Bill S 6 heads back to the House, without changes

A federal bill to amend Yukon's environmental assessment legislation is set to return to Parliament without changes.

A federal bill to amend Yukon’s environmental assessment legislation is set to return to Parliament without changes.

A parliamentary committee travelled to Whitehorse to hear from the public about concerns over Bill S-6, which will amend the Yukon Environmental and Socio-Economic Assessment Act.

Specifically, Yukon First Nations have said they will sue the federal government over four controversial provisions in the bill.

Those would allow a federal minister to give binding policy direction to Yukon Environmental and Socio-Economic Assessment Board and delegate responsibilities to the territorial minister. They would also give the Yukon government new powers to exempt projects from assessment in the event of a licence renewal or amendment, and impose new end-to-end timelines for assessments.

Despite hearing a day’s worth of testimony from Yukoners, the majority of which called for the removal or amendment of those sections, Conservative committee members voted yesterday to see the bill move forward unchanged.

“I’m very upset by the actions of the government with regard to Bill S-6, because in setting up these hearings in the Yukon, they actually set people up to think that they were going to listen to what they say, and to make changes in the bill,” said Liberal MP Yvonne Jones on the phone this morning.

NDP MP Dennis Bevington echoed the sentiment.

“It’s really frustrating to see what this government is doing,” he said. “To me, as a long-time northerner living in a territory, just as you guys do, we’re trying to gain more authority over our affairs, and I think in the Yukon this bill actually represents a retrogressive step.”

Both MPs criticized Yukon MP Ryan Leef for not attending yesterday’s meeting.

“Whenever there’s something of concern to my riding in a committee, I attend,” said Bevington. “That’s extremely important, that you do that.”

Leef said this morning that he is not a member of the committee, and had meetings yesterday for two other committees that he is a member of.

In addition, he met with Council of Yukon First Nations Chief Ruth Massie for an hour over lunchtime about Bill S-6, he said.

The bill will now return to the House of Commons for the reporting stage, where opposition parties will have a final chance to propose amendments. After that, it will proceed to third reading.

Contact Jacqueline Ronson at jronson@yukon-news.com

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

Just Posted

Maria Metzen off the start line of the Yukon Dog Mushers Association’s sled dog race on Jan. 9. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News)
Mushers race in preparation for FirstMate Babe Southwick

The annual race is set for Feb. 12 and 13.

The Yukon government is making changes to the medical travel system, including doubling the per diem and making destinations for medical services more flexible. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Subsidy for medical travel doubled with more supports coming

The change was recommended in the Putting People First report endorsed by the government

Chloe Sergerie, who was fined $500 under the <em>Civil Emergency Measures Act</em> on Jan. 12, says she made the safest choice available to her when she entered the territory. (Mike Thomas/Yukon News file)
Woman fined $500 under CEMA says she made ‘safest decision’ available

Filling out a declaration at the airport was contrary to self-isolation, says accused

The Yukon Department of Education building in Whitehorse on Dec. 22, 2020. Advocates are calling on the Department of Education to reverse their redefinition of Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) that led to 138 students losing the program this year. (John Hopkins-Hill/Yukon News file)
Advocates call redefinition of IEPs “hugely concerning,” call for reversal

At least 138 students were moved off the learning plans this year

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: Your Northern regulatory adventure awaits!

“Your Northern adventure awaits!” blared the headline on a recent YESAB assessment… Continue reading

Yukoner Shirley Chua-Tan is taking on the role of vice-chair of the social inclusion working group with the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences’ oversight panel and working groups for the autism assessment. (Submitted)
Canadian Academy of Health Sciences names Yukoner to panel

Shirley Chua-Tan is well-known for a number of roles she plays in… Continue reading

The Fish Lake area viewed from the top of Haeckel Hill on Sept. 11, 2018. The Yukon government and Kwanlin Dün First Nation (KDFN) announced they are in the beginning stages of a local area planning process for the area. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Local area planning for Fish Lake announced

The Government of Yukon and Kwanlin Dün First Nation (KDFN) announced in… Continue reading

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

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

Fire damage, photographed on Jan. 11, to a downtown apartment building which occurred late in the evening on Jan. 8. Zander Firth, 20, from Inuvik, was charged with the arson and is facing several other charges following his Jan. 12 court appearance. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News)
More charges for arson suspect

The Inuvik man charged in relation to the fire at Ryder Apartments… Continue reading

The grace period for the new Yukon lobbyist registry has come to an end and those who seek to influence politicians will now need to report their efforts to a public database. (Mike Thomas/Yukon News file)
Grace period for new lobbyist registry ends

So far nine lobbyists have registered their activities with politicians in the territory

The Government of Yukon Main Administration Building in Whitehorse on Aug. 21, 2020. Some Yukon tourism and culture non-profit organizations may be eligible to receive up to $20,000 to help recover from losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Details released on relief funding for tourism and culture non-profits

Some Yukon tourism and culture non-profit organizations may be eligible to receive… Continue reading

Most Read