Ethically dubious

Ethically dubious Open Letter to Premier Pasloski re special warrant: On May 30th, I wrote to congratulate you on becoming the new leader of the Yukon Party and encouraged you to be more open and accountable to Yukoners than your predecessor, Dennis Fent

Open Letter to Premier Pasloski re special warrant:

On May 30th, I wrote to congratulate you on becoming the new leader of the Yukon Party and encouraged you to be more open and accountable to Yukoners than your predecessor, Dennis Fentie, had been over the last nine years.

To demonstrate your willingness to bring more transparency to government, we had asked that you:

• Provide an update of the territory’s financial status, updated estimates for this fiscal year, the status of the savings account and the total amount that the territory has borrowed to this point, including borrowing through its Crown corporations, within 10 business days.

• Release the four contracts, and the products of these contracts that were signed by EMR in the summer of 2009 regarding energy rationalization and that have been requested repeatedly over the last two years.

• Recall the legislative assembly for a special session in June to debate how to properly allocate the $17.5 million from the Northern Housing Fund so that it can be put to use immediately to provide some relief from our housing shortage.

Our requests, made on behalf of Yukoners, have been ignored thus far. It has been almost two months since the Yukon Party elected you as its leader and over a month since you were sworn in as premier. Yet, you have done little to indicate a Yukon Party government under your leadership is any more open and accountable than a Yukon Party government under Fentie.

Last week it was revealed you issued a special warrant for $46 million, $7 million of which was for projects not yet approved by the legislative assembly.

You could have accepted the Liberal caucus’ invitation to reconvene the legislature at the end of June to have these funds approved, but instead you decided to stick with Yukon Party policy: making deals behind closed doors to avoid scrutiny. The fact you would rather work behind the scenes than with the members of the legislative assembly shows the same arrogance and blatant disregard for the democratic process that Fentie had. It shows a complete lack of respect for the members of the legislative assembly and a lack of respect for the people that we represent.

Pasloski, while it’s clear that you would like to distance yourself from the past scandals that this Yukon Party government has been involved with (as is evident from the vigorous housecleaning that you have been undertaking), your recent actions have confirmed that this government hasn’t changed - it is still more concerned with the interests of the Yukon Party than it is with the interests of all Yukoners.

Without the consent of the legislative assembly, you have absolutely no public mandate to be spending taxpayer dollars. The Yukon Party elected you as its leader, but you have yet to earn a seat in the legislative assembly from the Yukon public. While the Yukon Party currently holds a majority and would most likely approve the expenses you are bringing forward if called back to the legislative assembly, the issue here is a matter of principle. For a person who speaks so often of collaboration with other groups, your actions thus far reveal you to be a “my-way-or-the-highway” type person – just like a certain former premier.

I am also appalled by the timing of these unauthorized projects that you have approved.

By law, a territorial election must be called within the next three months - you want these projects to be financed using taxpayer money but without taxpayer consent.

Let’s be clear: would you be fast-tracking these projects if a territorial election weren’t imminent?

This Yukon Party government has had plenty of time to initiate projects, but it chose to wait until the eleventh hour. In effect, you are using taxpayer money to make more announcements in order to promote the Yukon Party in advance of the upcoming election. This is morally, fiscally and democratically wrong.

My colleagues and I and many Yukoners are disappointed by your actions.

I hope that you will recognize that the members of the Yukon legislative assembly and the Yukoners we represent deserve more respect than that which you have shown to date.

Arthur Mitchell, leader of the Official Opposition

Whitehorse

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: Are they coming?

One of COVID-19’s big economic questions is whether it will prompt a… Continue reading

Yukon MP Larry Bagnell, along with Yukon health and education delegates, announce a new medical research initiative via a Zoom conference on Jan. 21. (Screen shot)
New medical research unit at Yukon University launched

The SPOR SUPPORT Unit will implement patient-first research practices

Yukon First Nation Education Directorate members Bill Bennett, community engagement coordinator and Mobile Therapeutic Unit team lead, left, and Katherine Alexander, director of policy and analytics, speak to the News about the Mobile Therapeutic Unit that will provide education and health support to students in the communities. (yfned.ca)
Mobile Therapeutic Unit will bring education, health support to Indigenous rural students

The mobile unit will begin travelling to communities in the coming weeks

Premier Sandy Silver, left, and Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley, speak during a live stream in Whitehorse on January 20, about the new swish and gargle COVID-19 tests. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Swish and spit COVID-19 test now available in Yukon

Vaccination efforts continue in Whitehorse and smaller communities in the territory

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police detachment in Faro photgraphed in 2016. Faro will receive a new RCMP detachment in 2022, replacing the decades-old building currently accommodating officers. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Faro RCMP tagged for new detachment

Faro will receive a new RCMP detachment in 2022, replacing the decades-old… Continue reading

In a Jan. 18 announcement, the Yukon government said the shingles vaccine is now being publicly funded for Yukoners between age 65 and 70, while the HPV vaccine program has been expanded to all Yukoners up to and including age 26. (1213rf.com)
Changes made to shingles, HPV vaccine programs

Pharmacists in the Yukon can now provide the shingles vaccine and the… Continue reading

Parking attendant Const. Ouellet puts a parking ticket on the windshield of a vehicle in downtown Whitehorse on Dec. 6, 2018. The City of Whitehorse is hoping to write of nearly $300,000 in outstanding fees, bylaw fines and court fees, $20,225 of which is attributed to parking fines issued to non-Yukon license plates. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
City of Whitehorse could write off nearly $300,000

The City of Whitehorse could write off $294,345 in outstanding fees, bylaw… Continue reading

Grants available to address gender-based violence

Organizations could receive up to $200,000

In this illustration, artist-journalist Charles Fripp reveals the human side of tragedy on the Stikine trail to the Klondike in 1898. A man chases his partner around the tent with an axe, while a third man follows, attempting to intervene. (The Daily Graphic/July 27, 1898)
History Hunter: Charles Fripp — gold rush artist

The Alaskan coastal town of Wrangell was ill-equipped for the tide of… Continue reading

A man walks passed the polling place sign at city hall in Whitehorse on Oct. 18, 2018. While Whitehorse Mayor Dan Curtis is now setting his sights on the upcoming territorial election, other members of council are still pondering their election plans for the coming year. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Councillors undecided on election plans

Municipal vote set for Oct. 21

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decicions made by Whitehorse city council this week.

A file photo of grizzly bear along the highway outside Dawson City. Yukon conservation officers euthanized a grizzly bear Jan. 15 that was originally sighted near Braeburn. (Alistair Maitland/Yukon News file)
Male grizzly euthanized near Braeburn

Yukon conservation officers have euthanized a grizzly bear that was originally sighted… Continue reading

Most Read