Whitehorse Daily Star

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STRESSING RURAL YUKON’S IMPORTANCE – Pauline Frost, the Liberal party’s Vuntut Gwitchen candidate, and leader Sandy Silver listen to questions at this morning’s news conference.

Liberals vow fair treatment for communities

Liberal Leader Sandy Silver and Pauline Frost, the party’s Vuntut Gwitchin candidate in the Nov. 7 election,

By Stephanie Waddell on October 20, 2016

Liberal Leader Sandy Silver and Pauline Frost, the party’s Vuntut Gwitchin candidate in the Nov. 7 election, have vowed their party would create a more fair, equitable approach to dealing with all communities.

“A Yukon Liberal government recognizes that rural Yukon is a key partner in shaping the future of the territory,” Silver told a news conference. “People in rural Yukon are also best-placed to identify their own concerns and priorities.

“We will work collaboratively with municipalities and First Nation government to build sustainable, diverse economies and support local solutions for local problems to improve our collective way of life.”

He noted his work as the Klondike MLA over the last five years, stressing he was shown just how important rural Yukon is.

“I have always seen the job of a rural MLA as being a community’s representative in Whitehorse, and not the other way around,” he said.

The two candidates noted that funding infrastructure opportunities are often limited to incorporated communities.

That often leaves First Nation communities without the infrastructure dollars to provide the services their citizens need, Frost pointed out.

“We believe all communities matter,” she said.

The Liberals said they would:

• Support municipalities in developing community plans, then use those plans to inform community development;

• Assist communities in coming up with policies around mining within the community boundaries. The policies would respect the needs of residents and offer certainty to land users and potential compensation (where appropriate) for miners;

• Expand on campground infrastructure;

• Support investments in basic infrastructure “that is needed to support communities and industry”; and

• Reduce the reliance of communities on diesel energy.

The party went on to highlight the importance of predictable funding for communities and cite plans to work with the Association of Yukon Communities and local governments.

It would work on long-term infrastructure investment programs that would provide predictable funding for five to 10 years, and establish a five-year funding plan for the Comprehensive Municipal Grant.

It would also implement “appropriate” funding levels for structural fire protection and create a five-year funding formula for the municipal matching rental construction program.

The party did not have details on exactly what projects or funding arrangements might come from the initiatives, stressing that any such decisions will be community-led.

As Silver and Frost emphasized, the communities (municipal, First Nations and others) know best what they need and each community is unique.

“We believe all communities matter,” Frost said, later commenting that these initiatives would give communities a voice.

While the announcement stressed the important role rural Yukon has in the territory, the party presented it in the capital city. As Silver pointed out, that was done to make it easy to the get the message out through local media.

Comments (8)

Up 6 Down 2

Al Quonkquin on Oct 25, 2016 at 7:27 pm

No party has had the respect for the communities like the Liberal Party has demonstrated, time and time again.

Up 6 Down 7

Petronius on Oct 25, 2016 at 11:40 am

of course this is only talk so far the liberal party won't be elected until Nov 7

Up 9 Down 6

ProScience Greenie on Oct 22, 2016 at 6:01 am

It would be nice to see more of the billion plus per year gravy train from Ottawa go to the communities so they can grow and prosper.

Time to end this trend of Whitehorse's Chamber of Commerce having too much influence on how that money is spent trying to turn Whitehorse into some cheap clone of a random oil-patch boom town with endless big box stores, burger joints and overbuilt ugly subdivisions.

Up 4 Down 11

Show Yukoners something comcrete on Oct 21, 2016 at 12:12 pm

Nothing yet just talk no action.

Up 5 Down 14

Liberal supports against looking at a second bridge to Riverdale on Oct 21, 2016 at 6:58 am

Riverdale residents have asked for this for years, when my family lived there.
With five schools and the hospital there, it is a no brainer.

Up 3 Down 16

jc on Oct 20, 2016 at 9:44 pm

YAWN! LOL. Sandy looks like he really means it doesn't he?

Up 6 Down 16

Vow on Oct 20, 2016 at 7:17 pm

Define what's not fair in the Yukon on infrastructure. Liberals, when in power, messed infrastructure development so bad in the Yukon it took four years to fix the problems, like buildings, road municipalities.
Teslin has done their own thing for 30 years or more and they have a community plan and the best infrastructure of any rural community in the Yukon.
The Yukon Government provides more municipal financing than just about any region in Canada. Liberals did you know that?
Show Yukoners what a sustainable diverse economic looks like over the next five years.
Liberals want to close down 80% of the Yukon to development and live off Ottawa. That's their plan. What happen to the $3 billion invested in the Yukon resource sector?
We need a combined economic development fund that the infrastructure is fed through and all governments and the private sector can be partners in.
That how build sustainable communities and an economy for the Yukon..
Everyone wants to reduce the use of fossil fuels but the liberals support a carbon tax.
The problem is they don't have the understanding of what is taking place in the Yukon and project it forward.

Up 36 Down 9

Gary Liddy on Oct 20, 2016 at 3:55 pm

the millions of dollars that the "Golf Course Party" plans to spend on soccer fields in Whitehorse should be used to solve some of the infrastructure problems in the communities methinks

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