WHITEHORSE – After a week-long junket to Washington, D.C., Premier Silver is returning to Yukon with nothing but postcards and platitudes. The Premier is returning empty handed when it comes to issues he planned to raise for Yukoners, such as funding for the Shakwak Corridor.
Trade and Council of the Federation
After evading questions and refusing to provide answers about the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) to Yukoners prior to going to Washington, the Premier has now shared a vague position on the renegotiation of NAFTA.
“It’s not clear why the Premier initially refused to share his position, but based on his comments following these meetings, it appears the Premier either finally came up with one or he has been hiding this information from Yukoners all along,” said Economic Development Critic Scott Kent. “Further, the Premier still has not detailed what his actual priorities for the NAFTA negotiations are.”
Modernizing the trade deal may benefit Yukoners, but only if the Premier represents their interests and expresses these to the federal government as negotiations begin.
It appears the only thing these meetings have produced is a few twitter photos and an expensive hotel bill to pay for the Premier and his political staff.
While in Opposition, the Premier was critical of the government for returning from Washington without securing an agreement to continue funding for Shakwak. At the time he said the trip had “…produced nothing but some expensive hotel bills in Washington.”
Following the meetings this week, the Premier said that despite his trip to Washington, Yukon “…received no assurances that the Americans will come up with cash for Shakwak.”
As Premier Silver’s lobbying efforts have produced no results, it appears he has failed his own standard of success.
“After delaying the return of the Legislature by 6 months, it’s unfortunate the Premier chose to take even more time off from his Legislative duties to go on a trip to Washington that produced nothing more than hotel bills and photo-ops,” added Kent.
The Official Opposition will continue to push the Premier to stand up and bring forward the interests of all Yukoners so they can be heard in Ottawa and Washington.