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MLAs remove cap on locally developed courses as result of Yukon NDP bill

Yukon NDP Leader Kate White’s private member’s bill on education passes in house
Yukon NDP Leader Kate White takes questions from reporters in the lobby of the Yukon legislative building on March 7. Her private member’s bill regarding locally developed courses passed in the house on April 17. (Dana Hatherly/Yukon News)

On April 17, territorial MLAs unanimously voted in favour of passing Yukon NDP Leader Kate White’s private member’s bill on removing a cap on locally developed courses.

“I’m really excited for what this means for Yukon students and Yukon educators,” she told the News by phone on April 18.

Bill 307 updates the Education Act by repealing part of the legislation that limited how many locally developed courses students could take to 20 per cent of their course load.

White said the change won’t negatively affect graduation requirements.

“It doesn’t dumb down education. If anything, it just adds like more possibilities,” she said.

“It’s not replacing core subjects. It’s in addition to core subjects” like science, math and English.

The change lines the Yukon up with British Columbia’s rules on school curricula.

The Yukon Education department already follows the B.C. curriculum, with adaptations related to Yukon content and Yukon First Nations.

Locally developed courses are subject to an approval process. White said there are currently 23 locally developed courses in the Yukon, such as hairstyling.

“It’s an opportunity for communities to be able to help make education relevant and interesting for students and help them get towards that high school graduation point,” she said in a previous interview with the News.

White has a hunch this could lead to more students graduating and improved graduation rates, especially in rural Yukon.

The Yukon First Nation School Board, the Yukon First Nation Education Directorate and the territory’s French-language school authority all provided letters of support for the bill.

Ted Hupé, head of the Yukon Association of Education Professionals, sent emails in support of the bill to all three territorial parties with seats in the house, according to an April 17 press release issued by the Yukon NDP.

Ahead of the vote, White told the house this is a stop-gap measure before a full review of the Education Act is done.

Contact Dana Hatherly at

Dana Hatherly

About the Author: Dana Hatherly

I’m the legislative reporter for the Yukon News.
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