“They’re spending like drunken sailors, and it’s time Yukoners had a government willing and able to plan for the future.” Arthur Mitchell
The CD Howe Institute has flunked the Yukon in financial planning.
The territory blew its budget over the past decade by $458 million, according to a review by the think tank.
Budget figures don’t match numbers in the territory’s public accounts, prompting CD Howe to issue the Yukon an “F.” The only other Canadian jurisdictions to flunk that part of the review were Newfoundland and Nunavut.
The Yukon also ranked dead last in governments’ ability to predict changes in spending.
The territory’s been scolded by the auditor general of Canada four times over the past decade for its financial practices. Most recently, this was for breaking the Financial Administration Act by buying asset-backed commercial paper.
Four other jurisdictions received more reprimands from the auditor general: BC had 11, Nunavut had 13, Quebec had 17, and Saskatchewan had 24.
On the bright side, the territory has improved its estimates in the last decade, the report states. And the Finance Department does publish a document that describes the discrepancies in accounting between the budgets and public accounts.
But the Yukon should use the same accounting throughout, said the institute.
The Liberal Opposition seized on the report as proof that the Yukon Party hasn’t done a good job managing the territory’s finances.
“They’re spending like drunken sailors, and it’s time Yukoners had a government willing and able to plan for the future,” said Leader Arthur Mitchell in a release. (John Thompson)