FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE February 6, 2023
WHITEHORSE –The Yukon Party Official Opposition is calling on the premier to raise timely Yukon priorities to the Prime Minister at the upcoming First Ministers’ meeting in Ottawa.
“We urge the premier to deliver a clear message to the Prime Minister on two issues that are very important to Yukoners: health care funding, and the rights of lawful firearms owners,” said Brad Cathers, Official Opposition Critic for Health and Social Services and Justice. “We urge the premier to work with the Northwest Territories and Nunavut to push for a major increase to the Territorial Health Investment Fund, with predictable yearly growth of that funding. And while Yukoners were relieved to see the Trudeau Liberal government back down on amendments to Bill C-21 that would ban thousands of lawfully-acquired hunting rifles and shotguns, it is important for Premier Pillai to tell the Prime Minister that the original text of Bill C-21 is also unacceptable.”
On October 12, 2022, the Yukon Legislative Assembly passed a motion urging the Yukon government to ensure territorial policing resources are not diverted to assist in the implementation of the federal government’s gun so-called ‘buy-back’ program. Premier Pillai’s first meeting with the Prime Minster since taking office is an opportunity for him to speak on behalf of Yukoners, and to oppose Bill C-21 and the proposed confiscation of lawfully acquired firearms from people who have done nothing wrong.
Following successful joint lobbying efforts by the Yukon, NWT, and Nunavut, in 2006 the federal government began providing additional health care funding to all three territories. Healthcare costs in the North have grown faster than increases in federal health funding and are not adequately addressed by per-capita funding models such as the Canada Health Transfer.
“We call on the premier to defend the rights and needs of Yukoners by telling Prime Minister Trudeau we need more funding for health care, and that every dollar the federal Liberal government proposes to spend on confiscating lawfully acquired firearms would be far better spent on increasing health care funding across Canada,” added Cathers.
The responsible use of firearms is an important part of the lifestyle, culture, and values of people who live in the Yukon. Many Yukoners depend on the use of firearms for purposes including feeding their families and protecting people and livestock from bears and other potential threats. The Yukon Party Official Opposition supports the responsible ownership and use of firearms.