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Economic Development Minister Ranj Pillai and Northern Vision Development’s CEO Rich Thompson

Government establishes Business Advisory Council

The Yukon government has appointed its COVID-19 Business Advisory Council to ensure the business community’s needs are heard amid the economic impacts of COVID-19.

By Whitehorse Star on March 26, 2020

The Yukon government has appointed its COVID-19 Business Advisory Council to ensure the business community’s needs are heard amid the economic impacts of COVID-19.

The council includes stakeholders from a wide variety of sectors who will contribute their knowledge and experience representing diverse aspects of the economy, the government said Wednesday.

Together they will inform the Department of Economic Development with local business intelligence, identify best practices and recommend mitigation strategies to address the economic impacts of COVID-19.

“It is important during this public health emergency that we are responsive to the needs of Yukoners,” said Economic Development Minister Ranj Pillai.

“Local businesses are the heart of the Yukon economy, and we need to heed their advice and concerns to better support them through this difficult time.”

The advisory council consists of approximately 20 Yukon business representatives and will be chaired by Rich Thompson, Northern Vision Development’s CEO.

Meetings will be conducted weekly through teleconference to maintain social distancing during the current public health emergency.

The council is expected to operate for six months, extending beyond that as circumstances dictate.

“These times require swift action and quick understanding,” Thompson said.

“The Business Advisory Council will ensure it communicates the needs of business to survive these times, while working closely with government to ensure the Yukon is best positioned to emerge even stronger.

“Relief is critical, and we will ensure that business concerns and needs are clearly communicated and well understood. I am honoured to serve in these very difficult times.”

Comments (17)

Up 3 Down 0

Boyd Campbell on Apr 1, 2020 at 5:42 pm

If you are a politician this is the age old move. Start up a committee and try to get the most influential people who will agree to sit on it. When the $#@& hits fan and the law suits start rolling in from the reaction to government initiatives because it's impossible to treat everyone fairly, you can deflect your decisions and responsibility using the said committee. Careful out there people, the big per deim and expense account will be no match for what's coming down the pipe.

Up 8 Down 4

Not Surprised on Apr 1, 2020 at 11:49 am

The number of names on this list that were also involved with the Liberals during the election should surprise no one. Have to reward their people.

Up 8 Down 6

Jayne W on Mar 31, 2020 at 4:05 pm

They are not getting paid, so everyone can stop that rant. I bet you if you wanted to help they are more than willing to take it. As for the 20 members, it looks to me from the list they are trying to get a broad range of business people. The list to me looks like owners/operators that employ quite a few people in Yukon so I am confident they have everyone's best interest at heart.

Up 18 Down 2

Hopping on the gravy train on Mar 30, 2020 at 2:55 pm

Thank you Groucho d'North.
Interesting read, some other names on there which are not surprising, really. Again, most of them "networkers" busy networking with the politicians.

Up 10 Down 2

Groucho d'North on Mar 30, 2020 at 12:35 pm

@ Jumping on the gravy train
The government's news release identifies all of the people selected for this advisory committee, but it does not say how much they are being compensated - the terms of reference and the time line they have to work with.
Read the release here: https://yukon.ca/en/news/government-yukon-establishes-covid-19-business-advisory-council

Up 14 Down 3

Hopping on the gravy train on Mar 30, 2020 at 8:30 am

@ Invested/Interested/Impacted.. while I call absolute BS on this "advisory council" I am wondering how you know that there are "20 predominantly white middle aged men" on it. Do you have all the names? Can you share?
I am a female business owner and would never expect to be chosen because of my gender, race or religion.

Up 17 Down 8

Roberto Service on Mar 30, 2020 at 7:13 am

Let me guess, all the people complaining about the business council have cushy government jobs and are getting full pay for staying at home and not affected by pay cuts or lay offs?

Up 18 Down 3

Brad Whitelaw on Mar 28, 2020 at 7:34 pm

Of course Thompson is the chair, the only Yukon business being represented and first in the trough “NVD”.

Up 26 Down 2

Yukon businessman on Mar 28, 2020 at 12:59 pm

So we have a premier, a minister, deputy minister, who knows how many assistant deputy ministers and managers and a hoard of high paid gov staff sitting around (cause there sure isn’t any gov work going on atm) and this government needs an advisory committee filled with minister favs for advice ?.....hmmm, doesn’t say much for this government’s ability to govern does it? And it makes you wonder why are we paying all these gov employees? Or is there another motive?
Let me save you hundreds of thousands of dollars... free advice from Yukon businessman: 1- offer interest free loans equal to one year o/m for any small Yukon business amortized over 5 years- do it quickly based on last years statements 2- donate all the per diem money from ridiculous business advisory committee to those in need, like food bank and such . 3- deliver the federal programs through your massive pool of employees. I can’t wait to see what the business advisory committee advises and who gets what.

Up 34 Down 6

Groucho d'North on Mar 28, 2020 at 10:38 am

NVD is Yukon's version of SNC-Lavalin. Follow the money.

Up 13 Down 22

Mad Trapper of Riverdale on Mar 28, 2020 at 9:22 am

Great initiative by the government. The business community is being devastated by the crisis and not everyone in the Yukon works for the government with guaranteed pay checks regardless what happens (ie with travel banned, you can bet every tourism employee is still fully employed while hotels, airlines and restaurants have had massive layoffs ).

And I applaud they actually picked proven business people with skin in the game to be on the business committee. Could be the first for the Yukon!

Up 29 Down 8

Invested/Interested/Impacted.. on Mar 27, 2020 at 11:29 pm

So yes, kudos for recognizing the need for ideas and action. But woah.
This is not representative, so please expand to include:
1. Small business owners
2. Entrepreneurs
3. Women
It pains me to have to state the obvious, again, but a 20 panel of predominantly white middle aged men, is um, not going to create the appropriate solutions.

Up 18 Down 4

Groucho d'North on Mar 27, 2020 at 5:09 pm

I would really like to read the Terms of Reference for this group and their operational timeline.

Up 36 Down 3

Anie on Mar 27, 2020 at 8:10 am

A 20 member advisory council? Well, given GY's overly generous honorarium and travel expense gifts, I guess that's one way of supporting business in a difficult time.

Up 38 Down 9

Woodcutter on Mar 26, 2020 at 9:10 pm

Northern Visions Development as lead on this group? That's the corporation made up of ex yukon politicians from all parties? The same group that sold the waterfront property to themselves? Hmmmm something smells fishy in Denmark and it ain't Gretta.

Up 43 Down 8

Joe on Mar 26, 2020 at 4:00 pm

What kind of bs is this? NVD gets big contract for hotel and conference now the guy chairs a business advisory council?? Sometime funny Ranj, this better not be linked to the upcoming federal funding program those of us with connections know about.

Up 38 Down 6

Politics on Mar 26, 2020 at 3:48 pm

my thoughts in that order:
- why am I not being surprised at who the chair is?
- why do they need 20 (!!) members?
- how much are they getting paid?

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