FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE May 16, 2023
WHITEHORSE – Having driven investment away from the Yukon’s housing and rental markets with their poorly thought-out policies, the territorial Liberal government is now turning to Ontario.
On May 2, the Liberal government announced Premier Pillai had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Government of Ontario to introduce Ontario housing investors to the territory. The only spending commitment in the MOU came from Premier Pillai indicating, ‘Yukon will host a familiarization tour or trade mission for housing developers and professionals to explore opportunities in the territory.’
The reactive Liberal government is now spending taxpayer dollars to offset criticism of their bad policy decisions. In a February 14 letter from the Yukon and Whitehorse Chamber of Commerce, Yukon businesses raised serious concerns about the government extending the Confidence and Supply Agreement (CASA). The joint letter stated, ‘We are concerned that this environment of weakening property rights will create a barrier to new private investment into the Territory. As a result, there may be a shift in Yukon businesses and entrepreneurs investing their capital outside of our Territory.’
“The Liberals continue to mismanage housing development in the territory,” said Yukon Party Housing Critic Yvonne Clarke. “Time and time again, policies like rent control and bans on no-cause evictions have been shown to reduce private investment in rental housing markets. The issue is only made worse by a lack of lots due to their decisions that have delayed land development across the territory.”
The 2021 CASA between the Liberals and NDP brought in rent control and the 2023 CASA extension brought in a ban on no-cause evictions. Since the policies took effect, landlords have sold off or unlisted rental properties, permanently removing rental units from the housing market.