FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE October 11, 2023
WHITEHORSE – On Wednesday, the Yukon Legislative Assembly debated a Yukon Party Official Opposition motion calling for the Yukon government to increase funding to hire more front-line police officers in Whitehorse and in rural Yukon.
The motion is in response to growing calls from Yukon citizens and businesses to combat increased levels of criminal activity and to improve public safety, and statistics regarding crime.
Moved by Justice Critic Brad Cathers, Motion No. 756 reads as follows:
THAT this House urges the Yukon Government to increase resources and funding to the RCMP to support the hiring of additional front-line police officers in the Whitehorse area, and in rural Yukon communities.
The territorial NDP voted against the motion, as their MLAs’ comments indicated they support the ‘defund the police’ approach promoted by far-left organizations, and expressed their lack of confidence in the RCMP.
This confirms the territorial NDP position, as they opposed and voted against hiring additional front-line police. The NDP had alluded to defunding the police in their 2021 election platform section entitled ‘Ensuring policing is effective, fair and safe.’ The section stated: ‘The Yukon NDP will reallocate funding to community partners to help build capacity in responding to mental health and addictions calls using professionals trained specifically in crisis intervention.’
“The Liberal government has neglected the needs of communities and rural Yukoners by failing to respond to population growth and the rise in organized crime with appropriate increases for new policing positions in Whitehorse and rural Yukon,” said Cathers. “This motion urges the government to increase resources for the RCMP, which is an important part of tackling illegal drug trafficking and organized crime and responding to growing public concerns about property crime and community safety. It is disappointing that the NDP fail to recognize that prevention, addictions treatment, and increased enforcement are all important parts of dealing with the substance use crisis.”
After debate, the motion ultimately passed with the support of Liberal MLAs.