Whitehorse Daily Star

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FACEBOOK AD – This ad encouraging Yukoners to check out the territorial budget says the government is focused on growing the economy. The Yukon’s economy shrank in 2015 for the third straight year, according to Statistics Canada. Photo courtesy GOVERNMENT OF YUKON

Government ads are not accurate: Liberal leader

The Liberal party leader is accusing the government of using tax dollars to buy Facebook ads that say it’s working to grow the economy, when, according to Statistics Canada, the economy is shrinking (see adjacent story).

By Sidney Cohen on May 13, 2016

The Liberal party leader is accusing the government of using tax dollars to buy Facebook ads that say it’s working to grow the economy, when, according to Statistics Canada, the economy is shrinking (see adjacent story).

Liberal Leader Sandy Silver asked on Thursday why the government is using tax dollars to buy Facebook ads that champion the premier’s message that it’s focused on economic growth, after the territory’s GDP was shown to have declined for the third straight year.

“Yukon taxpayers are currently paying for Facebook ads that promote the premier. These ads make a point of saying the premier is focused on growing our economy,” Silver told the legislature.

“After three years of focusing on growth of our economy, we see three years of negative economic growth. This is the economic track record of the government, and no amount of Facebook ads saying the opposite can change that.”

Silver’s allegation came after Statistics Canada released data showing the Yukon’s economy declined further than all other jurisdictions in Canada, save Alberta, in 2015. The territory’s gross domestic product (GDP) went down 3.8 per cent.

The year 2015 marks the third in a row of economic decline in the Yukon.

“The government’s message to Yukon as we approach election is: ‘We are good financial managers. We’re good economic managers,’” said Silver.

“Yukon taxpayers are even footing the bill to spread this Yukon Party message.”

The Star could not identify which Facebook ads Silver was talking about before press time this afternoon.

“I imagine he’s referring to budget ads,” Sarah Crane, an Executive Council Office spokesperson, said today.

“We have a series of ads running to encourage Yukoners to find out more about the budget, and highlighting some of the priorities in the budget.”

In one of these ads, a family is pictured sitting on a rocky peak, and above the photo are the words, “Our budget focuses on growing the economy so all Yukoners have the chance to succeed.”

Crane noted that Premier Darrell Pasloski is pictured in other Facebook ads, as he is also Finance minister, and in charge of the territorial budget.

“The premier is our Finance minister and our premier, and he has a responsibility to communicate the budget,” she said.

“For the last number of years, we’ve taken a very similar approach in communicating the budget,” Crane said regarding the Facebook ad campaign.

Comments (10)

Up 0 Down 0

Rorex1983 on May 20, 2016 at 8:44 am

@The Mining GDP delusion

You're correct that federal transfers account for the majority of our economy but these won't grow in the coming years in fact indications are that they will shrink.

Mentioning real estate is foolish and shows you don't understand Economics. The way an economy grows is exports, or outside investment/spending, not consumption. Increases in consumption is the result of recirculation of other economic activity or increases in debt. To say that real estate is a big part of our economy is to say that more people are borrowing money and getting mortgages or that more people are moving to the Yukon. Either way real estate is not the driver in this economic activity. Again the resource prices crashed in 2013 so using 2014 as a baseline on how much mining contributes to our economy is foolish.

In 2011 when the Yukon's GDP grew by 5.6% mining accounted for 27% of our GDP.

Up 2 Down 2

The Mining GDP delusion on May 18, 2016 at 6:22 pm

I can’t begin to count the number of times that someone has parroted the phrase that ”mining is a major part of the Yukon economy”....Sorry to burst the delusion but It is simply NOT TRUE. The last figures I can access [ http://www.eco.gov.yk.ca/stats/pdf/gdp_2014.pdf ] clearly shows that “mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction” forms 13.2 % of the Yukon GDP. “Real estate and rental and leasing” exceeds mining at 14% and of course the real engine of the Yukon economy is Public Administration which stands at 23.3%. The single largest contribution to our GDP and the major thing that the Yukon has been successful at mining is not minerals, but the taxpayers of Canada.

Up 2 Down 0

Josey Wales on May 17, 2016 at 10:52 pm

Hmm..seems as though the civic royals must have read my post?
More to come I suppose, when the offices open and papers read.

Up 4 Down 7

Josey Wales on May 17, 2016 at 9:49 am

Really? most if not all "government" ads are factually incorrect. Seems their job to mislead, deceive, lie and manipulate. When I see/hear a political blowhole venting, I rightly assume it is all bulls**t. Those that do not? Often are very naive, overly optimistic, and very much living in a land of illusion.

Take the biggest challenge ever for one mere example, WWII.
We learned heaps about machinery and more efficient ways to purge the gene pool that we most certainly "moved forward" with.
Politically what did we learn?
IMHO absolutely JACK..NADA..ZIP, we still have political overlords telling us how to live our life...DAILY and very much in the new sty of Whitehorse.
Hence my loathing the windbags and their often minions..special interests.

I think we have far, far less everyday freedoms since that epic conflict wrapped up, you can think different it is OK.
It just seems the windbags/SI/SJW's are not fans of dissent...imagine eh?
If you-tube was here in the 1940's would we stand by and let the PC Crusade enable orange jumpsuits being tossed into the oven?
Hopefully there are zero edits here as the points are very valid and within terms.
I cannot speak for the narrative and the alleged "guardians" of free speech.

Up 11 Down 6

Rorex1983 on May 16, 2016 at 1:43 pm

Seems to be a lot of condemning comments from Mr. Silver and very little substance about how his party is going to fix things.
Let's be clear, other then federal transfers (which are only decreasing) our economy is based on two things: Mining and to a much lesser degree Tourism.

Tourism has a direct relationship with the exchange rate. The worse the Canadian dollar is doing the more tourism. The Canadian dollar is just this year really starting to decrease in value compared to the American (thanks to the economic downturn in the US in 2008).

Mining has a direct relationship with resource prices. In 2008-2009 Gold prices skyrocketed with the major economic downturns in Europe and the US (and everyone buying gold as a result) however by 2013 the price started to drop again. 2013 saw a 27.6% drop in gold prices. So to question why there has been a economic down turn in 2013, 2014, 2015 is to ignore the gold rush that happened in 2008-2012. A gold rush that saw the highest gold prices ever recorded.

News flash we don't live in a bubble we are at the mercy of outside forces like exchange rates and resource prices.

Up 14 Down 9

Jonathan Colby on May 16, 2016 at 6:58 am

Using facebook's service is free. Advertising is not free.

Also, if 18% of GDP is mining, and 80% of the downturn is mining, can seven-ninths of my statistics be 100% garbage? Sources say, maybe. Maybe.

The two thing that creates uncertainty up here are YESAB and First Nations. Uncertainty would be less if the gambit stopped trying to bypass either or both of these groups in the blind pursuit of "More Mining."

Up 12 Down 12

Local Investor on May 15, 2016 at 11:08 pm

Goldcorp didn't invest $500 mil in Yukon. It has proposed a purchase (via a share issuance) of Kaminak (KAM.TSX). The purchase of a property to boost Net Asset Value for Gold Corp does not translate into a boon to the Yukon Economy and the investment in this publicly traded company certainly had nothing to do with the Yukon Party. YES I am a Liberal member. The Yukon Economy has some serious challenges, a policy of supporting multiple industries (tourism and mining), focusing on supporting local procurement and growth based on environmentally sound (aka Not the Peel) developments is one reason I am supporting the liberals and Mr. Silver.

At the end of the day, why not support change; looking at the last few years of government, seems like a breath of fresh air to give Mr. Silver a run at leading our Government.

Up 17 Down 28

Yukoners and investors have total confidence in the Yukon Government on May 15, 2016 at 12:44 pm

But liberals and NDP create uncertainty.

Up 20 Down 32

Facebook is free - Sandy Silver economics - 101 on May 14, 2016 at 10:09 am

What part of the economy is down around the world - mining that is 80% of the downturn in the Yukon. This shows how weak the liberals really are about how to understand economics.
It is starting to make a come back.
Just look at Gold-Corp investing over $500 hundred million in the Yukon.

Up 16 Down 25

mary laker on May 13, 2016 at 6:03 pm

Let's be fair. The Yukon has been over dependent on mining, very over dependent, for the past hundred years or so. The fact that our economy is ONLY down 3.8% probably does mean the Yukon Party is doing a good job. What we need to do is develop trails, have a proper business incubator up here, and do whatever else we can do to support alternative businesses.

I do not want the Yukon Party to feel they have to sell us out to the mining industry in order to make the numbers look good. I'll be patient as they support the growth of other industries.

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