WHITEHORSE – On the eve of the federal election campaign the Liberals have made an announcement regarding improvements for the North Klondike Highway. However, their track record with respect to highways funding calls into question both their commitment and their ability to deliver on road infrastructure projects.
On September 2, 2017, the Yukon Liberals participated in a photo-op announcing a $458 million investment in roads through the Resource Gateway Project.
However, since that time the Liberals have missed key milestones for this project. According to Infrastructure Canada’s website, the Yukon Liberal government told Canada that construction of the project was forecasted to begin June 1, 2018. As this deadline is over a year overdue with no start of construction in sight, it is clear that the Liberals' ability to actually deliver on major funding announcements is questionable.
“The Liberals are very good at making announcements but they don’t seem to realize that governing doesn’t stop at the photo-op,” said Scott Kent Official Opposition Mining Critic. “While today’s announcement is a good one, the Liberals have a very poor track record when it comes to actually delivering. The Resource Gateway Project is a year overdue and we have even seen evidence of the Deputy Premier politically interfering in responses to media in order to hide his government’s inability to get infrastructure money flowing.”
The Liberals have also refused to seek federal funding to support maintenance and upgrades to the Shakwak portion of the Alaska Highway. This is an important corridor not only for Yukoners who rely on it but also for Yukon’s economy.
“During the election the Liberals told Yukoners all communities matter but since that time we have seen a very different approach,” added Kent. “When we asked the Liberals to seek funding for Shakwak in addition to the North Klondike the Minister claimed that the road does not benefit Yukoners. The Liberals need to place a higher priority on supporting highways throughout all of Yukon, not just in Liberal held ridings.”