Don’t delay C-17

Bill C-17 helps protect the Yukon’s environment. Parliament should not delay approval of it

On Oct. 3 the Standing Committee on Indigenous and Northern Affairs heard from representatives of the Yukon mining industry regarding an upcoming piece of Federal legislation — Bill C-17 — that would repeal sections of the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Act (YESAA). 

The main request of the Yukon mining industry is that Bill C-17 should be put on hold until certain wording for reassessments and timelines that meets with their approval is inserted into YESAA. The Yukon Conservation Society strongly disagrees with this delay.

You will recall that in 2015 the Yukon and Federal governments, via Bill S-6, made substantial changes to YESAA. The most contentious changes had to do with: ministerial authorization, exemption of projects from reassessment when an authorization is renewed or amended, establishing time limits for project assessments, and authorization of binding policy directions to the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Board.

These changes were fiercely opposed by the Yukon Conservation Society.

Yukon First Nations launched a lawsuit against the federal government, arguing that the changes to YESAA undermined the Umbrella Final Agreement and violated land claim agreements. After an intergovernmental forum in Whitehorse in the spring of 2016, an memorandum of understanding was signed between First Nations, the Yukon government and federal government to repeal the four contentious amendments to YESSA made under Bill S-6. First Nations governments agreed to set aside their court case until the legislation to repeal the changes is passed, and once that happens, they will drop the lawsuit.

Fast forward to the present. Bill C-17 undoes the worst aspects of the 2015 changes that weakened YESAA. Bill C-17 helps protect the Yukon’s environment. Parliament should not delay approval of it. Undo the historical wrongs of 2015, protect the Yukon’s environment, and pass Bill C-17 now.

Lewis Rifkind

Yukon Conservation Society

Environment

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

Just Posted

City of Whitehorse staff will report back to city council members in three months, detailing where efforts are with the city’s wildfire risk reduction strategy and action plan for 2021 to 2024. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Council adopts wildfire risk reduction plan

Staff will report on progress in three months

asdf
WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World for Nov. 25, 2020

Ivan, centre, and Tennette Dechkoff, right, stop to chat with a friend on Main Street in Whitehorse on Nov. 24. Starting Dec. 1 masks will be mandatory in public spaces across the Yukon in order to help curb the spread of COVID-19. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
UPDATED: Masks mandatory in public places starting on Dec. 1

“The safe six has just got a plus one,” Silver said.

Dr. Brendan Hanley, Yukon’s chief medical officer of health, speaks at a press conference in Whitehorse on March 30. Hanley announced three more COVID-19 cases in a release on Nov. 21. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Three more COVID-19 cases, new exposure notice announced

The Yukon’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Brendan Hanley, announced three… Continue reading

Keith Lay speaks at a city council meeting on Dec. 4, 2017. Lay provided the lone submission to council on the city’s proposed $33 million capital spending plan for 2021 on Nov. 23, taking issue with a number of projects outlined. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Resident raises issues with city’s capital budget

Council to vote on budget in December

Beatrice Lorne was always remembered by gold rush veterans as the ‘Klondike Nightingale’. (Yukon Archives/Maggies Museum Collection)
History Hunter: Beatrice Lorne — The ‘Klondike Nightingale’

In June of 1929, 11 years after the end of the First… Continue reading

Samson Hartland is the executive director of the Yukon Chamber of Mines. The Yukon Chamber of Mines elected a new board of directors during its annual general meeting held virtually on Nov. 17. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Yukon Chamber of Mines elects new board

The Yukon Chamber of Mines elected a new board of directors during… Continue reading

The Yukon Hospital Corporation has released its annual report for 2019-20, and — unsurprisingly — hospital visitations were down. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Annual report says COVID-19 had a large impact visitation numbers at Whitehorse General

The Yukon Hospital Corporation has released its annual report for 2019-20, and… Continue reading

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

City council was closed to public on March 23 due to gathering rules brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. The council is now hoping there will be ways to improve access for residents to directly address council, even if it’s a virtual connection. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Solution sought to allow for more public presentations with council

Teleconference or video may provide opportunities, Roddick says

Megan Waterman, director of the Lastraw Ranch, is using remediated placer mine land in the Dawson area to raise local meat in a new initiative undertaken with the Yukon government’s agriculture branch. (Submitted)
Dawson-area farm using placer miner partnership to raise pigs on leased land

“Who in their right mind is going to do agriculture at a mining claim? But this made sense.”

Riverdale residents can learn more details of the City of Whitehorse’s plan to FireSmart a total of 24 hectares in the area of Chadburn Lake Road and south of the Hidden Lakes trail at a meeting on Nov. 26. (Ian Stewart/Yukon News file)
Meeting will focus on FireSmart plans

Riverdale residents will learn more details of the City of Whitehorse’s FireSmarting… Continue reading

Most Read