Yvonne Clarke leaves the legislature after being sworn in as a newly elected MLA on April 22, in Whitehorse. Clarke is the first Filipina MLA to be elected to the Yukon Legislative Assembly. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)

Yvonne Clarke leaves the legislature after being sworn in as a newly elected MLA on April 22, in Whitehorse. Clarke is the first Filipina MLA to be elected to the Yukon Legislative Assembly. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)

Yukon Party calls on premier to resume legislature and pass budget

The Liberals and NDP are currently negotiating terms for a minority government

As the new members of the legislative assembly were sworn in this week, Yukon Party leader Currie Dixon called on the premier to form a government as quickly as possible.

“As a result of [the election], the territory has been left without leadership for over a month and a half. The territorial government does not have a budget and key decisions have been left in limbo. Businesses are asking when contracts will be awarded. Employees in the public service are looking for direction,” said Dixon at a press conference on April 22.

The Liberal Party secured eight seats in the election, two short of the 10 required to secure a majority and pass legislation. With a lower number of MLAs the party will need to secure support from opposition members in order to form a government.

Premier Sandy Silver met with Commissioner of Yukon Angélique Bernard on April 19 to discuss the next steps.

Silver said he plans to form the next government and said on April 19 he would speak to both the leaders of the NDP and the Yukon Party.

“Pending the outcome of discussions with other party leaders it is my intention to swear in a Cabinet shortly and to test the confidence of the House with a Speech from the Throne and one or more budget bills,” said Silver following his meeting with the commissioner.

On April 23, in a statement from his communications department, Silver said the “critical work” of government is continuing while Liberal MLAs are sworn in and meetings with the NDP are ongoing.

On Thursday Dixon said Silver had not reached out to the Yukon Party. That was disputed by communications advisor Matthew Cameron, who said the premier did reach out to the Yukon Party leader that morning.

Dixon said he has met with NDP leader Kate White and was “willing to work with anybody.” He said he believes the Liberals and NDP are currently in negotiations to form a “left-wing coalition” in order to stabilize the minority government.

“If that is the path they want to go down, then fine. But we cannot support such a coalition. But my message to Liberals is simple: Get on with it already,” he said, adding that the Yukon Party would not support the budget that was proposed before the election.

“Call the legislature back, table a budget and seek the confidence of the legislature and do this before the end of the month,” he said.

In a statement on April 22, NDP Chief of Staff Francois Picard said White wasn’t available for an interview.

“We are having conversations with both the Yukon Party and the Liberals. We don’t plan on negotiating through the media so out of respect for all parties, we’ll continue those conversations and won’t speculate on their outcome,” he said.

“As Kate said on election night, Yukoners have asked us to collaborate, and we’ll do just that,” he said.

Contact Haley Ritchie at haley.ritchie@yukon-news.com

Election 2021

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