Yukon government welcomes new and returning elected local officials

Currie Dixon, MLA for Copperbelt NorthAs submitted to the Whitehorse Star on Friday, October 16, 2015
by Currie Dixon, Minister of Community Services

Yesterday marked a day of elections in Yukon for our local governments. Today, after a brief moment to catch their breath, newly-elected representatives will turn their attention to delivering on their commitment to make a difference in their communities.

The Yukon government remains focused on working with our community partners in local government – both new and returning – to support their goals and deliver on their priorities. By working with our partners over the past number of years – from Local Advisory Councils to unincorporated communities to municipalities– we’ve made a lot of progress. We also work on a government-to-government basis with Yukon’s First Nations.

The Our Towns, Our Future initiative remains our framework and foundation for going forward in our work with local governments, as we build on its significant legacy, including a new Comprehensive Municipal Grant, a Solid Waste Findings Report, Community Development Teams, the Municipal Act Review, an online Municipal Resource Library, and most recently a municipal sustainability toolkit and work on asset management.

The Comprehensive Municipal Grant, for example, is a significant commitment by the Yukon government in support of municipalities, and we have increased unconditional municipal funding from $12.5 million in 2007 to $18.27 million in 2016. This ensures that our local governments can deliver the programs and services that are important to their communities.

At a municipal gala last month, Deputy Premier Elaine Taylor had an opportunity to honour local government representatives who have served their communities over the previous three years. Yukon government also renewed our Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Association of Yukon Communities. This MOU has helped influence our cooperation and collaboration in the past, and will continue to do so in the future. It formally recognizes our shared commitment to foster the development of safe, healthy and vibrant Yukon communities.

As part of moving forward together, our Community Affairs team in Community Services will be supporting the Association of Yukon Communities in delivering a training workshop in November for newly-elected municipal government officials. These officials will have an opportunity to gather in one place, meet their peers and learn about their roles and responsibilities in a three-day workshop on a variety of subjects, ranging from good governance to working together with the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO).

In closing, I’d like to formally welcome the new local governments and, on behalf of Yukon government, emphasize how much we are looking forward to working in partnership with them to make our territory an even better place to live, work, play and raise a family.