WHITEHORSE – After a fall legislative sitting where the Minister of Tourism was unable to answer questions about the Tourism Strategy or tourism’s contribution to GDP, the Liberals have evaded having their new strategy subject to scrutiny in the Legislature. It’s clear now they are doing this because the document contradicts claims made earlier by the Minister.
During the Fall Sitting the Minister of Tourism made the following claim:
“Tourism has plateaued a little bit in terms of increase of GDP and increase of where we want tourism to go in a good, sustainable way that really holds the values of Yukoners, which is really very important.” – Minister Dendys, October 22, 2018
Unfortunately when questioned on the claim that tourism has plateaued in terms of increase of GDP, the Minister of Tourism was unable to back it up with evidence. Today’s Tourism Strategy appears to contradict the Minister’s statement:
“From 2008 to 2016, Yukon business revenue attributable to tourism increased 51.5% or an average of approximately 5.3% per year.” – Yukon Tourism Development Strategy, November 23, 2018
As a result, the Liberals waited until the morning after the completion of the fall legislative sitting to release the new strategy and avoid scrutiny.
“It is concerning that the Liberals would not want to discuss this strategy openly and transparently in the Legislative Assembly,” said Geraldine Van Bibber, Official Opposition Critic for Tourism. “For a government that campaigned on openness and transparency, I think Yukoners would be disappointed to learn that the Liberals sat on this report. We will now take our time to review the strategy but it would have been nice if the Liberals had been accountable to Yukoners by allowing MLAs to discuss this with the Tourism Minister in the House.”