Yukon Premier Sandy Silver, left, and British Columbia Premier John Horgan head in to a media conference at Government of Yukon Main Administration Building in Whitehorse on Sept. 30. Daylight saving time, greening the economy, expanding the energy grid and Indigenous trans-boundary issues are among the topics the two discussed at the briefing. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)

British Columbia premier makes first visit to Whitehorse

B.C. Premier John Horgan is in the Yukon en route to Lower Post, B.C.

Daylight saving time, greening the economy, expanding the energy grid and Indigenous trans-boundary issues are among the topics that British Columbia Premier John Horgan has on the table for his first visit to the Yukon.

Horgan and Yukon Premier Sandy Silver held a joint press conference at the Yukon legislative assembly at noon on Sept. 30.

Horgan said he was in Whitehorse en route to Lower Post, B.C. where he had been invited to visit by the Kaska to talk about Indigenous trans-boundary issues.

Kaska Nation’s traditional territory includes a swath of land encompassing south-eastern Yukon into northern British Columbia.

“(Silver and I) have been, over the last couple of years, whenever we get together, talking about the importance of linking not just our economies and our social and cultural connections, but also making it absolutely clear that there is a seamless connection between our two jurisdictions,” Horgan told reporters.

“And that seamless connection starts with Indigenous peoples who have been here for millennia — they do not know borders. They’re obliged to acknowledge them but their territories have crossed not just from a territory and a province but also to a nation when we talk about Alaskan issues.”

Horgan said his government will be introducing legislation later this fall to “implement” the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in British Columbia. He did not elaborate on what that legislation would look like, saying it was yet to be tabled.

Horgan is scheduled to meet with Yukon First Nations representatives as well as members of the Yukon business community during his visit.

He described his trip as a “relationship-building” exercise, joking that he didn’t bring any lawyers with him.

Silver said that he and Horgan have an “excellent working relationship.”

“(I’m) very pleased to have him here in the Yukon. As Canada’s western boundary, we have a lot in common, that’s for sure, and it’s great to have this opportunity to speak and I appreciate that Premier Horgan has made his way to Whitehorse for this conversation,” Silver said.

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

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