Silver questions economic priorities

Interim Liberal Leader Sandy Silver says the failure of the Yukon Party to diversify the economy has resulted in a shrinking private sector and a growing public sector.

Interim Liberal Leader Sandy Silver says the failure of the Yukon Party to diversify the economy has resulted in a shrinking private sector and a growing public sector.

The private sector was down 700 jobs while the public sector was up 400 in October, compared with a year earlier, according to the Yukon government’s most recent employment stats.

“This government coasted for many years on massive upswings in mineral prices,” said Silver. “During that time, the Yukon Party refused to take action to diversify our economy to deal with the slowdown that we knew would eventually happen and there is no Plan B.”

Currie Dixon, minister for economic development, said that the territory is doing quite well, given global market conditions.

“This is in a climate of a fairly down economy, with weak mineral prices and a soft investment climate for mining companies. For that climate to still produce growth is a testament to the resilience of the economy here in the Yukon. We’ve continued to make strategic investments throughout the territory to grow our economy and to diversify it.”

The Yukon’s projected growth for this year is barely above zero, and lower than almost every other jurisdiction in Canada.

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