Yukon Liberals Refuse to Update Economic Outlook to Reflect Impact of COVID-19

WHITEHORSE – As Canadians are preparing for the expected hit to the economy due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Liberal government is refusing to provide accurate information about what this means for Yukon’s economy. 

During Opposition Motion Debate yesterday, the Yukon Liberals voted against a Yukon Party motion asking them to update their fiscal and economic projections for the 2020-21 budget to reflect the global economic crisis we are facing.  The forecasts currently do not reflect the projected impacts that COVID-19 will have on the territory’s fiscal and economic outlook, and therefore they no longer qualify as accurate information about Yukon’s economy.

The wording of the motion read: THAT this House urges the Minister of Finance to revise the fiscal and economic outlook tabled as part of the 2020-21 main budget estimates to reflect recent world events including the global spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, travel advisories, and stock market volatility prior to the end of the 2020 Spring Sitting.

TIA Yukon issued a statement on March 11th indicating that Yukon’s tourism industry expects a 20% loss in revenues this year, which amounts to approximately $60 million.
This will have an impact on the Yukon economic outlook.

There were over 500,000 border crossings into Yukon in 2019, 70% of those were American, the majority of which were coming off the cruise ships in Alaska. The Public Health Agency of Canada and US Department of Health has now recommended that citizens avoid cruise ship travel, and Princess Cruises announced it will halt all cruises for two months.
This will have an impact on the Yukon economic outlook.

While Canada’s Minister of Finance announced earlier today that he will revise the federal economic forecasts to reflect the quickly deteriorating economic outlook, the Yukon Liberals used their majority to vote down the Yukon Party motion.

“Yukoners need their government to show leadership and recognize the economic implications that all Yukoners and Yukon businesses are facing already,” stated Stacey Hassard, Leader of the Official Opposition. “It’s time that the Yukon Liberals followed the lead of their federal counterparts and started taking this crisis seriously.”

This action follows the Liberals using their majority to shut down a Yukon Party proposal to create an All-Party Committee to collaboratively develop solutions to the economic crisis.

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Contact:
Madison Pearson
Communications
(867) 393-7026


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