Whitehorse Daily Star

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WORKING IN UNISON – Premier Sandy Silver and NDP Leader Kate White are seen at Wednesday afternoon’s hastily-called news conference on the deal the two parties have reached to keep the Liberals in power until at least January 2023.

Deal will keep Liberals in power until at least 2023

Revised - The Yukon Liberal Party and the NDP have entered into an agreement to work together in the legislature over the next two years.

By Chuck Tobin on April 29, 2021

Revised - The Yukon Liberal Party and the NDP have entered into an agreement to work together in the legislature over the next two years.

Premier Sandy Silver and NDP Leader Kate White held a joint press conference late Wednesday afternoon to announce the arrangement, which will expire in January 2023.

“We both appreciate the need for a stable government to guide theYukon at this time,” Silver told reporters.

“The territory has come a long way under a Liberal government, but we know there is also more work to be done.

“Throughout the recent election campaign, we saw many common threads between the Yukon NDP and our party.”

The agreement sets out common issues to be addressed, such as the provision of a safe drug supply and the creation of a safe injection site by Aug. 1.

It calls for capping rent increases to one per cent this year, beginning May 1, and to limit the cap based on the rate of inflation going forward.

There’s a commitment to reinstate within 30 days the Individualized Education Plans for students that were cancelled by the Liberal government.

The agreement calls for creating Canada’s first public dental health plan by securing $500,000 for the remainder of this year.

It will then be fully funded beginning with the 2022-2023 fiscal year territorial budget.

Many of the commitments outlined in the agreement were key NDP platform commitments for the April 12 election.

White said she’s always found when government thinks about people when it make choices, it makes better choices.

She said she went to the negotiating table with those people in mind.

“Today we’ve struck a deal that secures results for them,” she said.

“It’s a deal that I am so proud of, and I look forward to working with Sandy and his team to implement it.”

White went on to list a number of priorities the two parties have agreed to focus on, including raising the minimum wage from $13.85 per hour to $15.20 an hour.

“We’ve pushed past climate targets that currently fall short and made a deal that will amend greenhouse gas emission reduction targets from 30 per cent to a 45 per cent reduction by 2030 based on 2010 emissions,” she said.

She pointed out the NDP election promise to create a walk-in mental health clinic that will be open seven days per week.

A special committee of the legislative assembly will be struck to look at electoral reform, she said.

“We’ve made it clear what our priorities are, and we’ve laid out a plan to make them happen,” White said.

“The collaboration between our respective teams will make life better for people in a concrete way.”

The agreement also addresses other matters other than what’s on the legislative agenda.

It, for instance, commits the NDP to appointing the deputy Speaker of the legislature, provided it retains its three seats.

The riding of Vuntut Gwitchin, won by NDP candidate Annie Blake in an April 19 judicial draw to break a 78-78 tie vote, is under an election challenge by the Liberals’ Pauline Frost.

There’s also a commitment to seek a seat for White at the Yukon Forum table. Silver has promised he will make the request to the First Nation leaders in a letter on White’s behalf.

If you want to understand the issue, you need to be at the table listening to the conversations, she said.

“You have seen us agree that Yukon’s government needs to work for Yukoners. For all Yukoners,” said Silver.

“We agree that there are areas that need immediate attention – like increased addictions services to address the opioid crisis, like additional affordable housing, like taking action to fight climate change.”

Silver said the Liberals have always believed good ideas come from all sides of the legislative assembly.

“This agreement creates a more formal bridge between our two caucuses and will put these ideas into action,” the premier said.

Both Silver and White emphasized while they have the agreement, the NDP will still serve in opposition.

The party will continue to challenge the Liberals in the legisative assembly, just as it over the last 4 1/2 years.

Silver said negotiations with the NDP began in earnest after a short break following the election.

The legislature is expected to reconvene later this spring, with the retabling of the $1.8-billion budget that was not passed before the house was dissolved last month.

Silver said his next cabinet will be sworn in on Monday.

A Yukon Party representative has not been made available to the Star to comment on the agreement. The party planned a news conference on the matter for later Thursday afternoon.

Comments (36)

Up 25 Down 5

Jim on May 3, 2021 at 8:52 am

It sure sounds good when you add the Liberal and NDP vote percentage together. 60% is quite the majority all right. I guess it would only be fair to note that 67% did not vote for the Liberals. 75% did not vote for the NDP. So I guess according to all you math wizards, about 142% did not vote for what we are getting. This is not democracy, this is politicians keeping their jobs.

Up 7 Down 4

John on May 2, 2021 at 9:59 pm

@ haha aka moystyn... the rental units are very real and I'm a good fisherman too - haha

Up 11 Down 6

Groucho d'North on May 1, 2021 at 9:58 am

I predict the next by-election will be a real nail-biter.

Up 22 Down 7

Jim on Apr 30, 2021 at 8:45 pm

@BNR, you are right, I don’t think YP supporters would have all liked a NDP coalition. It’s true that the majority did not support the Yukon Party. But even with your blinders on, I’m sure you can see that a much larger majority did not support the Liberals, and even larger majority did not support the NDP. I think if one were to survey how many who voted, you would also find a significant amount would not approve of this coalition.

Up 8 Down 14

Haha on Apr 30, 2021 at 6:16 pm

You’re raising your rent April 31st? Quite a feat given April 31st doesn’t even exist. Just like your imaginary rental suites.

Up 19 Down 5

Nathan Living on Apr 30, 2021 at 5:13 pm

I hope the alliance works and the new social programs work out.
If government supplies free drugs to addicts let's hope there is accountability and not another failed program.

The free daycare thing should include clawback of taxes for those who can afford daycare based upon income.
If we get too generous with transfer payments from the federal government there may be a modern day stampede of people moving here.

Come to Yukon, free drugs, free day care, free dental, low taxes, no sales tax, low continuing care costs for your parents - I think you get the picture.

Up 20 Down 6

Anie on Apr 30, 2021 at 3:45 pm

@observer - do you see "racist bigots" in every comment that does not support your point of view, regardless of the topic ? That's one sad world you live in. Problem, though, is that silly petulant comments like that prevent serious folks from actually dealing with legitimate racism. Pity

Up 7 Down 15

Observer on Apr 30, 2021 at 3:31 pm

Al, al, al, you have been predicting political results here for ages now, how has that worked out for you so far? Poor Al needs a hug.
Nope not a racist bone in my body, love everybody for who they are, even you Al, enjoy the next 4 years you political prognosticator you!!

Up 27 Down 7

Al on Apr 30, 2021 at 1:20 pm

@ Observer

It takes a racist to see racism.
You need to look within ! Your comment "To the racist bigots, you may as well go crawl back under the rocks you came out from" is clearly indicative your lower mentality state.
Oh by the way, this government will not last four years so dream on...

Up 31 Down 11

iBrian on Apr 30, 2021 at 12:08 pm

The Liberals have set it up so we have many, many social problems and are in massive debt on top of the debt were up to already.
Plus he just handed the Yukon Party the next election and a Majority Government after this BS stunt.
Majority of voters don’t want Whitehorse to look like west Vancouver.
But some do. So I am glad to not live in the city.

How about take 80% of the arts funding from the Permanent Art Collection and other non essential programs like in Dawson. And put that into education?
Oh darn that would be too good of a idea.

Up 38 Down 6

Groucho d'North on Apr 30, 2021 at 12:04 pm

These strange bedfellows will be the end of accountability - just like Ottawa.

Up 11 Down 48

Observer on Apr 30, 2021 at 10:27 am

Well there you have it, four more years!
To the Currie clickers, take it easy, you are going to wear out your clicking finger, not that many people care.
To the racist bigots, you may as well go crawl back under the rocks you came out from. In four years the world will look a lot different, for the better.

Up 32 Down 6

James Dandy on Apr 30, 2021 at 8:40 am

Worst case scenario....minority liberal govt and NDP holding balance of power.

Up 36 Down 12

John on Apr 30, 2021 at 8:40 am

Well I just gave (eviction) notice to one of my tenants. I'm raising the rent from $2100 to $2,600 April 31st. They can re-apply if they wish. Done similar on all my rentals, fyi I hadn't raised any of the rents for the past 3 years. Work for you Kate?

Up 28 Down 5

tagish resident on Apr 30, 2021 at 7:25 am

Mr sliver said in a previous article that the legislature was running itself for the last 2 months. So why do we need these guys anyway?

Up 19 Down 5

martin on Apr 30, 2021 at 6:39 am

@CaptainObvious: So .... what's the point of having two leftist parties? Who is going to fill the middle?

Up 33 Down 8

CJ2 on Apr 29, 2021 at 11:08 pm

I don't get it. So Sandy Silver can't trigger an election? Or does he still maintain the option of calling an election? Because if he doesn't control the election date, the NDP is calling the shots for two years. And some, if not many, of their policies are problematic, which is why I didn't vote for them.

Up 36 Down 14

Mad Trapper of Riverdale on Apr 29, 2021 at 10:56 pm

The NDP, the party with the fewest seats and lowest popular vote was given the balance of power by sneaky Sandy Silver.
A left wing coaltion is NOT what Yukoners voted for.

Currie is by far the strongest leader in the house, winning the popular vote by a large margin. Just shows Sandy cares more about clinging to power than about the best interests of Yukoners.

But it will backfire on him, just like the snap election which cost him his majority, his credibility and unexcuseably put the Yukon in limbo for weeks during covid for no good reason.

God help us from this weak leadership!!

Up 12 Down 26

CaptainObvious on Apr 29, 2021 at 10:24 pm

Before the election, I spoke about how some YP supporters were voting strategically for the Liberals to avoid a situation like this. Obviously, too many were mislead by Currie's Clickers. LOL

Up 30 Down 3

Crunch on Apr 29, 2021 at 9:15 pm

The deal is long enough so the majority of the crew can collect their pensions without things getting de-railed. It's a sad state of affairs and the question that keeps popping up is that 10,000 Yukoners couldn't be bothered voting. Citizens who have principles and standards don't lower themselves to this level.

Up 29 Down 3

Jim on Apr 29, 2021 at 8:49 pm

@captain obvious, maybe you think the Liberals are 100% in favour of giving the NDP their Christmas presents early. But it should be obvious to you that Silver is just willing to do anything to keep his position. And do you not think that some Liberals who voted for them will be somewhat taken back by their new found far left trajectory. 60% is their combined vote, but even you must realize than not all 60% are going to be happy with this move.

Up 32 Down 3

My Opinion on Apr 29, 2021 at 7:58 pm

Freezing rental rates is bound to be an incentive to build apartments, right Kate and Sandy? Big L stamped on their foreheads and it doesn't stand for Liberal.

Up 32 Down 5

My Opinion on Apr 29, 2021 at 7:56 pm

So here is how it works folks. Rent freeze put in place. People who own rental properties look at houses for sale for double value and say I'm out. Available rental properties drop like a stone and rental owners cash out. The left has no idea how commerce works. NONE. Especially Kate White.

Up 35 Down 6

Liberal voter who did not vote for 'this' on Apr 29, 2021 at 7:46 pm

For all those people chanting like zombies that 'this agenda has the support of 60% of the voters', I voted Liberal and I can tell you, this is not what I voted for, and the agenda does not have my support.

I agree with some of it, I very strongly disagree with some of it, and I can live with other items that I don't think are great.

What I voted for was the Liberal Party's platform. I'd have likely / possibly voted YP before NDP. What I expected was challenge and debate in the legislature which would have allowed some of the worst impulses of the NDP to drop off the agenda. Instead what we got was a long list of wants from the NDP, plus many promises that they will share in all aspects of policy making and any extraorodinary aspects of setting the budget, and they will get more staff in order to do that even though they have 2 or 3 seats.

Sandy signed his life and party away in order to guarantee that he'd stay in power. The NDP are swinging him around by the tail, and they seemed to have agreed to way more than they should have. I'm curious who the lawyers were that put the list of demands together and who negotiated for each side.

Up 31 Down 8

drum on Apr 29, 2021 at 6:02 pm

Parties should stand alone - not make deals behind Yukoners backs. This is not what Yukoners voted for!!!!!

Up 23 Down 7

Joe on Apr 29, 2021 at 6:00 pm

@captain obviously moystyn...Not sure how you came to the conclusion that 60% of voters support coalition, that was never on the ballot and is a total assumption. Many lib voters pissed about this and vice versa with NPD. Short term gain. I know that's tough to understand with a blindfold on.

Up 22 Down 8

Wilf Carter on Apr 29, 2021 at 5:54 pm

Well Yukoners who are the NDP and liberals working for???
What common threads do liberals and NDP have totally the same, no economy, just go in debt??
Capping rent increases when liberals don't want this.
Capital budget will destroy Yukon's way of life for many years.
Do nothing for seniors, homeless, low income workers, Yukon Government employees, any other part of Yukon society but make us pay more for less services.
Carbon reduction at 45% when trees remove all our carbon now.
Mental health clinics, who's going to manage them when we don't have any doctors now. Liberal Health minister stated we are fully staffed.
Most Yukoners don't want what these two parties plan on doing.

Up 12 Down 28

BnR on Apr 29, 2021 at 5:53 pm

Wonder how many commenters would have been upset if the YP had formed a coalition with the NDP.......
The majority of Yukoners rejected the YP

Up 37 Down 101

Hitch on Apr 29, 2021 at 5:21 pm

It was funny to hear Currie just SEETHING on the news today that the Libs didn’t even consider ‘negotiating’ with the YP.

Currie is the last of a dying breed of politicians that operate on school yard bullying tactics. Division and name calling. Why would anyone want to work with them?

Always the bridesmaid eh Currie? Consider spending the next 4 years demonstrating how collaborative leadership can make all Yukoners lives better, not just feathering the nest of the YP insiders.

Up 102 Down 25

but it's a kangaroo legislature on Apr 29, 2021 at 5:09 pm

Everything has to pass. Why? Because else it'll go to a no confidence vote. Which means the NDP has agreed to "always have confidence" until 2023. So there is no reason to go to a no confidence vote because the decision is already made. Which means all bills are going to pass by a 8-10 or 8-9 margin.

This is a true failure of democracy. It's equivalent to insider trading. This isn't what Yukoners voted for.

Up 81 Down 21

Charlie's Aunt on Apr 29, 2021 at 4:28 pm

This becomes more of a joke each day. They have an agreement to work together, but 'the NDP will still serve in opposition. The party will continue to challenge the Liberals in the legislative assembly.' Since when is serving in opposition called working together? Is Kate going to filibuster just for the sake of making noise?

Up 99 Down 16

provider of affordable private residential housing on Apr 29, 2021 at 4:12 pm

As for the 'rental increase cap', The landlords charging the sky high market rates will not be affected by this. The landlords who have kept their rates very low for years or decades will be locked in and therefore hurt by this. The long term renters who already pay low rents will benefit. The renters paying very high rents will not be helped. The renters who can't find housing, period, will not be helped and in fact will be hurt.
Great policy! Really well thought out, Kate! And to think that Sandy and crew went along with this, 'ya ya ya, gimme the paper, I'll sign!'

Well, not what I expected from the Liberal Party. As a landlord with way below market rents, and a person who supported the Liberal Party in this election, I learned one thing. I sure am stupid!

Up 53 Down 12

Al on Apr 29, 2021 at 3:46 pm

Ah - a quick thought - Both of them on stage to announce the new NDPLiberal party ! It's true...

Up 31 Down 78

CaptainObvious on Apr 29, 2021 at 3:41 pm

Can't wait to see the contrived outrage here from Currie's Clickers. We'll just have to remind them this government's agenda has the support of more than 60% of voters in the recent election and 100% of the parties truly wanting to work together. LOL.

Up 80 Down 10

Anie on Apr 29, 2021 at 3:30 pm

The two parties have agreed to cap rental increases at 1% this year. Considering the whomping increases in the price of lumber, only a fool would think that landlords will invest in upkeep and renovations. But then historically, Yukon NDP seems to think that slumlords are acceptable.

Up 70 Down 24

JSM on Apr 29, 2021 at 2:09 pm

Perfect, even longer for them to churn out more PR and Propaganda to lure in the public sheep. I am disappointed in the NDP for appeasing our communist overlords but not surprised given their stance. Slippery Sandy Silver said he recognized the desire for more central politics so he partners with the NDP instead of Currie? Seems ridiculous when Currie's platform was about as centrist as it comes.

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