Seize the day

While it was difficult to hear the message over the sound of backpedalling, Economic Development Minister Currie Dixon's op-ed last week is as much an admission of lost opportunity as it is a pat on the back. In summary, the Yukon Party cl

While it was difficult to hear the message over the sound of backpedalling, Economic Development Minister Currie Dixon’s op-ed last week is as much an admission of lost opportunity as it is a pat on the back. In summary, the Yukon Party claims responsibility for past success brought on by high mineral prices, but blames the pending decline on “global market forces.”

The Yukon Party has been claiming immunity to just these forces for years. When opposition parties called for restrained spending, the government would celebrate their billion-dollar budget. When we raised difficult questions about infrastructure, the government would pat themselves on the back for record high exploration rates. When we asked for planning for tomorrow, they pointed to yesterday’s employment numbers.

The commodity super-cycle that allowed the Yukon Party to rest on their laurels is soon to be over, and Dixon knows it. While his letter admits this and provides hollow commitments to “always be looking forward,” it provides little in the way of substance.

In the Yukon, where mining is the cornerstone of our economy, we must leverage our good times to prepare for our bad. When mineral prices reach record highs, we need to invest in energy infrastructure that will help companies succeed when mineral prices are down.

While exploration companies are bullish, we need to help them navigate regulatory processes to get their projects online. And while First Nations are willing to come to the table, we must seize that opportunity. Yukoners have been raising these points for years. Hopefully it is not too late for the government to start listening.

Sandy Silver

MLA, Klondike

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

Just Posted

Commissioner of Yukon Anglique Bernard, in her role as Chancellor of the Order of Yukon, announced the 2020 Order of the Yukon inductees in a statement Dec. 2. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Order of Yukon inductees announced

Ten Yukoners will receive territory’s highest honour

The primary goal of the new relief package for tourism operators is to support the tourism sector, whether they’re private industry or not-for-profit organizations, said Tourism and Culture Minister Jeanie McLean. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Relief program offers funds for businesses that rely on tourists for more than half their revenue

Two new streams of funding, in addition to the accommodation relief program, were announced

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
YUKONOMIST: Climate emergency, lite edition

Back in September 2019, Whitehorse City Council declared a climate emergency, to… Continue reading

Yukon Employees’ Union says a lack of staff training and high turnover at the Whitehorse Emergency Shelter is creating a dangerous situation for underpaid workers. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Yukon Employees’ Union says lack of training at emergency shelter leading to unsafe situations

Health and Social Services Minister Pauline Frost said the staffing policy “is evolving”

Justice Karen Wenckebach will begin serving as resident judge on the Yukon Supreme Court early next year. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
All-female justice roster ‘a good step’ for diversity in Yukon Supreme Court

Karen Wenckebach is the third woman appointed to the Yukon Supreme Court in history

A sign outside the Yukon Inn Convention Centre indicates Yukoners can get a flu vaccine inside. As of Dec. 4, the vaccinations won’t be available at the convention centre. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Whitehorse Convention Centre ends flu vaccination service early

Flu vaccinations won’t be available at the Whitehorse Convention Centre after Dec.… Continue reading

In 1909, Joseph Kavetzki took over Brown’s Harness Shop, depicted here, reconstructed, 90 years later. Third Avenue in Dawson, south of Princess Street, was the heart of the blue collar industrial section of gold rush Dawson. (Michael Gates/Yukon News)
History Hunter: The Yukon is rich in hidden history

I had worked for a few months in my new position as… Continue reading

asdf
Today’s mailbox: Kindness, shingles and speed limits

Letters to the editor published Dec. 4, 2020

ASDF
COMMENTARY: Land use planning must include industry

Carl Schulze Special to the News This commentary is a response to… Continue reading

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

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

Nominations continue to be open for Northern Tutchone members of the White River First Nation to run for councillors in the 2021 election. (Maura Forrest/Yukon News File)
White River First Nation to elect new chief and council

Nominations continue to be open for Northern Tutchone members of the White… Continue reading

The Town of Watson Lake has elected John Devries as a new councillor in a byelection held Dec. 3. (Wikimedia Commons)
Watson Lake elects new councillor

The Town of Watson Lake has elected John Devries as a new… Continue reading

The new Little Salmon Carmacks First Nation council elected Dec. 1. (Submitted)
Little Salmon Carmacks elects new chief, council

Nicole Tom elected chief of Little Salmon Carcmacks First Nation

Most Read