Whitehorse Daily Star

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PREMIERS SUMMIT – B.C. Premier John Horgan (right) speaks to reporters Monday in Whitehorse as Premier Sandy Silver looks on.

B.C. premier meets with Silver, grand chief

B.C. Premier John Horgan visited the Yukon on Monday to meet with Premier Sandy Silver and discuss daylight saving time, greening the economy and First Nations.

By Gabrielle Plonka on October 1, 2019

B.C. Premier John Horgan visited the Yukon on Monday to meet with Premier Sandy Silver and discuss daylight saving time, greening the economy and First Nations.

Horgan was in Whitehorse en route to Lower Post, B.C., where he planned to meet with the Kaska First Nation to discuss trans-boundary issues and visit a former residential school.

In a joint press conference held late Monday morning in Whitehorse, Horgan said he, a New Democrat, and Silver have a good working relationship.

“It was an opportunity for us to talk about the commonalities between Yukon and British Columbia,” Horgan said.

“Whenever we get together, (we’re) talking about the importance of linking not just our economies and our social and cultural connections, but also making it absolutely clear that there is a seamless connection between our two jurisdictions.”

Horgan and Silver discussed the possibility of eliminating daylight saving time. Horgan said he is working in tandem with Washington, Oregon and California to co-ordinate a regional shift into eliminating the twice-yearly time change and expects legislation in B.C. to come within a few weeks.

Silver said he is interested in making a change in step with the Pacific Northwest, but requires more consultation with Yukon stakeholders. He added he is interested in consulting with Alberta and Alaska.

“We’ve always said we need to work in partnership with regions around us,” Silver said.

“We’re so closely tied to what British Columbia does, so it’s really great for Premier Horgan and I to have this conversation right now.”

Horgan and Silver also discussed formalizing conversations between energy ministers to strategize greening the economy and expanding the energy grid.

Silver said they have tried to “get off of one particular conversation about one particular pipeline” and instead focus on connecting communities through utility corridors. He said fibre optic technology could be a potential path forward.

Silver suggested British Columbia may be looking for a northern client for hydro energy. He said the two leaders began to discuss the possibility of developing a relationship about three years ago.

“We’re turning a page in Canada, where people are understanding the benefits to the economy to get ahead of the technologies, to make sure we are at the forefront of a green economy,” Silver said.

He said he and Horgan planned to meet with Grand Chief Peter Johnston of the Yukon Council of First Nations that evening.

The premiers discussed easing issues caused by borders intersecting traditional Kaska Nation territory, Silver said. The Kaska First Nation encompasses land in northern B.C. and southern Yukon.

Horgan said he was invited to Lower Post with the initial intention of removing the residential school and planned to be “coming with sledgehammers,” but was unable to secure sufficient federal resources for it.

Horgan said he plans to use the trip as educational in solving trans-boundary issues.

“I understand trans-boundary issues in the South, and I want to understand trans-boundary issues in the North,” Horgan said, noting he has worked with First Nations groups south of the U.S. border.

Horgan said his government will introduce legislation this autumn to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in B.C.

The two premiers called Monday’s meeting a “relationship-building” exercise.

“It was not formal in any way; in fact, I think that was the benefit of it,” Horgan said.

“Before we dive into (formal negotiations), let’s just build the relationship and the understanding that we all want to go in the same direction.”

Comments (2)

Up 19 Down 7

Gringo on Oct 1, 2019 at 5:08 pm

“Closely tied” alright half the BC yahoos come here, I believe they are referred to as NIMBYS. BC full of them, classic example when little spud was in Bring Cash a couple of weeks ago visiting Premier bobble head talking about electrifying the LNG sector or the like, they were a mere 30 kms from BC’s port where they are exporting coal to China, what a joke!

Up 18 Down 8

martin on Oct 1, 2019 at 4:32 pm

With all the pressing matters we have, our leaders have nothing better to do than toying with eliminating daylight saving time?

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