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New Yukon Fund banks on historic oil and gas activities in Beaufort Sea

Premier Ranj Pillai says Yukoners will determine how the money is dispersed
Flowers on the Nares Mountain overlook Carcross on July 2, 2023. (Dana Hatherly/Yukon News)

Premier Ranj Pillai has announced a new fund that will harness revenue from historic oil and gas activities in the Beaufort Sea to “benefit generations of future Yukoners.”

Pillai told the media room on March 28 that the new Yukon Fund underscores the territorial government’s commitment to ensuring that all Yukoners make gains from exploring and developing natural resources.

The money will come from the 1993 Canada–Yukon Oil and Gas Accord. A March 28 press release from the Yukon government notes that’s where the Government of Canada committed to providing future offshore revenues to northern governments.

“The recent signing of the Western Arctic–Tariuq (Offshore) Accord brought agreement on a revenue-sharing formula allowing Canada to release the funds. The amount the Yukon will receive is subject to ongoing negotiations,” reads the release.

While the final number still needs to be hammered out, Pillai said the Yukon government has a “good sense” of it.

Just $1 has been allocated in the 2024-25 territorial budget, which has yet to pass in the legislative assembly, to initiate the funding and the structure of the fund, Pillai said.

Just over $25 million will be split between the Yukon and the Northwest Territories, with the first allotment expected to be between $6 million and $10 million.

How the fund will work and how potential future revenue is put into it have yet to be defined.

“Later this year, we will go into a deep public engagement with Yukoners on a vision for the fund and how it will be dispersed,” Pillai said.

“It’s an opportunity for us to structure a fund and then let Yukoners define how that fund can be used for future generations.”

The fund is one way the Yukon government is marking the Yukon’s 125th year since joining Canadian Confederation on June 13, 1898.

Contact Dana Hatherly at

Dana Hatherly

About the Author: Dana Hatherly

I’m the legislative reporter for the Yukon News.
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