Fireweed grows on July 1, in an area of Snag Junction previously impacted by fire. (Dana Hatherly/Yukon News)

Fireweed grows on July 1, in an area of Snag Junction previously impacted by fire. (Dana Hatherly/Yukon News)

Here’s what the Association of Yukon Communities will be watching for this fall sitting

Disasters, COVID-19, mental health and rising fuel and energy costs identified as priorities

The Association of Yukon Communities has laid out its priorities for the fall sitting of the Yukon Legislative Assembly.

In an Oct. 11 release, natural disaster mitigation response, COVID-19 relief funding, mental health and increased fuel and energy costs top the list.

Major flooding, fires and landslides throughout the past year has the association wondering what disaster relief funding will be offered to offset the costs borne by municipalities across the territory and how the issue of more permanent adaptations will be addressed so that municipalities can better mitigate natural disasters before they become emergencies.

The association will be watching for what type of relief the Yukon government intends to provide to municipalities when it comes to offsetting the financial impacts of COVID-19.

“Public health measures implemented in the Yukon resulted in revenue losses and increased operational expenses as municipalities attempted to maintain services for the public using modified delivery methods wherever possible,” reads the release.

“While some funding was provided in 2021, health restrictions continued until spring 2022 resulting in continued financial hardships for communities.”

The association will be tracking which solutions are brought forward this fall to support mental health and to address the substance use health emergency declared in January. The association is also looking for relief measures to offset rising fuel and energy costs.

“Residents across the Yukon are feeling the impacts of the unanticipated rising costs of fuel and energy,” the release states.

“Municipal governments have also seen their budgets strained due to these unavoidable cost increases.”

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