The Yukon government has released terms of reference for the committee in charge of coming up with solutions to the territory’s future financial woes.
While presenting his first budget earlier this year, Premier Sandy Silver painted a grim picture of the future including upcoming deficits and net debt.
The independent Yukon financial advisory panel, made up of local and Outside financial experts, is supposed to look at the territory’s finances and come up with recommendations for the future.
The terms of reference dated June 1 ask for “practical and feasible” options by Oct. 31 “with the aim of making a positive difference in the sustainability and economic health of the Yukon government and the territory.”
The document says the government is facing increasing operations and maintenance costs of public capital assets like the new Whistle Bend continuing care facility. It also points to an aging population and the volatile mineral industry as challenges.
On top of that the territory has “an annual financial transfer from Canada that does not keep pace with the territory’s financial liabilities and ongoing costs,” it says.
With its budget of $250,000, the panel will meet with Yukoners to gather opinions. It could also visit with small groups of experts or invite presentations.
The Yukon government has previously said public engagement is expected to start once the spring legislative session finishes this month. It will take a break during July and August and restart in September.
No specific dates for public consultation have been announced yet.
A draft report is to be completed by Oct. 10, according to the document. A final report must be to the government by the end of October. The panel also has the option to provide other reports throughout its mandate.