WHITEHORSE – Today, the Official Opposition would like to recognize that Monday, March 13th was the hundredth day in office for the new territorial government. While the government has only showed up to work in the Legislative Assembly for an hour and a half in these first 100 days, they have made a few decisions without legislative or public scrutiny.
First, in less than a week of forming government the Premier travelled to Ottawa to sign onto an agreement to bring a carbon tax into Yukon, instead of negotiating an exemption. Now that the government is bringing in a carbon tax, they still have yet to release any information explaining how the carbon tax will impact Yukon families; nor have they explained how Yukoners will receive rebates for this new tax.
Second, a little over a week later the government once again put Ottawa first when it gave up the fight to ensure Yukoners receive adequate and sustainable federal funding for healthcare. Not only did the deal not include any new money to cover medical travel, a report by the University of Ottawa suggests it will be unsustainable for the territory in the long run. In fact, by the Premier’s own admission, he left at least $1 million on the table. This means less money is available for much needed healthcare for Yukon families.
Only a day later, when the federal government unilaterally banned offshore drilling in the Arctic without consulting Yukoners, the Premier once again chose to stand up for Ottawa by not joining the other Northern Premiers who voiced opposition to this decision.
Finally, the government capped off these decisions by firing the entire Housing Board, going into deficit, and delaying the return of the Legislative Assembly until April 20th. When the Legislature finally returns it will be the longest time in Yukon history that a government has gone without facing Question Period.
“A trend has emerged over the first 100 days of this new government where it seems they are more concerned with what’s good for Ottawa rather than what’s good for Yukon,” said Stacey Hassard, Leader of the Official Opposition. “In fact, the Premier has spent more time in Ottawa than he has in his Legislative Assembly seat. Luckily it’s not too late for the government to turn it around and start focusing on the priorities of Yukoners like responsible financial management and keeping taxes low.”