FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE January 21, 2022
WHITEHORSE – The Yukon Party applauds Yukon First Nations for taking the lead and filling the health gap in Yukon communities by providing rapid tests to all residents. One of those First Nations that have been providing rapid tests to all citizens in their community is the Champagne and Aishihik First Nations.
“I would like to thank CAFN for the tremendous work they are doing to provide rapid tests for not only First Nation citizens, but the entire community of Haines Junction,” Kluane MLA Wade Istchenko said. “I am grateful for their work, and I join my colleague from Watson Lake and request the Liberal government notify rural Yukoners how they can access a rapid test.”
After the Liberal government announced on January 10 that it would be issuing rapid antigen tests to Yukoners in Whitehorse, Watson Lake MLA Patti McLeod penned a letter requesting that the Minister share the plan for the distribution of tests in rural Yukon and that the communities have equitable access. The Minister has yet to respond to the letter, or provide a plan for rural Yukon.
“I understand some Yukon First Nations are filling the gap and providing rapid tests to rural Yukoners no matter if they are symptomatic or not,” McLeod said. “But First Nations should not have to do the work of the territorial government. The Liberals need to tell Yukoners in all communities how and when they will be able to access rapid tests without driving to Whitehorse.”
The government has said a shipment of 50,000 tests has arrived, and more would be on the way in the coming weeks. The Yukon Party has been calling for a rapid test distribution plan since the fall, and the territory needs to be ready for when more rapid tests arrive.