WHITEHORSE – Yesterday, the Liberals announced a newly appointed Renewable Energy Panel that will be asking Yukoners how they think the government should address the territory’s energy needs. Unfortunately, the inadequate consultation time and limited opportunity for input has raised concerns about the process.
The Minister of Yukon Energy Corporation announced the launch of four public consultations only 6 hours before the beginning of the first consultation, which was held in Whitehorse last night. The remaining three are limited to Dawson City, Watson Lake, and Haines Junction. This unfortunately leaves the majority of Yukon communities out of the consultation process.
The entire engagement process will be completed this week, meaning only five days will have passed between the Minister’s announcement of the Panel consultations, and the completion of the consultations. Further, for those unable to make it in person, there is no option for online input on the government’s engagement site.
“This last minute announcement and rushed consultation from the Liberals is not a useful way to encourage Yukoners to participate, and will unfortunately prevent a lot of interested individuals from giving their input,” stated Wade Istchenko, Official Opposition Critic for Yukon Energy Corporation. “Yukoners in every community care about the future of the territory’s energy needs, and they should be given a fair opportunity to provide their ideas rather than the limited process that the Liberals are rushing through.”
The government should reconsider this flawed consultation process, include all communities in the discussions, and extend it so all interested Yukoners have enough time to provide meaningful input.