base-plus” funding model; ensure streamlined, predictable approval timelines that establish clear criteria for project review and approval; increase the flexibility of the funds to ensure that budget amendments during the life of the project are possible; and adopt a flexible approach to infrastructure categories.

“The Building Canada Fund is crucial to maintaining our core infrastructure priorities of safe roads, clean drinking water, green energy and responsible solid waste and wastewater management,” Copperbelt North MLA Currie Dixon said. “This funding not only adds value to communities in terms of infrastructure and safety, it also provides much-needed jobs for Yukoners.”

To date, more than $265 million has been committed by the federal and territorial governments through the Building Canada Fund towards core infrastructure projects in every municipality and unincorporated community in Yukon.

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Contact:
Dan Macdonald
Cabinet Communications
867-393-6470
dan.macdonald@gov.yk.ca

Yukon MLAs unanimously pass motion on federal Mineral Exploration Tax Credit

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE December 3, 2015

Yukon MLAs unanimously pass motion on federal Mineral Exploration Tax Credit

  • Yukon Legislative Assembly urges Government of Canada to continue and enhance important program for mining sector
  • Exploration and mining is key to Yukon’s economic well-being

WHITEHORSE—A motion urging the Government of Canada to continue its Mineral Exploration Tax Credit program, and to enhance the credit for northern and remote areas, received unanimous consent yesterday in the Yukon Legislative Assembly.

“Mining is key to Yukon’s economic prosperity and future growth,” said Watson Lake MLA Patti McLeod, who tabled the motion. “By supporting the exploration industry, the Mineral Exploration Tax Credit has created jobs and added to our economy. Extending the program for three more years, and increasing the credit to 25 per cent, will give Yukon a much-needed competitive advantage in attracting exploration spending.”

The Mineral Exploration Tax Credit (METC) is an additional benefit to Canada’s longstanding flow-through shares program. It adds a 15 per cent tax credit to create “super flow-through financing” for grassroots mineral exploration. The METC is currently set to expire on March 31, 2016. The previous federal government had committed to extending the credit for a further three years, starting in 2016/17, and had also pledged to enhance the credit for northern and remote areas from 15 percent to 25 percent.

“The mining sector estimates that the average exploration costs for remote and very remote projects are more than twice as expensive as the average costs of non-remote projects,” Riverdale North MLA Scott Kent said. “Creative action to address this challenge will enable us to remain competitive with our southern neighbours. I’m very happy to see this motion receive unanimous consent.”

Since 2006 the Mineral Exploration Tax Credit has helped Canadian mining companies raise more than $5.5 billion in exploration funding. Over the last five years, more than 80 per cent of mineral discoveries in Canada have been made by junior mining companies.

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Contact:
Dan Macdonald
Cabinet Communications
867-393-6470
dan.macdonald@gov.yk.ca

NDP and Liberals plan to cancel continuing care facility

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE December 1, 2015

NDP and Liberals plan to cancel continuing care facility

WHITEHORSE—After a series of motions and questions in the legislature this week, it has become clear that both the NDP and Liberals would cancel the desperately-needed continuing care facility.

“Both opposition parties have now made their intentions clear – they would cancel the continuing care facility,” Yukon Party Leader Darrell Pasloski said. “The NDP are tabling motions to put the project on the shelf and the Liberal asked questions that make it clear he wants the government to stop work on this project. They are attempting to alarm seniors with false information. It’s one more example of the Opposition’s blatant disregard for the needs of Yukoners.”

The 150-bed facility is going to be a welcoming, state-of-the-art facility that will provide desperately needed medical care to seniors and others who have complex or specialized health care needs, such as dementia or palliative care. With the Request for Proposals well underway, cancelling or delaying the project could cost taxpayers millions of dollars, as well as lost jobs and delays in providing necessary services to Yukoners who have nowhere else to turn.

“If the Opposition wants to cancel this facility, then I want them to go to the homes of the families trying to support loved ones, look them in the eyes and tell them why they aren’t important enough to warrant this facility,” Porter Creek South MLA Mike Nixon said. “Politics has to end at some point and we need to get on with serving Yukoners.”

It’s time for Liz Hanson and Sandy Silver to put petty politics aside and personally declare their support for addressing this pressing health care need for Yukoners.

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Contact:
Dan Macdonald
Cabinet Communications
867-393-6470
dan.macdonald@gov.yk.ca