Spring legislative sitting wraps up

The spring sitting of the legislature featured some unparliamentary language, bickering and a lot of accusations about mismanagement of capital projects. Thursday was the final sitting day. Also, some bills were passed.

The spring sitting of the legislature featured some unparliamentary language, bickering and a lot of accusations about mismanagement of capital projects.

Thursday was the final sitting day.

Also, some bills were passed.

The billion-dollar budget, the largest in Yukon history, passed yesterday under the so-called guillotine clause.

Under this system, bills that have not been fully debated can be called to a vote on the last day of the assembly without further amendment.

Two new bills responded to recent tragedies in Yukon history.

The Oil-Fired Appliance Safety Statutory Amendment Act aims to increase furnace safety in the wake of the January 2012 deaths of five Porter Creek residents from carbon monoxide poisoning.

Under the new law, carbon monoxide detectors are mandatory in all homes with a furnace or attached garage, and installation or modification of furnaces must be done by a certified mechanic.

The Movable Soccer Goal Safety Act aims to improve safety after five-year-old Jaedyn Amann died after being struck by a collapsible net in a Watson Lake school yard.

The new International Interests in Mobile Equipment (Aircraft Equipment) Act, as well as amendments to the Education Act and Employment Standards Act, were mostly administrative in nature, keeping Yukon law in line with contractual obligations and national standards.

MLAs agreed on a few things, like pushing for a federal inquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal women and girls, consulting on the probationary period for employment, and re-purposing Dawson’s McDonald Lodge once a new facility is built.

But not getting along still ruled question period, where members toed the line on how far they could go in accusing the other party of lying while escaping the admonishments of Speaker David Laxton.

Opposition parties challenged the government on many issues, some with more validity than others.

The Yukon Party perfected their favoured response when they didn’t have an answer, usually a variation on, “We, unlike the NDP, trust that our public servants are capable people who do their jobs properly.”

Or, if one of the government’s corporations was involved, “Our officials do a good job, and the NDP doesn’t understand how the government works.”

The Peel plan continued to be a feature of the proceedings, and took the first question on both the first and last day of the sitting.

Resources Minister Brad Cathers insisted that accepting the recommended plan would cost the government millions, although documents prepared by Economic Development show that the government has no idea what it would cost.

He also claimed that Chevron has better lawyers than the government. He later apologized by way of sending a box of doughnuts to the government’s lawyer’s lunch room.

And capital-project bungling was another feature of the Opposition’s line of questioning.

Some questions, like the cancelled demolition tender at 207 Alexander, turned out to be non-issues.

Others, like the poured construction pad at the planned arrest processing unit that is too big for what will be built on it, may prove to be more costly.

The government has a number of consultations planned over the summer months, said Premier Darrell Pasloski in an interview after question period yesterday.

One of the legislative priorities for the fall will be to update the Quartz Mining Act to require consultation with unsigned First Nations on Class 1 exploration work occurring in their territories, said Pasloski.

That change comes out of legal battle between the government and the Ross River Dena Council. The case has recently been sent back to Yukon’s Supreme Court.

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

A proposed Official Community Plan amendment would designate a 56.3-hectare piece of land in Whistle Bend currently designated as green space, as urban residential use. Whitehorse city council will vote on the second reading of the Official Community Plan amendment on Dec. 7. (Courtesy City of Whitehorse)
Future area of Whistle Bend considered by council

Members set to vote on second reading for OCP change

The City of Whitehorse’s projected deficit could be $100,000 more than originally predicted earlier this year. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
City deficit could be just over $640,000 this year

Third quarter financial reports presented to council

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley speaks during a COVID-19 press conference in Whitehorse on Oct. 30. Masks became mandatory in the Yukon for anyone five years old and older as of Dec. 1 while in public spaces. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
As mask law comes into effect, premier says $500 fines will be last resort

The territory currently has 17 active cases of COVID-19

Crystal Schick/Yukon News file
Ranj Pillai, minister of economic development, during a press conference on April 1.
Government rejects ATAC mining road proposal north of Keno City

Concerns from the First Nation of Na-Cho Nyäk Dun were cited as the main reason for the decision

asdf
WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World for Dec. 2, 2020

The new Little Salmon Carmacks First Nation council elected Dec. 1. (Submitted)
Little Salmon Carmacks elects new chief, council

Nicole Tom elected chief of Little Salmon Carcmacks First Nation

Submitted/Yukon News file
Yukon RCMP’s Historical Case Unit is seeking information related to the unsolved homicide of Allan Donald Waugh, 69, who was found deceased in his house on May 30, 2014.
Yukon RCMP investigating unsolved Allan Waugh homicide

Yukon RCMP’s Historical Case Unit is seeking information related to an unsolved… Continue reading

A jogger runs along Millenium Trail as the sun rises over the trees around 11 a.m. in Whitehorse on Dec. 12, 2018. The City of Whitehorse could soon have a new trail plan in place to serve as a guide in managing the more than 233 kilometres of trails the city manages. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
2020 trail plan comes forward

Policies and bylaws would look at e-mobility devices

Snow-making machines are pushed and pulled uphill at Mount Sima in 2015. The ski hill will be converting snow-making to electric power with more than $5 million in funding from the territorial and federal governments. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Mount Sima funded to cut diesel reliance

Mount Sima ski hill is converting its snowmaking to electric power with… Continue reading

Colin McDowell, the director of land management for the Yukon government, pulls lottery tickets at random during a Whistle Bend property lottery in Whitehorse on Sept. 9, 2019. A large amount of lots are becoming available via lottery in Whistle Bend as the neighbourhood enters phase five of development. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Lottery for more than 250 new Whistle Bend lots planned for January 2021

Eight commercial lots are being tendered in additional to residential plots

The Government of Yukon Main Administration Building in Whitehorse on Aug. 21. The Canada Border Services Agency announced Nov. 26 that they have laid charges against six people, including one Government of Yukon employee, connected to immigration fraud that involved forged Yukon government documents. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Charges laid in immigration fraud scheme, warrant out for former Yukon government employee

Permanent residency applications were submitted with fake Yukon government documents

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Mask fundraiser helps make children’s wishes come true

From Black Press Media + BraveFace – adult, youth and kid masks support Make-A-Wish Foundation

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

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

Most Read