Angélique Bernard, commissioner of the Yukon, outlines the priorities of the Yukon government in a throne speech on Oct. 3, during the first day of the fall sitting in Whitehorse on Oct. 3. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)

Yukon government lays out priorities for fall sitting and beyond

Issues include addressing segregation at the Whitehorse jail and a ban on single-use plastic bags

An energy retrofit loan program; bans on conversion therapy and single-use bags; considering legislation on e-cigarettes and vaping.

These are priorities of the Yukon government as outlined by Angélique Bernard, commissioner of the Yukon, in a throne speech on Oct. 3, which coincided with the first day of the fall sitting.

In the New Year, the government is also to make amendments to the Assessment and Taxation Act in order to usher in an energy retrofit initiative for homeowners, akin to the domestic well water loan program, the commissioner announced.

“We’ve taken a look at how we can best reduce our emissions in the Yukon and this program really helps people not only reduce their emissions but their costs to heating their homes,” said Premier Sandy Silver.

Earlier in the year, the government had been engaging Yukoners on whether they’d like to see a surcharge placed on single-use bags. After first seeming as though the territory was heading that way, officials have now decided to implement an outright ban.

Asked about the change, Silver said, “I think what it came down to, in my opinion, was we asked Yukoners and the overall consensus, both from individuals and the business community, was a ban as opposed to a fee.”

Silver added that the ban is going to be implemented in the coming year.

“We are going to give some significant time for this significant change.”

There could be a new school coming down the pipes for Ross River, Silver confirmed, noting that such a development, if it goes ahead, would be further down the road.

“We need to get a stakeholder engagement about what a school looks like, what programming looks like, as well, and where it is.”

The current school has design flaws, the result of it being built on a bed of permafrost.

Stacey Hassard, the Yukon Party’s interim leader, said much of the throne speech could have been encapsulated in news releases. Doing so, he said, would have saved time.

“This could possibly take up three or four days with throne speech responses. I think the time could have been better spent on legislation issues that are important to Yukoners.”

Hassard said the speech was cut with re-announcements — on retrofits, for instance.

“They say that imitation is the greatest form of flattery, so welcome to our 2016 NDP election platform,” said Kate White, leader of the NDP. “I’m ecstatic. I look forward to the progressive move of Yukon government. We also saw a lot of things we were working on in the last sitting.”

The NDP tabled a motion last sitting that called for a ban on single-use plastics, for instance.

White wants to know when conversion therapy will be banned in the territory.

Other issues to be tackled this sitting include introducing legislation that will turn Yukon College into a university, amendments to the Corrections Act in order to reform the use of segregation at Whitehorse’s prison and bringing in a “modern Liquor Act to balance business and consumer needs with measures to reduce alcohol-related harm, promote social responsibility and improve compliance.”

Contact Julien Gignac at julien.gignac@yukon-news.com

Correction: This story has been updated to correct details about the ban on single-use bags. Government officials say they are still designing the proposed ban and both plastic and paper bags are on the table.

Just Posted

Porter Creek Rams overcome 20 point deficit to beat Vanier Crusaders in boys Super Hoops action

“When you’re out there playing, … you’re inspired to play hard for those guys”

Whistle Bend land lottery sees 240 apply to buy 55 lots

The price tag for properties ranged from $104,261 to $228,863

UPDATED: Porter Creek highway shooting now attempted murder investigation

Police believe incident was “targeted and related to the illicit drug trade and organized crime”

Inuvik mayor pens letter of concern about Dempster conditions

Conditions near Eagle Plains have been “terrible” the past two summers, she says

Yukon skiers embrace experience at Winter Youth Olympic Games

Derek Deuling and Sasha Masson skied for Team Canada at the 2020 Lausanne Winter Youth Olympic Games

EDITORIAL: The health department needs a time-out

The information and privacy commissioner deserves to be treated better

Yukon Rivermen face tough tests on the road

The team is in the middle of its busiest stretch of the season — 10 league games in three weeks

Yukon skiers battle both rain and heavy snowfall at 2020 Haywood Western Canada Cup

“They also realize that you have to be ready for anything — extreme cold or extreme warm.”

City news, briefly

Some of the discussions from Whitehorse city council on Jan 20

Driving with Jens: Both motorists and pedestrians have responsibilities when sharing the road

Roadways are a shared-use public resource. They are meant to be shared… Continue reading

Black Aces golden after Alberta hockey tournament

The Peewee Development Program Black Aces went 4-0 in tournament play and 5-0 overall

Registration opens for 34th annual Buckwheat International Ski Classic

Registration for the 34th annual Buckwheat International Ski Classic opened on Jan.… Continue reading

Most Read