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Association of Yukon Communities meeting held in Watson Lake

Eight resolutions passed
AYC president Ted Laking speaks during the association’s annual general meeting. (Courtesy/Jocelyn Curteanu)

Premier Ranj Pillai, deputy premier Jeanie McLean and Community Services Minister Richard Mostyn joined municipal representatives and community leaders in Watson Lake for the 2023 Association of Yukon Communities (AYC) annual general meeting (AGM) from May 11 to 14.

Mostyn provided opening remarks noting the territorial government’s commitment to Yukon municipalities, including municipal funding and land and infrastructure development, according to a release on May 16.

The AYC was founded in 1974 with a focus on establishing responsible government at the community level and providing a united approach to community ambitions.

At the meeting, the AYC passed eight resolutions. A key resolution was for improved emergency medical service (EMS) in rural Yukon.

“The resolution on improving EMS services in rural Yukon was timely considering the very community that was hosting our AGM experienced lapses in EMS coverage throughout the weekend,” said AYC president Ted Laking in a May 16 release. “Our members were clear that EMS is an essential service and more needs to be done to ensure proper staffing and service levels as well as the need to prevent burnout of first responders.”

Another resolution focused on the comprehensive review of the territory’s Municipal Act.

“The nature of municipal governments has changed significantly since the Municipal Act was last reviewed,” Laking said.

He added that “with significant growth, increasing expectations, downloading of responsibilities from other orders of government and limited revenue generation tools, local governments would like the act to be reviewed to ensure that it reflects the realities on the ground.”

According to the statement, several other resolutions passed with respect to the need for increased and sustainable funding for municipal governments or for services that municipal governments rely on.

“Whether the issue is infrastructure funding or the lack of support for animal care services, the sustainability of funding coming to our communities continues to be a challenge,” said Laking on the federal gas tax fund. “Our members have indicated loud and clear that as a result of aging infrastructure, climate change and growth, we need to see the amount of infrastructure funding coming to Yukon communities significantly increased. That’s why we are calling on the federal government to triple the size of the gas tax fund.”

The statement said another key resolution passed unanimously was the need for better and more respectful communication, engagement and consultation from the Yukon government.

Laking said in recent years, AYC members have grown concerned with lack of consultation and engagement from the government when it comes to policies and programs that impact local governments.

“One of the most important relationships in the territory is the one between the government and communities and we would like to see a return to respectful engagement,” he added.

In addition, the statement added that other resolutions that were passed include the development of a disaster mitigation fund, a review about whether permanent residents should be allowed to vote in municipal elections and a review of tax rates on the peripheral boundaries of communities.

Mostyn said he looked forward to continuing to work in partnership with Laking, the AYC executive and mayors and councillors from across the territory to “address the municipal issues that are important to Yukoners.”

Contact Patrick Egwu at

Patrick Egwu

About the Author: Patrick Egwu

I’m one of the newest additions at Yukon News where I have been writing about a range of issues — politics, sports, health, environment and other developments in the territory.
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