Rolling in the dough

The government last week announced a surplus of $69 million for the 2011-2012 financial year.

The government last week announced a surplus of $69 million for the 2011-2012 financial year.

The surplus was largely due to higher than expected income tax revenue, contributions from the federal government and mineral resource revenue.

Yukon is one of only two Canadian jurisdictions, along with Alberta, to have more financial assets than debt. The Yukon’s net financial position as of March 31, 2012 was $188 million.

It is worth noting, however, that the government of Yukon still receives 80 per cent of its revenue in transfers from the federal government.

While the Yukon is financially in the black, that does not mean that it holds no debt.

The Yukon Hospital Corporation, for example, holds $52 million in bank loans, up from $18 million in 2011. Those funds helped fund new hospitals in Watson Lake and Dawson City.

And the Yukon’s books are still plagued by devalued commercial paper assets purchased before the financial market crash of 2008.

That investment was supposed to be short term and low risk, but when the world markets lost confidence in the value of these assets, the Yukon was forced to restructure at a loss.

On March 31, 2012, the $36.3 million investment was worth $27.8 million. The debt is scheduled to be repaid on Jan. 22, 2017.