NDP calls for timelines on land use plans

NDP Opposition Leader Liz Hanson has asked the government to set timelines to finish land-use plans for the Yukon. Land-use planning is essential to economic certainty, she said in the legislature yesterday.

NDP Opposition Leader Liz Hanson has asked the government to set timelines to finish land-use plans for the Yukon.

Land-use planning is essential to economic certainty, she said in the legislature yesterday.

Chiefs and former chiefs at a Conference Board of Canada hearing in October all called for action on land-use plans to bring certainty for First Nations and for industry.

“Even the Fraser Institute has said that land-use planning is essential for economic certainty, but the Yukon Party government treats land-use planning with contempt,” said Hanson.

Twenty years after Yukon First Nations signed the first land claims agreements, only one land-use plan has been finalized.

Resource Minister Scott Kent pointed out that it was a Yukon Party government that signed off on the North Yukon Regional Land Use Plan.

“It has been completed and implemented,” said Kent. “Currently, we have two land-use plans underway – the Peel Watershed Land Use Plan and the Dawson Regional Planning Commission – and we continue to look for ways to learn and build upon each commission as we move forward into others.

“It’s not that we’re abandoning the long-term planning. As I said, that’s something that we’re very committed to as a government, and we continue to look for improvements to the planning process. Completing the Peel watershed plan is a priority and completing the Dawson regional land use plan is a priority. We’ll look for other opportunities for improvement as we move through the remainder of the plans that need to be developed here in the territory.”

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