Copies of the revised 2021-22 budget documents tabled in the legislature on May 14. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)

Liberals introduce new budget with universal dental and safe supply funding

The new items were added to secure the support of the NDP.

The Liberal’s updated budget for 2021/22 will be the first territorial budget NDP leader Kate White has ever supported.

“A lot of the criticisms that I had in March still exist, except there have been some wins,” she said on May 13 after Premier Sandy Silver tabled the updated documents in the House.

The new budget remains very similar to the original Liberal budget introduced on March 5. An election was called by the premier before that document could be passed. The new version also has $1.5 million extra added to secure NDP support.

Those line items cover $500,000 to develop territory-wide dental coverage and $1 million for the set-up of a safe supply and supervised consumption site that will be implemented by Aug. 31.

The two promises were part of an agreement signed by the two parties in order to stabilize Silver’s minority government until Jan. 31, 2023.

“This budget builds on the strong foundation developed during the previous mandate and continues us on the path toward a brighter future for the Yukon,” said Silver in his budget speech.

He also pointed to returning promises, including green energy, health care reform and COVID-19 recovery funding.

Despite the new additions from the NDP, the numbers for the annual deficit and net financial debt have actually been reduced. The new estimate for the deficit is $6.6 million, compared to double that figure in March, and a reduced $169.6 million for the net financial debt.

Those numbers have shrunk thanks to a boost in funding from the federal government, which provided extra funds to the territorial health investment fund and COVID-19 health and vaccination efforts.

“You have a federal government that is starting to, hopefully, turn the page from relief to recovery. They just released their budget and we noticed a few different pieces there,” Silver said.

As in the March budget, the numbers also contain a $15 million COVID-19 contingency fund that has been calculated into the deficit but may not need to be spent.

Despite the shrunken deficit, Yukon Party leader Currie Dixon said he would vote against the budget.

“There are a few things that are slightly different, but nothing really substantially different. So there are things in there that we’re supportive of and there are things in there that we oppose, but overall, we oppose the direction the Liberals are going and so we won’t be supporting the budget,” he said.

“They’ve been bailed out by the feds again. That’s great for the territorial public finances. But you know, that the spending direction of this government is still troubling,” he said.

Contact Haley Ritchie at

Yukon legislative assembly

Just Posted

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley. (Yukon News file)
Yukon logs nine new COVID-19 cases, 54 active cases

More CEMA enforcement officers have been recruited, officials say

Yukon paleontologists Grant Zazula (left) and Elizabeth Hall (right) examine mammoth fossils in Whitehorse on June 10. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Mammoth bones discovered at Dawson mine site

“So this is just a start, hopefully, we’re going to be learning a lot.”

Rodney and Ekaterina Baker plead guilty to offences under the Yukon’s Civil Emergency Measures Act for breaking isolation requirements in order to sneak into a vaccine clinic and receive Moderna vaccine doses in Beaver Creek. (Facebook/Submitted)
Couple who broke isolation rules to get vaccines in Beaver Creek fined $2,300

Crown and defence agreed on no jail time for Rod and Ekaterina Baker


Wyatt’s World for June 16, 2021.… Continue reading

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley. (Yukon News file)
COVID-19 outbreak surges to 50 active cases in the Yukon

Officials urge Yukoners to continue following guidelines, get vaccinated

Jonathan Antoine/Cabin Radio
Flooding in Fort Simpson on May 8.
Fort Simpson asked for military help. Two people showed up.

FORT SIMPSON—Residents of a flooded Northwest Territories village expected a helping hand… Continue reading

A woman was rescued from the Pioneer Ridge Trail in Alaska on June 16. (Photo courtesy/AllTrails)
Alaska hiker chased off trail by bears flags down help

ANCHORAGE (AP)—An Alaska hiker who reported needing help following bear encounters on… Continue reading

Two participants cross the finish line at the City of Whitehorse Kids Triathlon on June 12 with Mayor Dan Curtis on hand to present medals. (Stephanie Waddell/Yukon News)
2021 Kids’ Triathlon draws 76 young athletes

Youth ages five to 14 swim, run and bike their way to finish line

NDP MP Mumilaaq Qaqqaq rises in the House of Commons, in Ottawa on May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
‘Unacceptable’ that Inuk MP felt unsafe in House of Commons, Miller says

OTTAWA—It’s a “sad reflection” on Canada that an Inuk MP feels she’s… Continue reading

Lily Witten performs her Canadian Nationals beam routine on June 14. John Tonin/Yukon News
Three Yukon gymnasts break 20-year Nationals absence

Bianca Berko-Malvasio, Maude Molgat and Lily Witten competed at the Canadian Nationals – the first time in 20 years the Yukon’s been represented at the meet

For the second year running, the Yukon Quest will not have 1,000 mile race. Crystal Schick/Yukon News
The Yukon Quest will be two shorter distance events instead of a 1,000 mile race

After receiving musher feeback, the Yukon Quest Joint Board of Directors to hold two shorter distances races instead of going forward with the 1,000 mile distance

It’s been a long time since most Yukoners have seen downtown Skagway. (Andrew Seal/Yukon News file)
What Canada-U.S. border changes could mean for Alaska travel

The federal government is expected to make an announcement on Monday

A rendering of the proposed new city hall/services building and transit hub. (City of Whitehorse/submitted)
City building plans move forward

Council approves procurement going ahead

Most Read