WHITEHORSE – The 2019 Federal Budget does not include any funding for the Shakwak portion of the Alaska Highway in Yukon.
On February 27, 2019, the Leader of the Yukon Party Official Opposition wrote to the Federal Finance Minister asking the Trudeau Government to commit funding in its 2019 Budget for reconstruction and maintenance on the Shakwak Corridor.
The letter was sent as Yukon’s Minister of Highways and Public Works stated that he will not be supporting keeping the Shakwak maintained up to current standards and that large sections of the road will soon become gravel.
“Budgeting is about priorities and it is unfortunate to see that neither the Silver Liberals nor the Trudeau Liberals have prioritized the Shakwak Corridor,” said Stacey Hassard Leader of the Official Opposition. “Ensuring this road is properly funded is important to ensuring Yukoners can continue to use safe and reliable roads – and by not supporting it the Liberals are leaving rural Yukoners out in the cold.”
The federal budget did include $26 million over 5 years for the Yukon College for the construction of a new science building.
“The investment in the Yukon College is important and we are encouraged to see this commitment by the federal government,” added Hassard. “That said, we have seen previous federal funding announcements, such as the Resource Gateway project, run into significant delays. So we will look forward to seeing this rolled out in a timely manner. Further, we have questions for the Government of Yukon as to how this new funding will impact the operations and maintenance budgets for the territory.”