WHITEHORSE – As Premier Silver and Minister Pillai travel to Ontario to talk about Yukon being a good place for mineral exploration and investment they apparently are unaware that actions speak louder than words.
The Yukon Liberal government’s actions, particularly with respect to investing in infrastructure needed to support industry activity, unfortunately are sending a message of uncertainty to the exploration and mining industry.
This month it was revealed the government is neglecting to invest in bridges along the North Canol Road that are in need of repair and upgrades. This has resulted in the imposition of weight restrictions by the government, preventing companies from transporting heavy equipment and fuel across to exploration camps.
When the Minister of Highways and Public Works was asked whether the government would fix the bridges this year, he flat out stated that they were not a priority and told companies to look at alternatives for transporting their equipment.
“The government talks a big game but they need to learn that actions speak louder than words. It’s all fine and good for the Premier to jet off to Toronto to promote the mining sector but until they put their money where their mouth is they are sending mixed signals to industry,” said Stacey Hassard, Leader of the Official Opposition. “There are First Nations and exploration companies that need equipment now and they can’t afford to wait another few years for the government to get their ducks in a row.”
The Minister himself has said if a company can't get its heavy equipment across a bridge, it may have to forego the exploration season. Unfortunately, that fact has not influenced the Premier or his government to take action quickly and work to repair the bridges.
“The decision not to repair critical bridges on the North Canol Road will cost the territory jobs this summer, and shows a disregard from this government on the importance of mineral exploration in Yukon,” added Scott Kent, Official Opposition Mining Critic