WHITEHORSE - The Official Opposition is calling on the Yukon Liberal government to provide a status update on 7 infrastructure funding applications totaling approximately $470 million that have been submitted to the federal government as part of the National Trade Corridors Fund.
Last week it was announced that 5 out of 6 federal funding applications from Nunavut to the National Trade Corridors Fund were rejected.
It was originally revealed on March 19 that the Liberal government had submitted these 7 applications thanks to questioning in the Legislature by the Official Opposition. As follow-up, the Official Opposition called a motion asking for key details about the funding applications, such as what exactly the infrastructure projects are, what year construction is anticipated to begin, and what year construction is anticipated to end. Unfortunately instead of being open and accountable with Yukoners, the government used their majority to defeat the motion.
“The government should be open and transparent about what they are planning to do with taxpayers’ dollars,” said Brad Cathers, Official Opposition Finance Critic. “In light of the news coming out of Nunavut, and considering these funding applications from Yukon total approximately $470 million of taxpayers’ dollars, it is time for the Liberals to provide Yukoners with an update on the status and details of Yukon’s applications. To date the government hasn’t provided a good reason why they have chosen to hide this information from the public.”
Assuming a standard cost-share arrangement of 75% provided by Ottawa and 25% provided by Yukon, the total value of these projects would be roughly $627 million - with $157 million coming from the Government of Yukon.
“These very well could be good infrastructure projects that will benefit Yukon, but without the details on over half a billion dollars’ worth of projects – including how they will be paid for – how are we supposed to hold the government to account for this spending?” added Stacey Hassard, interim leader of the Official Opposition and Highways Critic. “We want to see this government provide certainty to industry and accountability to all Yukoners.”