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

Just Posted

Yukon Yuletide: Santa Claus to make early gift drop in Watson Lake

Santa will be stopping by the community today in a DHC-2 Beaver

Yukon health insurance unit requested too much medical info to process doctor’s bill, IPC finds

The Department of Health and Social Services overreached by asking for a patient’s clinical record

MP Larry Bagnell to vie for re-election

The announcement was made on Dec. 14

Contractor says YG bonding policy prevents small companies from building school portable

The Department of Highways and Public Works confirmed bonding is required for the project

WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World

Commentary: Know your rights: Changes to Canada’s criminal driving laws are coming

Bill C-46 is bringing with it some new laws starting Dec. 18

Santa makes an appearance on Main Street

This weekend was Whitehorse’s Santa Claus Parade

Toonie Tournament returns to help the Whitehorse Food Bank

“I’ve got kids running up to see which team is bringing in the most money.”

History Hunter: The misfortune of ‘Hard Luck’ Harper

The story of “The Father of the Yukon,” Arthur Harper

Yukonomist: Back to the future on Arctic oil and gas development in Alaska and Russia

Senator Ted Stevens wore Incredible Hulk ties when pushing ANWR to show everyone how serious he was

Editorial: It’s time for tempers to chill over the ‘cool bus’

It is reasonable to expect there to be some rules around this service

Most Read