WHITEHORSE – This Spring the Official Opposition brought to light that the Yukon Liberal government is making changes to the funding formula for federal money going towards infrastructure projects that will negatively impact rural communities.
Currently the Government of Canada covers 75% while the Government of Yukon covers 25% of the costs for community infrastructure projects. However, the Yukon Liberals have now said that for at least $155 million of upcoming infrastructure money, they will no longer cover the 25%. This means that smaller communities that do not have the financial resources will either be unable to access this critical infrastructure funding, or forced to make cuts or go into debt.
During motion debate on October 10, 2018 the Official Opposition proposed an amendment to a government motion regarding community infrastructure to recommit the Government of Yukon to cover the 25% for communities so that no community is left behind.
The Liberals used their majority to vote down this constructive amendment.
“I am disappointed that the Liberals are downloading costs onto the communities by removing the Government of Yukon’s longstanding commitment to the cover 25% of the costs of infrastructure projects that receive federal funding,” said Geraldine Van Bibber, Official Opposition Critic for Community Services. “The Liberal changes to the way infrastructure is funded are going to make life more difficult for communities, and it’s too bad that the Liberals whipped the vote and did not allow the Member for Mayo-Tatchun to vote in favour of supporting his riding.”