Yukon Liberals’ budget is ‘hogwash’

This government has had a year and a half to get this right

I was listening to the morning show on the CBC the other day about their assessment of your 2018-19 budget, and I noted how polite and kind our fellow Yukoners can be to each other, even in these dark times. But I was in the legislative gallery yesterday witnessing your government’s antics and I choose to be outraged.

This government has had a year and a half to get this right. I was one of many Yukonners writing letters, emails and phone calls offering solutions, presenting ideas to share a better way forward to this government. Little of this important community leadership is supported in this budget.

I sat in the legislature and watched your childish antics trying to defend this status-quo $1.472 billion hogwash budget. We have 36,000 people in this territory, that means this budget spends $40,888.89 for every man, woman and child in this territory. Many are home insecure, suffering in poverty and our minimum wage of $11.32 is unlivable. This budget has money to study it? What is the sense of paying someone $32 an hour to study whether the people who serve them coffee deserve a livable wage?

From day one, in November 2016, well meaning people have reached out with solutions for this sorry state of affairs.

I was in the Legislature yesterday, yet again, trying to get a meeting to discuss the deficiencies in this budget from a climate change perspective.

Where is the investment in an Indigenous renewable energy economy? People want to retrofit homes to help us get off of fossil fuels. Your government has withheld millions of the promised yearly $30 million retrofit programming. Where is the money to help our communities train our youth to build and install solar systems? Where is the money for First Nations Development Corporations to build capacity? Where are the reductions in greenhouse gases in the YTG operations? Where is the help for municipalities?

The final notable line item absent from this budget was money to establish an electoral reform commission. Fair Vote Yukon provided the government with documents that proved the need, shared some solutions and even discussed timelines and a ballpark on the cost of a citizen’s assembly.

Yet there is no line item for an electoral reform commission in the budget. This omission illustrates the problem with false majority governments. They don’t want to hear the real majority and they haven’t the capacity to change.

I will be returning to the legislature again and again, to show you that I believe in democracy and climate change solutions. This big fat carbon budget simply dwells on a failed past. Future generations deserve better.

Sally Wright

Kluane Lake

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