Procurement and Contracting

Wade Istchenko, MLA for Kluane

As submitted to the Whitehorse Star on Friday, April 12, 2013
by Wade Istchenko

One of the most important responsibilities elected officials have is ensuring that taxpayers’ money is spent wisely.

This is a serious responsibility that requires a careful review of society’s needs and a financial plan that allows government to ensure that the quality of life citizens expect is respected and that their needs are responsibly met.

In its most recent budget, the Government of Yukon demonstrates that it remains committed to maintaining and improving the quality of life that has made the territory the envy of the nation.

From housing, to health care, to core infrastructure that supports the economy, the 2013/14 budget that was recently tabled in the legislative assembly includes a number of capital projects.

Millions of dollars will be invested in housing projects in the coming fiscal year, including the replacement of MacDonald Lodge in Dawson City, new seniors’ housing complexes in Mayo and Whitehorse, and the completion of second stage housing for women and children fleeing abuse.

A new fire hall, Emergency Medical Service, and Search and Rescue facility will be constructed in Beaver Creek. Two new ambulances will be purchased as will a new pumper-tanker for Yukon’s territorial fire service.

A new recreational facility will be constructed in Ross River.

Strategic investments will be made in transportation infrastructure, including pavement overlay on the Haines Road, rehabilitation of 10.7 kilometres of the Alaska Highway, reconstruction of sections of the Campbell Highway and Atlin Road, and surfacing and erosion control on areas of the Dempster Highway.

Airfield improvements will be made in Burwash Landing, Dawson City and Mayo.

Upgrades will be made to water treatment and/or delivery systems in Faro, Haines Junction, Deep Creek and Mendenhall.

To move forward on the government’s commitment to the environment, millions of dollars are being allocated to the continuation of the Faro mine reclamation project with the help of Canada, and further investments are being made to upgrade solid waste management, recycling and composting systems in Yukon communities.

Many of these projects will be undertaken and completed through the use of contractors and consultants who bid in competitive processes to ensure that the Government of Yukon receives the best value for its dollars.

In all, there are approximately 6,500 contracts issued by the Government of Yukon annually accounting for 40 percent of the territorial budget. The vast majority of these contracts are completed on time and on budget thanks to the diligent work of both contractors and members of the public service.

This year, in an effort to further improve competitive bidding and contracting processes the Government of Yukon is opening a Procurement Office. This office, designed in consultation with suppliers, will provide centralized procurement support, introduce easy-to-use electronic tools, and provide increased training to government employees.

The office officially opened at the beginning of this month and will be fully operational on April 1, 2014.

The projects in this year’s budget will go a long way to maintaining and improving one of the best areas in Canada in which to live.

As government moves forward with its budget and its projects, it remains committed to the principles of responsibility and accountability thereby working toward the best outcomes for Yukoners.