Museums have been handed $200,000.
A Dawson City visual arts foundation program just got $500,000.
The north Alaska Highway will get a whopping $35 million for road reconstruction.
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Society of the Yukon will receive $162,000.
Crisis counseling will be provided to children who see domestic abuse. Cost, $16,500 this year and $50,000 per year thereafter.
Total, almost $35.9 million. And that’s just since Monday. There’s more to come.
But there’s no budget. Not yet.
And not a dime has been reviewed or approved by the legislature.
It has all been spent by edict, the projects announced in advance of the budget and coming legislative sitting by Premier Dennis Fentie’s government.
It doesn’t happen that way in other places. Not often, and not without reason.
On Wednesday, Alberta Finance minister Shirley McClellan released that province’s 2006/’07 budget.
Ontario Finance minister Dwight Duncan released his provincial budget on Thursday.
BC released its budget in February. So did the NWT.
The Yukon launches its 11th hour sitting on the 30th, just one day before its spending authority runs out.
Is this good government? We think not.
The budget has been set for months and there’s no reason why the session could not have begun earlier.
Instead, Fentie issued a $223 million special warrant. Then his government has the audacity to announce a slew of goodies to generate good news in advance of the coming sitting.
It’s demonstrates a contempt for the system, which is designed with checks and balances in mind.
“As we are still the government in power I take full responsibility for the date I’ve called,” said Fentie. “I see no reason why I should even hesitate to worry about it.”
It’s the rest of us who have something to worry about. (RM)