FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 30, 2023
“It is deeply concerning to see the startling lack of vision for the North, and lack of attention to the three northern territories, particularly the Yukon in the most recent budget from the Government of Canada.
“The federal budget is the most important expression of the Liberal government’s values, and by completely ignoring the Yukon they have shown how little the territory specifically, and the North in general matter, to this government.
“While the 270-page federal budget document that was tabled in Parliament on Tuesday references dozens of communities in Eastern Canada, it makes almost no mention of the Yukon.
“The Yukon’s Liberal MP and Premier have long touted their solid relationship with Ottawa. However, the Liberals’ 2023-2024 federal budget ignored the critical projects the territorial government and the MP have been championing. Even they were forced to offer lukewarm endorsements of the Trudeau budget.
“The Atlin Hydro Project, facing an over $100 million shortfall, was mentioned in the budget, but there was no clear specific funding commitment outlined. A federal commitment to fund a new Convention Centre in Whitehorse, as well as further financial support for the Safe at Home supportive housing project, was nowhere to be found.
“Concerning to Yukon communities, the budget also failed to identify a new infrastructure fund to replace the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program that Yukon municipalities access for their public works. The current program expires this month.
“I have also highlighted the need for increased focus on Arctic security. The weakness in Canada’s northern warning systems was highlighted when a balloon was shot down over the Yukon and the presence of Chinese monitoring buoys in the Arctic Ocean should be a wake-up call to the growing challenges to our sovereignty in the Arctic. This budget is a missed opportunity to reaffirm Canada’s commitment to address these urgent gaps. However, the 20-year timeline to improve NORAD infrastructure kicks the can down the road yet again.
“The Yukon Party was happy to see the budget address an item we brought forward. The alcohol excise tax, tied to the rate of inflation, was set to rise by 6.3 per cent on April 1. The federal budget caps the tax increase at 2 per cent.”