Federal NDP blast budget

The recently-released federal budget has bad news for Yukoners, says Dennis Bevington, the NDP’s critic for the North. That’s especially the case for residents in their early-to mid-50s who don’t have a plum pension to depend on.

The recently-released federal budget has bad news for Yukoners, says Dennis Bevington, the NDP’s critic for the North.

That’s especially the case for residents in their early-to mid-50s who don’t have a plum pension to depend on. In one decade, Ottawa plans to extend the retirement age by two years, from 65 to 67, for recipients of Old Age Security, a benefit worth more than $6,000 annually.

“There are many people in the Northwest Territories, Yukon and Nunavut in their early 50s right now who are seasonal workers, without big pension buildup, who may be working in very strenuous, outdoor activities, that are really going to be hit hard by this,” said Bevington, the MP for the Western Arctic.

It remains to be seen how the federal government’s plan to trim $5.2 billion over three years will affect federal agencies and departments. But Bevington worries the North’s services will suffer, from park maintenance to aviation inspections.

The CBC is facing a 10 per cent pay cut over three years. That may well affect regional programming, said Bevington.

A big chunk of money for Indian and Northern Affairs is earmarked to improve education on First Nation reserves. As the Yukon doesn’t have reserves, that money is unlikely to make its way to the territory, said Bevington.

Federal health transfers are also set to slow. Expect fewer health benefits as a result, said Bevington.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper wants individual provinces and territories to decide for themselves how to deliver health services. That’s a break from past efforts to ensure Canadians enjoy the same level of care across the country, said Bevington.

“That’s abdicating responsibility,” he said.

Federal reviews of big development projects, like pipelines, are to be streamlined, with reviews capped at 24 months. But sluggish federal reviews are the result of inadequate funding, said Bevington.

Ottawa aims to return to the black one year earlier – by 2015. This year’s budget contains no tax changes, but Bevington faults previous corporate tax cuts for the hole the government is now digging itself out of.

A recent list of Canada’s most profitable companies, compiled by Maclean’s magazine, consists almost entirely of financial firms and oil and gas companies, said Bevington.

“We’re cutting taxes for these guys and pushing down on the little guys,” he said. “It’s really ridiculous.”

Contact John Thompson at johnt@yukon-news.com

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

Just Posted

A proposed Official Community Plan amendment would designate a 56.3-hectare piece of land in Whistle Bend currently designated as green space, as urban residential use. Whitehorse city council will vote on the second reading of the Official Community Plan amendment on Dec. 7. (Courtesy City of Whitehorse)
Future area of Whistle Bend considered by council

Members set to vote on second reading for OCP change

The City of Whitehorse’s projected deficit could be $100,000 more than originally predicted earlier this year. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
City deficit could be just over $640,000 this year

Third quarter financial reports presented to council

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley speaks during a COVID-19 press conference in Whitehorse on Oct. 30. Masks became mandatory in the Yukon for anyone five years old and older as of Dec. 1 while in public spaces. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
As mask law comes into effect, premier says $500 fines will be last resort

The territory currently has 17 active cases of COVID-19

Crystal Schick/Yukon News file
Ranj Pillai, minister of economic development, during a press conference on April 1.
Government rejects ATAC mining road proposal north of Keno City

Concerns from the First Nation of Na-Cho Nyäk Dun were cited as the main reason for the decision


Wyatt’s World for Dec. 2, 2020

The new Little Salmon Carmacks First Nation council elected Dec. 1. (Submitted)
Little Salmon Carmacks elects new chief, council

Nicole Tom elected chief of Little Salmon Carcmacks First Nation

Submitted/Yukon News file
Yukon RCMP’s Historical Case Unit is seeking information related to the unsolved homicide of Allan Donald Waugh, 69, who was found deceased in his house on May 30, 2014.
Yukon RCMP investigating unsolved Allan Waugh homicide

Yukon RCMP’s Historical Case Unit is seeking information related to an unsolved… Continue reading

A jogger runs along Millenium Trail as the sun rises over the trees around 11 a.m. in Whitehorse on Dec. 12, 2018. The City of Whitehorse could soon have a new trail plan in place to serve as a guide in managing the more than 233 kilometres of trails the city manages. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
2020 trail plan comes forward

Policies and bylaws would look at e-mobility devices

Snow-making machines are pushed and pulled uphill at Mount Sima in 2015. The ski hill will be converting snow-making to electric power with more than $5 million in funding from the territorial and federal governments. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Mount Sima funded to cut diesel reliance

Mount Sima ski hill is converting its snowmaking to electric power with… Continue reading

Colin McDowell, the director of land management for the Yukon government, pulls lottery tickets at random during a Whistle Bend property lottery in Whitehorse on Sept. 9, 2019. A large amount of lots are becoming available via lottery in Whistle Bend as the neighbourhood enters phase five of development. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Lottery for more than 250 new Whistle Bend lots planned for January 2021

Eight commercial lots are being tendered in additional to residential plots

The Government of Yukon Main Administration Building in Whitehorse on Aug. 21. The Canada Border Services Agency announced Nov. 26 that they have laid charges against six people, including one Government of Yukon employee, connected to immigration fraud that involved forged Yukon government documents. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Charges laid in immigration fraud scheme, warrant out for former Yukon government employee

Permanent residency applications were submitted with fake Yukon government documents

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Mask fundraiser helps make children’s wishes come true

From Black Press Media + BraveFace – adult, youth and kid masks support Make-A-Wish Foundation

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

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

Most Read