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NDP Leader Kate White and Environment Minister Pauline Frost

Declare climate emergency, MLAs urge government

The Yukon’s MLAs unanimously approved a motion Thursday that urges the government to declare a climate emergency in the territory.

By Gabrielle Plonka on October 11, 2019

The Yukon’s MLAs unanimously approved a motion Thursday that urges the government to declare a climate emergency in the territory.

The motion to recognize the impact of warming was brought to the legislature by Environment Minister Pauline Frost.

It urged the government to take action to achieve the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions; ensure Yukoners have access to reliable, affordable and renewable energy; adapt to the impacts of climate change; and build a green economy.

“Responding to and mitigating the impacts of climate change is not something that can be done by one government alone,” Frost said.

“This is not a time when we can turn to our neighbours and expect them to take action while we continue with the status quo.”

Frost said that “there is no question” that climate change is severely affecting the North, as warming is taking place at more than double the global rate – 2.3 degrees C between 1948 and 2016. Winter temperatures have risen 4.3 degrees.

She urged the government to follow in step with territorial First Nations governments, namely the Vuntut Gwitchin of Old Crow, which declared an emergency during the past summer.

A 10-year plan for addressing climate change is under development, she said, in partnership with Yukon First Nations and climate experts. It will include more than 130 actions toward a clean future.

They are focused on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, enhancing energy security, adapting to the effects of climate change and supporting Yukon businesses and individuals as they adapt alongside.

The plan will aim to reduce the climate change impact on the Yukon’s ecosystems and work with a youth panel, which will directly advise the Liberal government.

Frost said the Liberal government supports the Paris Agreement stipulations and the carbon tax that kicked in last July, with plans for rebates to lessen the burden on Yukoners.

Environment Yukon will work in tandem with the Department of Energy, Mines and Resources to reduce energy consumption and emissions, she said.

The strategy also promises to assess all infrastructure projects costing $10 million or more with a climate lens in order to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions.

The government will invest $120 million with funds from the federal government for energy-efficient improvements to Yukon buildings, she said.

“We all have a role to play in addressing climate change,” Frost said. “My commitment to Yukoners is that we will make progress and we will report back.”

Opening Frost’s motion to discussion, NDP Leader Kate White amended it to actually declare an emergency, rather than just recognize it.

“This is simple, as the house knows, compared to other things that I’ve tried to bring forward,” White said.

“But this is the most powerful line that we will ever be judged on: declaring a climate emergency in Yukon.”

White conceded the adjustment may be largely symbolic, but house business is often rooted in symbolism.

White cited Natural Resources Canada’s 2019 “Canada in a Changing Climate” report. It claims the Yukon can escape “relatively unscathed” if carbon emissions are reduced immediately and dropped to near zero in the next 100 years.

She urged the house to commit entirely to the declaring of an emergency, an amendment that was unanimously agreed upon.

The government is falling in step with the House of Commons and the City of Whitehorse, both of which declared a climate emergency last June and last month respectively.

Last Monday, White tabled a motion calling for the Declaration of a Territorial Climate Emergency in the territory.

“It was encouraging that the Government of Yukon was willing to work with the opposition and support the NDP and the community in our efforts to declare a climate emergency,” White said in a statement Thursday.

The declaration approved by the house is just another part of the process of tackling climate change, she added.

“It’s amazing that Yukon will be declaring a climate emergency, but we can’t lose sight of the ultimate goal of transitioning away from a fossil fuel-reliant society,” said White.

“I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues in the Yukon Legislative Assembly to achieve that goal.”

Now that the motion to declare an emergency has been passed, White said, it’s up to Premier Sandy Silver and his cabinet colleagues to choose the time and place to formally declare a climate emergency on behalf of the Yukon.

Comments (47)

Up 2 Down 0

Big Nosed Reindeer on Oct 18, 2019 at 8:59 pm

Well said Max Mack.
We need debate not hate. We want discussions not repercussions. We want free speech not hate speech.

Up 3 Down 0

Max Mack on Oct 17, 2019 at 2:55 pm

You said: "Crazy old white guys ranting."
Your comment is sexist, ageist, and racist. And, also offensive towards people with mental health issues via your reference to "crazy".
Discriminatory on every level. Please show some class and apologize.

Up 13 Down 3

Wilf Carter on Oct 16, 2019 at 11:57 pm

Yukoner we have 44 comments here 94% don't believe that climate change is an EMG. Whitehorse has a threat of earth quakes more than climate change. There is some great comments here keep them coming because they are educational and show what governments are doing not in the interest of Yukoners

Up 5 Down 25

BnR on Oct 16, 2019 at 3:51 pm

Reading the comments section is more entertaining than watching old Alex Jones/Infowars YT clips.
Crazy old white guys ranting.

Up 15 Down 0

Obi on Oct 16, 2019 at 2:54 pm

Climate change Gerta's..

"Of all Tyrannies, a Tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. Those who torment us for our own good, will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience."

Up 2 Down 26

Michael Miller on Oct 16, 2019 at 2:14 pm

I am burning 20% less firewood and the creek down the road no longer has a freshet, yes climate is changing very fast and we have to do something as individuals.

Up 38 Down 1

moose101 on Oct 16, 2019 at 7:20 am

Before anyone formally declares a climate emergency on behalf of the Yukon, have a referendum and just see how little support you will get from Yukoners.

Up 25 Down 1

Greiko on Oct 15, 2019 at 8:39 pm

If there is one emergency in The Yukon it would be a housing price emergency and lack of affordable housing not this cilimate nonsense.

Up 29 Down 2

Karl on Oct 15, 2019 at 4:29 pm

There was a time that 97% of scientists believed the Sun, the Moon and the stars all revolved around the Earth.
That didn't make it true.

Up 26 Down 4

eco-nut on Oct 15, 2019 at 4:05 pm

I put the environment as my number one concern on this planet, and as such I oppose for example, placer mining; I see our plague level human population on the earth as a huge problem, I swapped out my vehicle for one that gets twice the mileage when it was time to replace it, I find the way the oceans are being vacuumed out of living creatures sickening, I worry that the Peace Dam is really about selling water to the USA, etc. etc.

However. I do not believe the Yukon is facing a 'Climate Emergency'. Not by a long shot. This is virtue signalling and jumping on a bandwagon without a lot of thought. There are far bigger and more fundamental problems to worry about.

Up 19 Down 2

Wilf Carter on Oct 15, 2019 at 3:43 pm

Did some checking into the numbers on temperatures in the Yukon are not correct over the last 100 years.
Our winters have gotten a little warmer in last 20 years but the summers have gotten cooler especially in the last 10 years.
The average temperature over the last 100 years has dropped by 2.8D not up.
Source of information trees, plant life and elders.

Up 2 Down 21

woodcutter on Oct 15, 2019 at 3:16 pm


Never mind the very few who live in Da-Nile, you can see that it's only a handful of regressive conservatives that in most likelihood spend more time living in the city then actually making a livelihood off the land and only have a limited amount of spoon fed information to make an observation on.

Complaining about a lack of a Yukon summer indicates that someone hasn't spent the last summer in the central part of Yukon and observed 10 weeks without rain and river levels, even now, lower than anyone in living history can remember.

Up 39 Down 1

Greta looney-thunberg on Oct 15, 2019 at 10:25 am

The drive into work was horrible this morning....thanks a lot climate emergency

Up 4 Down 38

Davis on Oct 15, 2019 at 8:26 am

Very happy to see this! Great news!

Up 34 Down 3

John on Oct 14, 2019 at 9:46 pm

@skeletor. Unfortunately you appear too young and inexperienced to fully understand the world around you. You, like so many vulnerable youth are brainwashed into believing corporate fiction, simply fabricated to distract you from real issues like deficits, pollution and the need for technology to help us adapt to our changing planet. It’s ok, we understand, we’ve been there and we will continue to teach. Although I do I agree it’s cool to be on the bandwagon lol.

Up 4 Down 14

JC on Oct 14, 2019 at 8:58 pm

Skeltor: Don't forget, the YP only has 6 sitting members. And many of them may not run in the next election.

Up 27 Down 3

JC on Oct 14, 2019 at 8:55 pm

I think it's time for the governments and Parties to read the anti-climate change comments before they declare something. I'm sure there are MLAs and Fed candidates that are a bit embarrassed by reading these comments and seeing all the up votes. Remember politicians these are also election votes.

Up 27 Down 3

JC on Oct 14, 2019 at 8:47 pm

Moose, then maybe it's time to form a new party up here. Something like the Peoples Party. At least they aren't afraid to tell the truth. Even if it costs them votes.

Up 35 Down 4

JC on Oct 14, 2019 at 8:41 pm

Lead by the future: What is wrong with a river changing its course? Rivers and creeks have been doing that for millions of years. What has that got to do with climate change? This is just a natural thing. Don't worry about the rivers and creeks. They will change course long after you're gone from this world. And don't worry about the climate changing. That's natural too. Maybe what you should be worried about are those rogue nations arming up with nuclear weapons. Now, that will bring on climate change and oh yeah, lots of global warming.

Up 23 Down 1

Gringo on Oct 14, 2019 at 7:23 pm

If everything’s an emergency nothing is! Proverb “ 1-12-23”

Up 10 Down 7

Obi on Oct 14, 2019 at 1:58 pm

"ooooooooooh! Skeletor, scary!
I bet you spent a long time working on that one. By the way, I am not a member of any organized party, I am a Liberal.....

Up 8 Down 34

Skeletor on Oct 14, 2019 at 12:37 pm

"Hey Obi, you're too old, let go - nobody listens to techno." You probably don't get that joke but oh well.

Anyways why are you going after Kate and Sandy but not Stacey Hassard? You realize the Yukon Party voted for this as well right? Your bias is showing.

Up 29 Down 5

D. O. Buggeroff on Oct 13, 2019 at 8:07 pm

North of 60 - You put forward some good evidence. Rational argumentation however will not win the day. Long before 9000 years ago there was Beringia - The ice free corridor from the Asiatic continent through Alaska and the Yukon. The oceans were approximately 100 feet lower than they are today. Then there is the aggregate rock formations near Carmacks which were formed way, way earlier when much of the Yukon was an inland sea. Climate change has been happening since the existence of the earth itself.

What is currently happening is a “moral panic” created by a bunch of emotionally dysregulated, bordering on sociopathically so, young people and the older politicians who manipulate those feelings to attract voters which reinforces the ensuing pathology. It literally is a “tempest” in the teapot of politics. These ideas are no better than the Mercurial Socialism that supports the widespread sociopolitical chaos that they foster. These moral panics are the sideshow distractions of an amoral, apolitical and temperate subpopulation of people who have, figuratively so, have a screw loose.

Like parents with a screaming child in the grocery store we either need to use effective strategies to soothe these high-emoters or, we need to pick them up, tuck them under our arms and walk them out of the store to show them that their tantrums will not be tolerated.

I look forward to the opportunities that a warming earth will provide: More dinosaur museums, a boom in real estate markets as new waterfront properties are created, and tourism opportunities for diving in the Whitehorse City ruins. During this dive tour folks you will have the opportunity to have your underwater picture taken on the Good-Ship - Liberal Disaster - Here sits Silver still at the helm.

Stop the madness!

What is more dangerous and more likely to occur than widespread destruction of the planet through global-warming is the annihilation of the human species through the foment of, indeed as Yukon politics has evidenced, ignorance as opinion and as social fact in some post-modernist absurdity of individual-rights entitlements.

If you want a society of sociopaths you are on the right track.

Up 39 Down 2

Charlie's Aunt on Oct 13, 2019 at 6:57 pm

How did any of these clowns end up running YT? Emergency!!! They have just downgraded the impact of the word for when there is a true emergency such as a wild fire or other event that requires immediate action & evacuation. Didn't any of them notice the inaccurate use of language before they approved this nonsense?
Agree with N of 60, people have forgotten that 1,000s of years ago dinosaurs & mammoths used to live here in a much warmer climate? Time to focus on cleaning up the garbage littering the planet instead. YT contributes little to the global garbage amount but we still need to clean up our act, not because of this nonsense but just to improve our lives. A new use for plastic bags; they can be used for some to blow all their hot air into.

Up 7 Down 31

Michael Miller on Oct 13, 2019 at 5:08 pm

OK, we hopefully can sort out the renewable energy problem here but there are far too many people who are deniers and have a sense of entitlement.

Hint, think about all those big black trucks with immature drivers who think driving is an aggressive game that involves burning lots of fuel. Many older people know the value of having small homes and low heating bills and leaving trees for the birds and nature.

Hope this declaration will get us going the the right direction and we are happy to spend the tax dollars on clean energy. It's too bad that government has to engineer the masses to make the world and Yukon a better place but selfish and entitled people will not get us there anytime soon.

Up 43 Down 2

North_of_60 on Oct 13, 2019 at 12:59 pm

It was much warmer in the Arctic 9000 years ago when Whitehorse was submerged in a lake that stretched from Carcross to Laberge to Champagne. Climate changes, it's a natural process; there is nothing unusual or alarming about the changes we see today. Humans didn't cause the changes then or now. The only emergency is the growing lack of common sense and critical thinking in our brainwashed society.

Zhokhov Island in the Siberian High Arctic today exhibits inhospitably severe climate conditions, desolate tundra, and year-round pack ice in the surrounding sea. During the Early Holocene, this same island was warm enough to host waterfowl species, birch trees, and year-round human residents who hunted polar bear and reindeer.

Up 34 Down 2

Groucho d'North on Oct 13, 2019 at 10:25 am

Too many ill-informed people have been at the centre of the climate debate since it began many years ago when the lies about the science being settled began and the statement that 97% of the scientists were in agreement was also used to sway public opinion. The opposing scientific voices were squelched to avoid having to prove the therories of global catastrophic warming from C02. Many scientists with opposing views today are considered to be the puppets of the oil industry and are demonized for their views and opinions.
I like to hear both sides of an argument before I decide which way I lean on the matter.
The following resignation letter was sent by Hal Lewis, professor emeritus of physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara, to the American Physical Society: Its all about money- Not the climate.

Up 38 Down 4

Josey Wales on Oct 13, 2019 at 8:12 am

I think a full blown mental health crisis should be declared.
Seems very much so that the patients are running the asylum.

Never in my over 50 years, have I witnessed epic and I mean epic collective insanity as currently!
Guess that is why Dr. Jordan Peterson is both veeeeeery popular, and so so loathed by the many cult followers.
Of course as I bleat on chronic like...all about power and subjection of our citizens..”this movement “....period.
This movement, need be flushed...our society sanitized.

Up 5 Down 25

Moose on Oct 12, 2019 at 10:04 pm

Hey JC, the Yukon Party conservatives voted in favor of this as well. So literally all of the political parties supported this FYI.

Up 48 Down 0

Obi on Oct 12, 2019 at 9:06 pm

Chicken little strikes again!
Perhaps Sandy and Kate should have attacked Mr Horgan during his visit to our fair city, and asked what the hell he was going to do about the largest coal shipping facility in North America located by his ferry terminal.
The coal shipped to China, fuels their 1000 coal fired plants, and the dirty air takes only three days to reach our western shores and five to get back east.

What a joke, as we get all pithy about what we can do in the Yukon as if it’s all our fault.
Grow a pair Sandy, and stop following the Greta herd over the cliff.

Up 47 Down 7

Smith on Oct 12, 2019 at 2:04 pm

Yukon is a joke.. stupidity is up the roof and what used to be the wild North has become a joke with political brain washed people. If anybody can't see snowing and freezing all across Canada (except Ontario)...then they are completely brain washed. Good luck Yukon you will need it, and your kids will be ashamed when they will realized you sold their freedom to UN. Shame shame shame!!

Up 44 Down 8

Smith on Oct 12, 2019 at 1:57 pm

What a joke..Canada is freezing all across, Yukon barely has summers and there are still brain washed people who believe globalists take over as a noble cause!! And Yukon is full of these idiots.... Maybe -40°C is not freezing enough for them. I am disgusted by this stupidity!!!

Up 5 Down 31

David on Oct 12, 2019 at 11:40 am

I think this is great news, but I'm a little unclear in what it actually means and things will change.

Up 48 Down 2

Joe on Oct 12, 2019 at 9:32 am

a serious, unexpected, and often dangerous situation requiring immediate action.

Yup, our overpaid politicians hard at work trying to look cool.

Up 35 Down 7

Matthew on Oct 12, 2019 at 8:17 am

It's a lie people! Every generation they scare us. Been happening since the 60s, then the planet was cooling, in 70s and 80s, it's now global warming, in 90s and early 00s they changed it to Climate change, now it's back at global warming... we have and use our Weather Modification Act that allows the atmospheric aerosols to change, manipulate or create weather.. AKA Climate change that's man made! Also, Greta Thunberg is getting paid $20M to talk about climate change.. seems to be really bothered huh? LOL! Wake up people! Don't believe a word I say, all you have to do is research it for yourselves!

Up 26 Down 6

Wilf Carter on Oct 12, 2019 at 2:49 am

The temperature referred was put out be Federal Department which is not accredited and is not true at all.
Accredited means done by independent body that has the equipment and skills to do a proper assessment of the situation.
Federal Government assessment is a political drive not science driven which has no meaning in lack of evidence.
European research boats tried to get to the north but could not because of the increase in ice.
So now we are warming and European north is cooling.
June of 2018 was the coldest on record in the Yukon.
Climate evolves over 150 to 200 hundred year period in the Yukon.
Paris accord was a political accord and did not take into account the following:
It stated Canada is 1.6 of the world carbon. But what they did not account for was Canada has billions of trees to remove the carbon.
We in the Yukon and Canada are carbon neutral because of our trees.
Want do something about carbon? Set up a carbon monitoring station and find the truth of how much carbon we have in the air.
There is no case for a climate EMG.
Most CO2 we put out is between 60 and 70% from trucking and aircraft.
Canada atmosphere has less then half of 1% carbon.
Wilf CArter
Climate does change but it is not carbon causing it!!!

Up 40 Down 7

Josey Wales on Oct 11, 2019 at 9:58 pm

I think there is more evidence that the world has gone mad, as it relates to
climate hysteria, eco fascism, actual science, group think and cults in general. Than there is the sky is falling.

As I peck this, it is dark out.
Has the sun merely set for the day, or has it gone out?
Very windy out today too, has the earth sped up on its axis?

Fear and hysteria to ease in herding sheep up for a fleecing.
Personally I think that is baaa baaaad

Up 8 Down 33

Lead by the future on Oct 11, 2019 at 9:36 pm

130 actions within the ten year plan lead by our Northern citizens from Old Crow sounds pretty positive to me. Let's quit declaring and recognizing and start doing like progressives do. To re-emphasize less talk and more action at all levels is what is needed. We have seen the effects of climate change first hand like the Slims river taking a different route to tidewater and we ignore, thinking this will all look after itself but doing something is more prudent than not.

Up 22 Down 7

Woodcutter on Oct 11, 2019 at 7:31 pm

ha, I said so... For a politician to remain relevant, they need to support the demands of the voters. Yukon party goes from denial to unanimous support in a blink of an eye.

Up 43 Down 5

JC on Oct 11, 2019 at 6:23 pm

By the way Minister Frost, how many wood burners are in your community of Old Crow? And how do you intend to change this? What do you intend to heat the houses up there with? Planning to damn up a river and put in a hydro station? Or are you planning expensive wind turbines and solar panels? And who is going to pay for all this since there is very little economy up there? I think you owe the tax payers an answer. Declaring an emergency without a plan is pretty stupid. Tell us what your plan is to offset this great emergency. I declare you have no plan. Prove me wrong.

Up 49 Down 6

JC on Oct 11, 2019 at 6:16 pm

Minister Frost: who is our neighbour - China, Russia, India? The 3 biggest polluters on the planet. Canada only produces about 1.6 percent carbon Dioxide. They produce about 40 to 60 percent. We need more than 1.6 to feed our vegetation and keep us alive with oxygen. You phonies are just trying to ride the hoax bandwagon. It's time to stop showing off and get back to reality. And the truth.

Up 40 Down 5

JC on Oct 11, 2019 at 6:07 pm

Stop this nonsense. Stop it now!

Up 34 Down 4

Nicky on Oct 11, 2019 at 5:16 pm

Hey Everyone Jump On, it's a Bandwagon!!!

"You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. And what I mean by that is an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before."
-- Rahm Emanuel

Up 10 Down 19

Dave on Oct 11, 2019 at 5:01 pm

Might as well jump on the bandwagon with everyone else.

Up 42 Down 6

Max Mack on Oct 11, 2019 at 4:10 pm

And the clown show in the Yukon continues . . .

Up 44 Down 8

Climate anxiety on Oct 11, 2019 at 3:45 pm

Perfect. Now every gov worker can use sick/special leave due to the weather. Just think of that super hot sunny day in July or those -35 days in February when you just don't feel like getting out of bed. I mean if it's an emergency how can they be forced to work if the weather is an emergency? These politicians have gone completely insane.

Up 37 Down 10

Juniper Jackson on Oct 11, 2019 at 3:30 pm

Not 1..not 2.. but 500 world renowned scientists, the elite in their field (unlike Suzuki and Gore) wrote the UN saying.. there is NO emergency and creating a scare culture was NOT helpful to the cause. https://amgreatness.com/2019/09/26/500-scientists-write-letter-to-u-n-confirm-there-is-no-climate-crisis/ 15,400,000 MORE pages I ran on panic over tree's in the 80's.. I look a little closer now.. (though I still care big time about my trees).
Just to prepare all the running scareds, this is going to pass, and then it's MEAT! Yes, it is. It's coming on now, Al Gore invested very heavily, over 2 million dollars in non meat products..he put a marketing team together and started it in Great Britain, as more of the worlds 1% er's..already richer than God, have bought into it, it's picking up speed... As this is so harmful to health, the OTHER side is coming out, slow but sure saying... eat meat.. meat will not hurt you..cows farts have been happening for centuries, and before that dinosaurs.. but, it's picked the year that Al Gore and cronies heavily invest in non meat to become an environmental haphazard.. Lord..the world has gone crazy.

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