The Yukon Party isn’t impressed with the territorial government’s announcing a new regional relief loan program.
The YP stated in a news release the “Liberal government actually received the money and the minister signed off on the details of the program last September.
“This means that the Liberals sat on this money for at least five months while businesses in the territory struggled to survive, and contemplated whether to shut down permanently because of the pandemic.”
The party provided documentation on when the agreement was signed. The date on the paperwork is Sept. 25, 2020.
Sierra Van der Meer, a CanNor official, confirmed the signing on that date to the Star. CanNor is the partner agency.
“Now, on the eve of an election, the Liberals are finally announcing the program and are expecting businesses to scramble to meet their March 31 application deadline,” the YP said.
“Instead of sitting on this money, the Liberals should have launched this program when they were originally given money by the federal government.”
In response, Deputy Premier Ranj Pillai issued the following statement late Thursday evening:
“The Yukon Party voted against all of the relief programs our government introduced to help local businesses, so it’s pretty hypocritical for them to now complain about the rollout of support for Yukon businesses,” Pillai said.
“Funding for the Regional Relief Loan Program was provided by the Canadian Northern Development Agency (CanNor) in September, but then a number of steps needed to be taken in order for the Yukon government to provide access to the money.
“To administer the program under CanNor’s requirements, a new regulation needed to be created under the Economic Development Act,” the minister added.
“A request for proposals was then put out to allow a third-party agency to deliver the program. That closed in December and a contract was signed soon after.
“We are happy to be working with dänä Näye Ventures to deliver this program.”