Yukoners will soon owe $400 million

 Open letter to Premier Darrell Pasloski, Energy minister Scott Kent, Yukon Development Corp. chair Joanne Fairlee and Yukon Energy chair Piers McDonald: The Yukon Party government has been in power for over 10 years a

Open letter to Premier Darrell Pasloski, Energy minister Scott Kent, Yukon Development Corp. chair Joanne Fairlee and Yukon Energy chair Piers McDonald:

The Yukon Party government has been in power for over 10 years and during this time they have mismanaged one capital project after another. The latest example pertains to Yukon Energy.

On Dec. 10, the Yukon Energy Corporation and board appeared before the legislative assembly to answer questions about their operations. They were asked about the payments being made by Yukon Energy to pay down the loan of over $100 million borrowed to build Mayo B.

Dave Morrison, president of Yukon Energy, stated that the corporation was making payments of $5 million a year. Further questioning revealed that no funds were being put aside to pay down the principal of $100 million of borrowed money. It was also revealed that Yukon Energy has a 30-year bond agreement to pay back the full amount. Our children and grandchildren will be saddled with $150 million in interest (30 years x $5 million per year) plus the original $100-million loan. Who gave the social licence to the Yukon Party government and Yukon Energy to mortgage the next 30 years of future Yukon ratepayers?

When this massive loan was being negotiated the fine print of this agreement was not shared with Yukoners. This is deceitful and dishonest behaviour on the parts of the Yukon Party government, the president of Yukon Energy, the Yukon Energy board, and the Yukon Development Corp. board.

To make matters even worse, the Yukon Party government has now given approval to Yukon Energy to borrow an additional $34 million to purchase liquefied natural gas back-up generators. Yukon Energy speculates that using LNG will save millions in the future. Economists state that once Canada starts shipping LNG to Asian countries, the price of LNG will triple making it one of the most expensive fossil fuels.

Precisely how does spending an additional $34 million to establish an LNG back-up plant and gambling that LNG prices will remain low represent a savings to Yukon taxpayers?

Remember Yukon Energy, our Crown corporation, is already on the hook for $5 million in interest payments on the Mayo B project. Now they keep repeating that LNG will save millions in the future, if they are permitted to borrow another $34 million of taxpayers’ money.

When we consider the additional $100-million debt of the Yukon Hospital Corporation and the talk of building a new emergency department at Whitehorse General Hospital for $60 million, Yukoners will be drowning in debt.

We will be looking at a possible debt of over $400 million.

How can this Yukon Party government refer to themselves as fiscally responsible?

How can the premier constantly claim we are debt free?

We need honest answers. I demand that the auditor general of Canada do a thorough forensic evaluation of the Yukon government’s financial operations and that of all our Crown corporations to determine our true financial position.

Don Roberts

Whitehorse

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