Yukon News

Premier’s previews budget highlights

Jacqueline Ronson Monday March 24, 2014

Ian Stewart/Yukon News

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Premier Darrell Pasloski will present the budget to the legislature on Tuesday.

Yukon’s business community got a preview of the territorial budget last week.

Premier Darrell Pasloski spoke to a room packed with more than 100 people at a Yukon Chamber of Commerce lunch on Friday.

He told the crowd that his government’s focus remains squarely on growing the economy.

“It is especially important to me that this growth comes from the private sector,” said Pasloski. “We need a strong private sector if we are to reach our goal of becoming a net contributor to Canada.”

We’re not there yet, Pasloski said in an interview Monday morning.

“We still have a ways to go. We’re still reliant upon a territorial formula financing that comes from the federal government. So there’s more work to be done, but I believe that we’re on the right path.”

He announced a series of initiatives designed to encourage business in the Yukon.

The small business tax rate will be cut from four per cent to three per cent this year, said Pasloski.

And the government will initiate a red tape review to report on administrative burdens on business and suggest targets to reduce them.

Yukon will also review its business incentive program, which subsidizes contractors to the government when they source labour and materials locally.

The government has also committed to spend $710,000 on programs designed to attract Outside investment in the territory.

Yukon will also invest in the infrastructure required to support businesses, said Pasloski.

This year it will spend $2 million towards the planning of a new hydro dam.

The government has also earmarked $600,000 to plan a fibre optic link between Whitehorse and Juneau, Alaska. That would give the Yukon a second telecommunications link to Outside, reducing the risk of outages and encouraging competition.

The government has also committed to subsidize wireless communications infrastructure so that every community has access to the equivalent of 4G cellular service by 2017.

And the premier also committed to investing in tourism. First Nation cultural centres will get $500,000 this year, and $590,000 will go to promoting Yukon as a tourism destination in overseas markets.

“Our focus is on infrastructure to support private sector growth,” said Pasloski to close his speech Friday. “What government builds for Yukoners helps Yukoners build a strong economy. We should all take pride in what we have achieved together to this point, and we can all look forward to even a brighter future.

Pasloski will present the full budget Tuesday to Yukon’s legislative assembly.

Contact Jacqueline Ronson at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

4 Comments

Dear Atom wrote:
5:48pm Wednesday March 26, 2014

Good question “Can’t they figure it out?” Well if you elect a guy who was a drug dealer (second time we’ve done that) you get what you vote for.

Atom wrote:
10:34am Wednesday March 26, 2014

Reformed Carbon Addict….the twelve steps have you on the pulpit…..you must have had your lips around the tailpipe for too long….nobody in business or in politics cares about those who don’t have enough to go around….they only care about the money and or the votes.

We used to try and only promote the Yukon to those we wanted here….the Yukon Party Gov have opened the gates to any and all who profess to have a ‘better way’ or who’ will develop’ the Yukon.

What that has led to is a propped up notion that ‘prosperity ’ is here….as an example look at realestate here now…... so spend 500K on a house ‘it will always keep it’s value’, trust me I’m a realtor (and I need to make money too). Land pricing has gotten ridiculous with the City charging outrageous amounts….leaving builders in a tough spot, and on it goes.

I’m just complaining because it really shouldn’t have gone this way here in the Yukon….development is going to happen….but it should happen at a pace that is sustainable….the economy in the Yukon right now is not sustainable….can’t our elected officials figure it out?

I love the picture wrote:
10:20pm Tuesday March 25, 2014

Love the picture ... little Brad looking up at the Paz and thinking “Keep talking and keep digging, I’ll have your job yet!”

Reformed Carbon Addict wrote:
5:11pm Monday March 24, 2014

I get a sense that “growing the economy” and it needing to be the “private sector” probably is code for drill baby drill, or more appropriately for the Yukon will eventually mean frack baby frack, and more corporate welfare in the way of taxes and free entry into our commons (“our beautiful landscape”).  Yep, no need to live within our means, we need to keep this gravy train going, in the short term.  I love it how supposed Conservatives are the first to critique other parties for their spending spree, when in fact their track record puts our economy in the hole for future generations - and this hole is not merely an economic hole, but an environmental hole.

2 million for a new hydro dam… I wonder after reading the recent release by Yukon Energy Solutions, which states that solar power can produce usable reliable energy, if that 2 million was instead spent on investing in real reusable energy as opposed to more dams, I wonder how that would fair for our Earth and investment in future generations.  If you don’t think we are on a collision course with global climate change then you need to get your head out of the sand quick.  There’s absolutely no leadership in this country, and more importantly in this Territory as to how we are going to create an actual stable economy beyond the immediate future.  Saddened to see in this budget that there is no clear/writ large mention of needing to figure something quick in regards to environmental investment and protection.

Time for us to realize we need to live with less if we want to truly preserve why most of us live up here in the first place, that is incredible rich nature that surrounds us.  Even to those well paid Yukon Government workers out there, this post I will note is by one of those overpaid workers, it may be time to not get that Yukon Bonus which enable us to fly down to Vancouver a few times a year or it may be a salary freeze to ensure we can invest in renewable energy and just basically living more within our means.  We all need to tighten our belt and truly be “conservatives” in the true sense of conservation if we truly want Yukon to remain “Larger than Life”.

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