Yukoners, like the rest of the world, are relying more on internet connectivity. This has certainly been evident during the pandemic.
From business, to education, to keeping in touch with family and friends throughout the territory, across Canada, and around the world, the internet has become woven into our daily lives.
The Dempster Fibre Project—a line that would provide a crucial redundant fibre optic connection in the event the main line is cut—has been ready to go since 2016.
However, the facts and the timelines show the Liberals have mismanaged this critical project.
The 2016 Liberal platform stated “A Yukon Liberal government will accelerate the completion of the fibre optic redundancy project.” In reality, the Liberals decelerated the project by pausing it in 2017.
In 2018, the Premier stated in response to questions about $11 million in capital funding that was earmarked for construction: “…you can be guaranteed that the route has been picked and the work will be done this summer.”
A government fact sheet from the summer of 2018 claimed that construction would start in 2019.
In late 2018, the Highways Minister indicated the work would begin in the fall of 2019.
Fall 2019 documents sent to the Mackenzie Valley review board stated that construction would start spring of 2020 and be completed by 2022.
A YESAB application was finally submitted in August of 2019. Documents included with the submission indicate the project will not be complete until 2025.
“This key infrastructure project has only seen delay after delay after delay by the Liberals,” Official Opposition Leader Stacey Hassard said. “The timeline on this project does not paint a pretty picture for the Liberals and is just further evidence they are incapable of making decisions or getting things done.”
As time passes, Yukoners are left to the mercy of a single internet connection to the south. This 404 error could have been avoided if the Liberals had simply clicked ‘yes’ on construction.