Yukon communities lobby for infrastructure money

Yukon communities would benefit from a guaranteed base level of federal infrastructure funding, says the the president of the Association of Yukon Communities.

Yukon communities would benefit from a guaranteed base level of federal infrastructure funding, says the the president of the Association of Yukon Communities.

Diana Rogerson was in Ottawa last week as part of a delegation led by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.

They were there to talk to federal officials about the second phase of Canada’s $60-billion infrastructure spending plan.

Nearly $12 billion has already been spent during phase one of the new plan. Details outlining how to qualifiy for part of the remaining $48 billion over the next 10 years haven’t been made public yet. Those are expected by the 2017 budget.

“What we’re pushing for is consultation through the design process so that small communities and rural communities across Canada, such as the communities in the Yukon, are assured that they’re going to get some significant infrastructure dollars,” Rogerson said.

Rogerson, who is also a member of the federation’s board of directors, said the municipalities are hoping for a set base level of funding, similar to the way Canada’s gas tax is handed out, instead of having to apply to have individual projects funded.

“It allows you to plan ahead. Especially up in the northern communities where the building season is so short,” she said.

“If we don’t know from one year to the next what amount of money we’re going to be allocated for infrastructure projects, it’s really hard for us to plan.”

Provinces are currently pushing to have the federal money cover half of the cost of new projects.

At one of last week’s meetings, the federal minister of infrastructure and communities, Amarjeet Sohi, confirmed the territories will continue to have 75 per cent of their costs covered by the federal government, Rogerson said.

“Our communities simply don’t have any money. Right now we are fortunate that the territorial government kicks in the other 25 per cent for infrastructure projects.”

Whatever model is chosen for handing out the infrastructure money, it will likely still get channelled though the territorial government, Rogerson said. It’s important for the territory to listen to the municipalities’ priorities, she said.

Traditionally Yukon communities list their infrastructure priorities for the Department of Community Services. The territorial government then takes some of those and lobbies the federal government for money, Rogerson said.

Some communities feel like their priorities haven’t been heard, she said.

“Certainly if you were to poll the communities there would be some that would say that the list of projects that they’ve assigned priority to have not always been recognized as such by the territorial government.”

Rogerson wouldn’t give any specific examples.

She said the communities are prepared to sit down with the new community services minister, when one is chosen, to talk about priorities.

The territory has already benefited from phase one of the federal government’s infrastructure plan.

More than $52 million has been approved for the Yukon as part of that phase. The money is going to 22 different projects across the territory.

Contact Ashley Joannou at ashleyj@yukon-news.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

d
Wyatt’s World

Wyatt’s World for March 5, 2021.

City councillor Samson Hartland in Whitehorse on Dec. 3, 2018. Hartland has announced his plans to run for mayor in the Oct. 21 municipal election. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Councillor sets sights on mayor’s chair

Hartland declares election plans

Whitehorse RCMP will provide internet safety training due to an uptick of child luring offences. (iStock photo)
RCMP hosting internet safety webinars for parents and caregivers

The webinars will take place on March 23 and 25

Premier Sandy Silver speaks to media after delivering the budget in the legislature in Whitehorse on March 4. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Territorial budget predicts deficit of $12.7 million, reduced pandemic spending in 2021-2022

If recovery goes well, the territory could end up with a very small surplus.

Dawson City RCMP are reporting a break and enter on Feb. 25 after two masked men entered a residence, assaulted a man inside with a weapon and departed. (Black Press file)
Two men arrested after Dawson City home invasion

Dawson City RCMP are reporting a break and enter on Feb. 25.… Continue reading

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley receives his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine from Public Health Nurse Angie Bartelen at the Yukon Convention Centre Clinic in Whitehorse on March 3. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
State of emergency extended for another 90 days

“Now we’re in a situation where we see the finish line.”

The Yukon government says it is working towards finding a solution for Dawson area miners who may be impacted by City of Dawson plans and regulations. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Miner expresses frustration over town plan

Designation of claims changed to future planning

Team Yukon athletes wave flags at the 2012 Arctic Winter Games opening ceremony in Whitehorse. The 2022 event in Wood Buffalo, Alta., has been postponed indefinitely. (Justin Kennedy/Yukon News file)
2022 Arctic Winter Games postponed indefinitely

Wood Buffalo, Alta., Host Society committed to rescheduling at a later date

Crews work to clear the South Klondike Highway after an avalanche earlier this week. (Submitted)
South Klondike Highway remains closed due to avalanches

Yukon Avalanche Association recommending backcountry recreators remain vigilant

RCMP Online Crime Reporting website in Whitehorse on March 5. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Whitehorse RCMP launch online crime reporting

Both a website and Whitehorse RCMP app are now available

A man walks passed the polling place sign at city hall in Whitehorse on Oct. 18, 2018. The City of Whitehorse is preparing for a pandemic-era election this October with a number of measures proposed to address COVID-19 restrictions. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
City gets set for Oct. 21 municipal election

Elections procedures bylaw comes forward

A rendering of the Normandy Manor seniors housing facility. (Photo courtesy KBC Developments)
Work on seniors housing project moves forward

Funding announced for Normandy Manor

Tom Ullyett, pictured, is the first Yukoner to receive the Louis St-Laurent Award of Excellence from the Canadian Bar Association for his work as a community builder and mentor in the territory. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News)
Tom Ullyett wins lifetime achievement award from the Canadian Bar Association

Ullyett has worked in the Yukon’s justice ecosystem for 36 years as a public sector lawyer and mentor

Most Read