WHITEHORSE - The Official Opposition is calling on the Yukon Liberals to share details regarding applications for federal infrastructure funding totaling approximately $470 million of taxpayers’ dollars. Assuming a typical cost-share arrangement of 75% provided by Ottawa and 25% provided by Yukon, the total value of these projects is nearly $627 million - with $157 million coming from the Government of Yukon.
“That the Liberals are refusing to provide details on how they intend to spend over half a billion dollars of taxpayers’ money is very concerning,” said Brad Cathers, Official Opposition Critic for Finance.
The Liberals used their majority to shut down a motion asking the government to be open and transparent with Yukoners about the details of these projects.
“These very well could be good infrastructure projects that will benefit Yukon, however at this point the government has refused to share the details with Yukoners, so how are we as elected representatives supposed to properly hold the government to account?” added Stacey Hassard, interim leader of the Official Opposition and Highways Critic. “Yukoners deserve to know key details such as what exactly these infrastructure projects are, what year construction is anticipated to begin, and what year construction is anticipated to end. This is common sense stuff and the government hasn’t provided a good reason why they need to hide this information from the public.”
The wording of the motion brought forward by the Official Opposition was nearly identical to a motion brought forward by former Leader of the Third Party, MLA Sandy Silver. During debate on that motion MLA Silver said that sharing this information would be a good step towards making government more open and accountable.
“It appears that once again we have a case of the Liberals saying one thing to get elected and doing something completely different once in government,” stated Geraldine Van Bibber, Official Opposition Critic for Community Services. “I hold out hope that the Liberals come around and agree to share this important information with Yukoners.”
Quotes of Interest:
“It is a straightforward request to make information on what the government is up to available to the public... It would also be a good step toward making the government more open and more accountable.” – MLA Sandy Silver, April 20, 2016 (Yukon Legislative Assembly)