Postponed forum leaves chiefs out in cold

Opposition parties have called out the government for postponing the Yukon Forum at the last minute. The forums are an opportunity for the territorial government to meet with First Nation governments.

Opposition parties have called out the government for postponing the Yukon Forum at the last minute.

The forums are an opportunity for the territorial government to meet with First Nation governments.

NDP leader Liz Hanson said that the government waited until the last minute to cancel a forum planned for last Friday. The First Nation leaders were already on their way to Whitehorse when the announcement was made.

“Some of these guys drove through pretty damn cold weather, like 50 below coming down from Dawson.”

CYFN Grand Chief Ruth Massie confirmed this in an email, said Hanson.

Massie is out of the territory and could not be reached for comment by press time.

But Premier Darrell Pasloski said that the date for the forum was never officially set, and the chiefs came into town independently for a meeting they had planned.

“There was no formal notification of a forum,” he said. “I mean there was nothing actually put out saying that this would be the date it was occurring.”

Government officials still have work to do before they are ready for a forum, said Pasloski.

They are still working on a number of issues, including land-based healing and treatment, he said.

A postponement until the new year could mean that the next Yukon Forum could be held in conjunction with an intergovernmental forum, where the federal government also comes to the table, said Pasloski.

The premier declined to comment on when First Nations chiefs were notified that the forum had been postponed, and on when the next meeting would take place.

Liberal leader Sandy Silver doesn’t buy the government’s excuse for cancelling the meeting, he said.

“If you believe the answer from the premier that the officials weren’t ready, I would assume that they would have let the chiefs know well in advance that this was going to happen.”

In the legislature Tuesday, Silver asked if the real reason might be that First Nations are not in agreement on the new resource royalty deal announced in October.

“Can the premier confirm that all Yukon First Nation governments have, in fact, agreed to the new rates, and will he table a copy of the agreement?”

Few details were given when the new deal was announced in late October. At the time, the premier promised that they would be made public at the next Yukon Forum, which he said might occur before the end of November.

The Cooperation in Governance Act specifies that four meetings of the forum will take place each year, unless the members agree to meet fewer times.

Last week’s meeting would have been the second of 2012, and the second under Pasloski’s leadership.

Prior to this year, no Yukon Forum had occurred for several years.

The premier has mentioned the reinstating of the Yukon Forum several times during this sitting of the legislature as an example of his government’s continued efforts to work with First Nations.

Contact Jacqueline Ronson at

jronson@yukon-news.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Benjamin Poudou, Mount MacIntyre’s ski club manager, poses for a photo in the club’s ski rental area on Nov. 16. The club has sold around 1,850 passes already this year, compared to 1067 passes on Oct. 31 last year. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Early season ski pass sales up as Yukoners prepare for pandemic winter

Season passe sales at Mount McIntyre for cross-country skiing are up by around 60 per cent this year

The City of Whitehorse will be spending $655,000 to upgrade the waste heat recovery system at the Canada Games Centre. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
New waste heat recovery system coming to the CGC

Council approves $655,000 project

Yukon First Nation Education Directorate education advocates and volunteers help to sort and distribute Christmas hamper grocery boxes outside Elijah Smith Elementary School on Feb. 23. (Rebecca Bradford Andrew/Submitted)
First Nation Education Directorate begins Christmas hamper program

Pick-ups for hampers are scheduled at local schools

Cyrine Candido, cashier, right, wipes down the new plexi-glass dividers at Superstore on March 28, before it was commonplace for them to wear masks. The Yukon government is relaunching the Yukon Essential Workers Income Support Program as the second wave of COVID-19 begins to take place in the territory. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Yukon Essential Workers Income Support Program extended to 32 weeks

More than 100 businesses in the territory applied for the first phase of the program

Cody Pederson of the CA Storm walks around LJ’s Sabres player Clay Plume during the ‘A’ division final of the 2019 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament. The 2021 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament, scheduled for March 25 to 28 in Whitehorse next year, was officially cancelled on Nov. 24 in a press release from organizers. (John Hopkins-Hill/Yukon News file)
2021 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament cancelled

The 2021 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament, scheduled for March 25 to 28… Continue reading

Lev Dolgachov/123rf
The Yukon’s Information and Privacy Commissioner stressed the need to safeguard personal information while shopping this holiday season in a press release on Nov. 24.
Information and Privacy Commissioner issues reminder about shopping

The Yukon’s Information and Privacy Commissioner Diane McLeod-McKay stressed the need to… Continue reading

Keith Lay speaks at a city council meeting on Dec. 4, 2017. Lay provided the lone submission to council on the city’s proposed $33 million capital spending plan for 2021 on Nov. 23, taking issue with a number of projects outlined. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Resident raises issues with city’s capital budget

Council to vote on budget in December

Beatrice Lorne was always remembered by gold rush veterans as the ‘Klondike Nightingale’. (Yukon Archives/Maggies Museum Collection)
History Hunter: Beatrice Lorne — The ‘Klondike Nightingale’

In June of 1929, 11 years after the end of the First… Continue reading

Samson Hartland is the executive director of the Yukon Chamber of Mines. The Yukon Chamber of Mines elected a new board of directors during its annual general meeting held virtually on Nov. 17. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Yukon Chamber of Mines elects new board

The Yukon Chamber of Mines elected a new board of directors during… Continue reading

The Yukon Hospital Corporation has released its annual report for 2019-20, and — unsurprisingly — hospital visitations were down. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Annual report says COVID-19 had a large impact visitation numbers at Whitehorse General

The Yukon Hospital Corporation has released its annual report for 2019-20, and… Continue reading

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

Most Read