Yukon government announces next legislative session

Premier Darrell Pasloski has announced that the next session of the Yukon Legislative Assembly will begin on Oct. .

Premier Darrell Pasloski has announced that the next session of the Yukon Legislative Assembly will begin on Oct. 22.

Pasloski said his party plans to introduce several bills this session, including amendments to Yukon’s Municipal Act and Land Titles Act.

But in an interview with the News, he focused heavily on how much his Yukon Party government has achieved in the last four years.

“Virtually all the commitments that we made to Yukoners during the last campaign in 2011, we’ve either completed them or they’re actively in progress,” he said. “If the Yukon Party government says that we’re going to do something, then we get it done.”

He referred specifically to the construction of the new F. H. Collins school, which is on track to open in January, the construction of new seniors’ residences, and the Whitehorse General Hospital’s new MRI.

He said the government’s focus continues to be on providing jobs, particularly during this period of low commodity prices.

But Yukon Liberal Leader Sandy Silver pointed out that the Yukon’s economy has been shrinking in recent years.

“It’s interesting to hear our government say that our job is done when we have one of the worst economies in Canada,” he said. “I would argue that there’s still plenty of work to be done.”

Silver said he’s interested to see what becomes of the planned 300-bed continuing-care facility in Whistle Bend. In September, the Yukon NDP hosted a town-hall meeting where several members of the public spoke out passionately against the facility’s proposed size and location.

“I think we should have a focused approach to our seniors that allows them to stay in their communities,” Silver said.

Yukon NDP Opposition Leader Liz Hanson said her party will be asking the government to present its evidence as to why the Whistle Bend location is the right choice before spending the money to build the facility.

She also said she’s interested to see what amendments the government will bring forward for Yukon’s Municipal Act.

The current review of the act began in 2012 and resulted in 11 proposed amendments. Some of them have been controversial, including a proposal to allow citizens to overturn a city council decision with a counter-petition.

Hanson said the act is a “progressive” piece of legislation, and she will be “looking to see if the spirit and intent of the legislation will be maintained.”

The Yukon government must call a territorial election by October 2016.

Contact Maura Forrest at

maura.forrest@yukon-news.com

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