New Study Points to Massive Job Losses and Economic Downturn

WHITEHORSE - “Business as usual.” 

That’s how Yukon’s Minister of Tourism and Culture referred to this year’s tourism season on March 9th when opposition asked her what the Liberal government was doing to protect the economy given the pending collapse of the cruise industry and tourism sector due to COVID-19. At the time, it was already clear how off-base the Minister was.

That’s how Yukon’s Minister of Tourism and Culture referred to this year’s tourism season on March 9th when opposition asked her what the Liberal government was doing to protect the economy given the pending collapse of the cruise industry and tourism sector due to COVID-19. At the time, it was already clear how off-base the Minister was.

Days before that statement in the Yukon Legislature, the federal government had indicated that the economic impacts of COVID-19 were already in the hundreds of millions, Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer had just told Canadians not to go on cruise ships, and the B.C. government had just postponed their 2020 cruise season.

Now a new study prepared by Statistics Canada solidifies just how wrong the Minister of Tourism was.

The study looked at 3 scenarios to estimate the impacts on GDP and jobs due to the shocks in tourism. The first scenario assumes that the national borders will open early July, the second assumes they open early September, and the third assumes they open in early December. Earlier this week it was announced that the national borders would remained closed until at least late July.

Scenario 1 estimates 1995 job losses in the business sector and a 6.3% reduction to business sector GDP.

Scenario 2 estimates 2572 job losses in the business sector and an 8.1% reduction to business sector GDP.

On March 9th, the Yukon Party Official Opposition proposed an all-party committee to study and recommend actions to mitigate and respond to impacts on the economy. This would have ensured collaboration between all parties to find solutions while allowing for democratic oversight of the Liberal government’s actions. Unfortunately, while the Liberals are giving themselves unprecedented powers, doubling the territory’s debt limit, and spending millions of new public dollars, they have told Yukoners they do not need legislative oversight.

“When our economy is being hammered and hundreds of Yukoners are out of work we should be talking about how we increase accountability and review of the government’s decisions,” said Scott Kent, Official Opposition House Leader. “Unfortunately the Liberals have essentially declared that they are above any democratic oversight and they continue to hide from even the most basic accountability. They have quickly become the most undemocratic government in Yukon history.”

The full study can be found here: Yukon in COVID-19 Pandemic: Decline in Tourism Activities and the Impact on the Economy

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Contact:
Madison Pearson
Communications
(867) 393-7026


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