Crystal Schick/Yukon News Yukon MP Larry Bagnell says he is looking forward to seeing Bill C-17, which just had its third reading in the House of Commons in Ottawa Nov. 9, passed.

Bill C-17 passes third reading in House of Commons

The bill, which will repeal controversial amendments made to YESAA by Bill S-6, will now go to Senate

A federal bill that will undo controversial amendments to the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Act (YESAA) passed its third reading in the House of Commons in Ottawa Nov. 9.

That means that Bill C-17, which will repeal the four changes introduced under Bill S-6 in 2014 and was adopted without amendments, is now three Senate readings away from becoming law.

In a statement posted to his Facebook page, Yukon MP Larry Bagnell said he is “very proud of the work” that Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett and the government have done “to honour our commitments to Yukon First Nation and restore certainty to the mining industry.”

“The changes put forward in the previous government’s Bill S-6, were brought in without consultation and negotiation with Yukon’s First Nations, with whom YESAA was originally negotiated,” Bagnell said.

“I look forward to working with my colleagues in the Senate to get Bill C-17 passed expeditiously.”

Bagnell did not respond to requests for comment.

Bill S-6 has long been a point of contention with Yukon First Nations, who said they weren’t properly consulted about its provisions and that they violated First Nation self-governing agreements. Three Yukon First Nations — the Teslin Tlingit Council, Little Salmon Carmacks First Nation and Champagne and Aishihik First Nations — launched a lawsuit over S-6 but put it on hold after the then-newly-elected federal Liberal government promised to repeal it.

In a statement, the Council of Yukon First Nations said it was “pleased” at the news of C-17’s passing.

“We have been working with both the Federal and Territorial governments to ensure the Final Agreements are being honoured,” CYFN Grand Chief Peter Johnston said in the statement.

“While we are not there yet, this is a significant step to ensure that the YESAA process is consistent with the provisions of our land claim agreements…. Bill C-17 supports the restoration of confidence in Yukon’s environmental and socio-economic assessment process while protecting the integrity of our Agreements.”

The Teslin Tlingit Council and Little Salmon Carmacks First Nation did not respond to requests for comment. The Champagne and Aishihik First Nations directed the News to the statement from CYFN.

Some members of the Yukon mining and exploration industry are expressing concern, though, that no replacement language or legislation has been put in place yet to preserve two provisions they say have resulted in improvements for the industry — namely, one allowing for permit renewals or amendments without requiring a whole new new project assessment, and another sets out time limits for assessments.

“I would just urge all parties to convene a meeting of the parties which includes industry,” Yukon Producers Group project manager Jonas Smith said in an interview. Smith was among the three mining industry representatives who travelled to Ottawa in October to urge a deferral on voting on C-17 until the preservation of the two S-6 provisions could be addressed.

“There is a time and place for government-to-government relations,” Smith said. “YESAA is a tri-party agreement between Canada, Yukon and First Nations. Industry fully understands and respects that, but at the end of the day, industry is the ones who use this legislation on a daily basis and we are also the ones who create jobs and generate tax revenue for public governments in this territory, so the time has come to engage industry in these discussions.”

Contact Jackie Hong at jackie.hong@yukon-news.com

C-17Federal PoliticsYESAA

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

Just Posted

During our recent conversation, John Nicholson showed me snapshots of his time working on the Yukon riverboats 70 years ago. (Michael Gates)
History Hunter: Yukon man relives the riverboat days after seven decades

John Nicholson took summer work on Yukon steamers in the 1950s

A city map shows the property at 107 Range Road. The zoning is now in place for developers to proceed with plans for a Dairy Queen drive-thru. If plans proceed on schedule the new restaurant is anticipated to open in October. (Cyrstal Schick/Yukon News)
October opening eyed for Dairy Queen

Will depend on everything going according to plan

NDP candidate Annie Blake, left, and Liberal incumbent Pauline Frost. (Submitted photos)
Official recount confirms tie vote in Vuntut Gwitchin riding

Both candidates Pauline Frost and Annie Blake are still standing with 78 votes each

Artist’s rendering of a Dairy Queen drive-thru. At its April 13 meeting, Whitehorse city council approved a zoning change to allow a drive-thru at 107 Range Road. Developers sought the change to build a Dairy Queen there. (Submitted)
Drive-thru approved by Whitehorse city council at 107 Range Road

Rezoning could pave the way for a Dairy Queen

xx
WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World for April 14, 2021.… Continue reading

Joel Krahn/joelkran.com Hikers traverse the Chilkoot Trail in September 2015. Alaska side.
The Canadian side of the Chilkoot Trail will open for summer

The Canadian side of the Chilkoot Trail will open for summer Parks… Continue reading

Whitehorse City Hall (Yukon News file)
City news, briefly

A look at city council matters for the week of April 12

École Whitehorse Elementary Grade 7 students Yumi Traynor and Oscar Wolosewich participated in the Civix Student Vote in Whitehorse on April 12. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Yukon Student Vote chooses Yukon Party government; NDP take popular vote

The initiative is organized by national non-profit CIVIX

Yvonne Clarke is the newly elected Yukon Party MLA for Porter Creek Centre. (Submitted/Yukon Party)
Yvonne Clarke elected as first Filipina MLA in the Yukon Legislative Assembly

Clarke beat incumbent Liberal Paolo Gallina in Porter Creek Centre

Emily Tredger at NDP election night headquarters after winning the Whitehorse Centre riding. (Stephanie Waddell/Yukon News)
Emily Tredger takes Whitehorse Centre for NDP

MLA-elect ready to get to work in new role

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Two new cases of COVID-19 variant identified in territory

“If variants were to get out of control in the Yukon, the impact could be serious.”

lwtters
Today’s Mailbox: Rent freezes and the youth vote

Dear Editor, I read the article regarding the recommendations by the Yukon… Continue reading

Point-in-Time homeless count planned this month

Volunteers will count those in shelters, short-term housing and without shelter in a 24-hour period.

Most Read