Premier plans community tour

Yukon Premier Darrell Pasloski plans to take a community tour this fall, which he says will give him the chance to hear from Yukoners who don't often get to speak directly to the government.

Yukon Premier Darrell Pasloski plans to take a community tour this fall, which he says will give him the chance to hear from Yukoners who don’t often get to speak directly to the government.

The premier plans to meet with residents in Whitehorse, Dawson City, Haines Junction and Watson Lake between now and early December, and may visit other communities as well.

Topics up for discussion include economic development, sports and recreation, arts, heritage and culture, and innovation and entrepreneurship.

However, these “community conversations” will not be public meetings. Instead, a consultant has worked with community leaders to come up with a list of participants to invite, including volunteers, business owners, high school students and seniors.

“The intent is for the premier to have intimate, frank and open conversations with everyday Yukoners,” government spokesperson Dan Macdonald wrote in an email to the News. “Many of these individuals may not feel as open to share in a public meeting.”

Macdonald said those not invited to participate can share their ideas by writing to community.conversations@gov.yk.ca.

In a letter, Pasloski wrote that the information gathered during the tour could influence the 2016-17 budget, and encouraged participants to make suggestions about policy, legislation and financial investments.

“Listening to input from Yukoners is invaluable as we chart a course for the future together,” he wrote. “While it is likely that we will not be able to implement every idea that is put forward, we will give serious consideration to everything we hear.”

The tour will be the first of its kind for Pasloski, but not for the territory or for his party. Former Yukon Party premier Dennis Fentie held six community tours during his nine years in office, and all Yukoners were encouraged to attend.

The Yukon’s next territorial election must take place by October 2016.

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