Whitehorse Daily Star

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DELIVERING THE LATEST – Deputy Premier Ranj Pillai, Mary Tiesen, the Yukon government’s American sign language interpreter, and Dr. Brendan Hanley are seen left to right at Thursday morning’s weekly COVID-19 press conference.

Pillai announces series of program extensions

In the absence of any current COVID-19 cases in the Yukon, the focus of Thursday’s briefing by Dr. Brendan Hanley and Deputy Premier Ranj Pillai was on handing out more economic relief funds.

By Tim Giilck on February 25, 2021

In the absence of any current COVID-19 cases in the Yukon, the focus of Thursday’s briefing by Dr. Brendan Hanley and Deputy Premier Ranj Pillai was on handing out more economic relief funds.

Pillai, though, insisted the largesse isn’t tied to the upcoming territorial election.

The last two cases of the virus being investigated by territorial health officials have been cleared from the books, Hanley said.

“The active case count is down to zero,” Pillai added.

Pillai announced the extensions and expansions of some existing COVID-19 programs, and introduced one new offering during his comments.

He announced the reintroduction of the Yukon Business Relief Program, which helps businesses break even. It will relaunch on April 1.

Pillai said Yukon businesses that previously benefited from the program can reapply for additional support until Sept. 30.

The Paid Sick Leave Rebate is also being relaunched on April 1, and extended until Sept. 30.

Yukon restaurants and other businesses with a liquor licence that are struggling will be eligible to receive a discount of 25 per cent off the retail price of liquor until Sept. 30.

Small and medium-sized Yukon businesses can apply to the Regional Relief Loan Program, which will provide up to $100,000 in deferred interest, partially forgivable loans with no payments until Jan. 1, 2023.

Pillai said he is particularly proud of the regional relief program. He said it’s “a bold initiative” that no other jurisdiction in Canada is offering.

In a media release accompanying the morning briefing, the government announced a number of supports will also continue through the Yukon’s Tourism Relief and Recovery Plan.

These include:

• the extension of the $4-million Tourism Accommodation and Non-Accommodation sector supplements to Sept. 30;

• a $450,000 contribution to Yukon’s ELEVATE business mentoring program;

• a $300,000 enhancement to the Tourism Cooperative Marketing Fund, bringing the total to $1 million;

• the Yukon Business Relief Program relaunching on April 1, with support available until Sept. 30;

• Paid Sick Leave Rebate relaunching on April 1, with support available until Sept. 30;

• Liquor discount for eligible licensees available until Sept. 30. Licensees need to have qualified for the Yukon Business Relief Program or CanNor’s Northern Business Relief Fund since Jan. 1, 2021, to receive the 25 per cent discount;

• Regional Relief Loan Program for small and medium-sized businesses. Applications must be received before March 31, 2021;

• Tourism Accommodation Sector Supplement (TASS) available until Sept. 30;

• Tourism Non-Accommodation Sector Supplement (TNASS) available until Sept. 30;

• Applications to TASS and TNASS for the current 2020-21 fiscal year will have their deadline for applications extended to April 15;

• Dedicated funding to support the Yukon’s tourism sector:

• $450,000 for the Tourism Industry Association Yukon’s ELEVATE business mentoring program;

• $300,000 for the Tourism Cooperative Marketing Fund (bringing the total to $1 million); and

• $1 million in 2021-22 as part of an enhanced investment in a three-year destination marketing strategy.

After the briefing, Pillai denied and disputed the money for the programs amounted to an “election grab of goodies.

“It’s not a grab-bag,” he insisted. “It’s a valuable tool for some businesses.”

Most of the announcement concerned programs that are being extended, rather than new offerings, he added.

In his comments, Hanley said the recovered cases were “the reminder that I think we all needed” that COVID-19 can spring up anywhere.

He reminded Yukoners yet again of the importance of maintaining the Safe Six Plus One regimen. He also continued to emphasize the importance of every willing person accepting the Moderna vaccine to help achieve herd immunity.

“It will take years longer to recover without the vaccines than with,” he said.

Hanley wasn’t able to provide any answers to a question as to what percentage of eligible people had signed up to receive the shots – despite being pressed by reporters for the second consecutive week.

He also said results will be available in the near future on a comprehensive survey tracking criteria such as mental health during the pandemic.

Hanley said early results showed that 42 per cent of people reported a decline in their mental health. He said that number wasn’t surprising.

“The emotional toll of the pandemic has often been overlooked,” he said.

“We cannot predict what changes will come, but we will find ways to make life better. This is not forever.”

As of Wednesday, the government reported 14,364 doses of the Moderna vaccine had been administered in Yukon. This number is comprised of 10,781 first doses and 3,583 second doses.

Comments (31)

Up 4 Down 1

Wilf Carter on Mar 3, 2021 at 2:13 pm

Pillai stated that licensed liquor venders will get 25% discount which is not true at all. 86 get 12% and 13% on top = 25%
Then there is 60 who only get 12% that was in place.
Fix the problem Pillai of all venders getting 25%
One vender can under sell the other because they pay cheaper prices for liquor.

Up 4 Down 1

Wilf Carter on Mar 3, 2021 at 2:09 pm

Canada GDP to debt is 52% the worse of 30 countries and if we stay there we are done.

Up 9 Down 2

Groucho d'North on Mar 3, 2021 at 9:23 am

I've noticed that some contributers to this forum approach politics and finance as if it is static and unchanging, when it is really quite active depending on the buttons pushed and the strings pulled by the elected types.
Recently it was announced that the national economy shrank 5.4% last year coupled with our math wizard PM borrowing money to gift to his UN buddies. Money our grandchildren will be working to repay, which will have an impact on their quality of life to some degree. Now the COVID situation has pushed our economy into a corner and government will be obliged to provide some form of financial relief to many Canadians who through no fault of their own are now unemployed with bills stacking up. So that will mean borrowing more money to appease the masses. Canada’s total debt is now expected to reach $1.06 trillion in 2021. If you think things are bleak now - wait a bit longer.
BTW, things are not so bleak for those public servants who collected a healthy paycheque throughout this pandemic. Tell me again how we're all in this together.

Up 4 Down 2

joe on Mar 2, 2021 at 3:51 pm

@ lynx.. where are you getting your numbers from ? Liberal budget ? Please open your eyes or better yet talk to a few tourism operators.

Up 6 Down 16

Lynx on Mar 1, 2021 at 8:31 pm

@Yukon Girl
You say that Liberals are printing our currency into oblivion. Ok, then why does Canada have the best debt-GDP ration in the G7 group of countries?

You say that we have a horrible housing market and it is the Liberals fault. Ok, so what was the housing market like in 2016 under the Yukon Party? Do you think there was lots of affordable housing and rentals at that time?

You say the Liberals are on their way to the "few owning everything, while the masses own nothing". You must be a dyed in the wool NDP supporter if you think the Liberals are such extreme capitalists. The majority of conservatives think that the Liberals are socialists who are bent on spreading the wealth around. So which is it, are they socialists or extreme 'no limit' capitalists? It can't be both.

Up 4 Down 12

Awed on Mar 1, 2021 at 6:34 pm

A totally awesome package of program improvements that is comprehensive and more. I think I'm going to be comfortable switching my support to your party once I see the planning laid down at every corner. Keep it up.

Up 5 Down 2

Crunch on Mar 1, 2021 at 4:46 pm

It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.
Jiddo Krishnamurti

Up 6 Down 1

drum on Mar 1, 2021 at 3:32 pm

Money for helping Seniors should not have been given to United Way.

Up 11 Down 7

DL on Mar 1, 2021 at 1:09 pm

To Yukoner32, you have a point, but then I never said that we have other better political options at this time. Sadly we don’t. Seems like most politicians are spineless shills who will swivel to wherever the wind blows if they think that will earn them political points.

Right now most politicians are kowtowing to the WHO’s corrupt agenda, but there is an upswell of opposition against covid restrictions from many health experts and world populations. Covid lockdowns are not sustainable. Soon there will be a breaking point. Either the world populations will be crushed by the upcoming shortages and famines caused by lockdowns’ disruption of supply chains, as predicted by the UN, OR governments all over will open up now to avert those famine disasters.

Politicians need to tune out the WHO and CBC, educate themselves, and look up what other states or countries did to successfully manage covid WITHOUT resorting to lockdowns. Such as Sweden, Japan, Belarus, the states of Florida, South Dakota, and many more. No lockdowns, no masks, and they’re doing better than others healthwise and economically.

Look up the Great Barrington declaration.

Up 14 Down 7

YukonGirl on Mar 1, 2021 at 10:32 am

More currency debasement, just what we needed! With the cost of food going up worldwide (open your eyes and look at the super markets and the cost of your next bill) and the liberals across this country printing our currency into oblivion it's amazing to see they still have supporters.
Our housing markets, not just the ridiculous prices here, are inflated to the point where regular persons can't afford to even enter the housing market. The liberals are well on their way to having the few own everything while the rest of us own nothing and are just cash cows to pay for their ever increasing debt.

Up 10 Down 3

jacko on Mar 1, 2021 at 1:47 am

“The welfare of the people in particular has always been the alibi of tyrants.” – Albert Camus

Up 8 Down 5

Groan on Feb 28, 2021 at 5:20 pm

@ Wilf Who cares what Nova Scotia liberals do or did? This is the Yukon - which is about the furthest place in Canada from Nova Scotia.
I will admit, I only read this comment of yours because it was short. Most of them, I don't bother to read at all.

Up 4 Down 5

Yukoner32 on Feb 28, 2021 at 2:32 pm

@DL How exactly is it just the Liberals forcing us to the 'brink of economic catastrophy' through covid emergency measures, when all across the country and even here in the Yukon, the conservatives also support these measures? Currie Dixon here locally has come out and said he solidly supports these measures. He even said we shouldn't hold an election until all of the vaccines are rolled out because he is scared the virus could spread.

So it seems your hatred of Liberals/progressives is clouding your logic.

Up 24 Down 7

DL on Feb 26, 2021 at 10:05 pm

Quoting Brendan Hanley above: “The emotional toll of the pandemic has often been overlooked,” This is MISREPRESENTATION.

It's the imposed RESTRICTIONS that have been devastating to our well-being. All so-called covid cases here recovered at home. These covid restrictions were unnecessary. There were other and much better options for dealing with the covid virus, which it turns out wasn't any more deadly than a bad flu season.

Example: Florida removed all covid restrictions last September, and has since been doing much better than California that imposed heavy covid lockdowns. Look up: "Florida’s COVID-19 response has outperformed lockdown states on excess deaths, education, and the economy" by Rational Ground.

We've been duped by these Lieberals and now they keep pushing us to the brink of economic catastrophe. Beware of the Lieberals bringing gifts... which we'll have to repay 10 fold in the near future, as in the Great Reset trojan horse advocated by Lieberal Trudeau.

Up 7 Down 6

Kneel Liberal... and Repent for thine sins! on Feb 26, 2021 at 5:17 pm

@ Snowman - Forest for the trees Snowman... Forest for the trees. Your retort exemplifies the kind of thinking the Liberals want... Sorry, allow.

Up 31 Down 8

I hear ya Josey, I hear ya! on Feb 26, 2021 at 2:03 pm

Hello Josey - You are right on target with the Liberal Gaslighting. It is the Liberal Party Modus Operandi. The use of implicit bias or implicit racism is an example of Liberal Gaslighting.

The Harvard studies which have been the basis for these spurious, absolutist, assertions have been soundly debunked:

“My view is that this is wildly premature—and potentially even dangerous. The overselling of implicit bias has, in my view, along with several other related concepts (microaggressions, stereotype threat, white privilege), contributed to the toxic environment on many campuses and in some corporations in which speech is considered “violence,” and in which, if you say the wrong thing, you can be denounced, ostracized, and even fired. And by “wrong thing,” I am not talking physical threats or sexual harassment. I am talking about making intellectual arguments against affirmative action, acknowledging the evidence that biology contributes to some demographic group differences, or even simply showing a debate regarding Canadian speech laws” (Jussim, 2017).

We have been in dangerous territory for a while but what we have here is the example of Liberal/Leftist governments throwing gasoline on the fire believing the fire to be righteous and the gasoline to be some secularized version of holy-water.

What is happening under the name of Liberalism is appalling, it is disgusting, and it should concern everyone. Why? Because it is a direct assault on the hearts and minds of the people they seek power over. These are the tactics of sociopaths, spousal, and sexual abusers - To convince you that you cannot trust your own mind, that you’re crazy, and that you deserve the abuse that you get...

This is replicated in Liberal subsystems such as workplaces, and HR departments where the weak minded manage through despotic rule. FFS! I remember one HR Consultant who infantilized a group of mostly professional workers using a Sesame Street clip on circles to attempt to demonstrate how people can see things differently but the same. This too was appalling and childish and did not take into account the audience’s needs. This schit happens all too often with Liberals and it is insulting.

This is the dumbing down of the corporate and public spaces - To convince you that reason is some kind of treason. The takeover of the public mind and the substitution of form over content, the infantilization of the public intellect, with appeals to base emotionalism, and the disintegration of responsible deliberation from the public sphere is a necessary strategy in this psychological, Liberal coup d’état. Gaslighting - To make you and others believe that you cannot be trusted to know your own minds... We’ll do your thinking for you...

Dangerous times indeed! Our system of representative democracy needs ideological diversity or it will die a tortured death from Liberalized hypoxia.

Up 43 Down 8

Max Mack on Feb 26, 2021 at 10:49 am

"Pillai, though, insisted the largesse isn’t tied to the upcoming territorial election."

Bwahahahahaha! Huge belly laugh on that one!

Right up there with this magnificently pathetic statement: "recovered cases were “the reminder that I think we all needed” that COVID-19 can spring up anywhere." That's right, folks . . . practically everything is a reminder that the dreaded covid is out to get you . . . at all times . . . in all places . . . in every way possible.

Thank you for the laughs, Pillai.

Up 34 Down 9

Liberal Ding Dongs Receive No Answer on Feb 26, 2021 at 8:51 am

Into the pillory with Pillai for a right proper pillorying... Liberal folly, such a jagged little Pill, aye!

Liberals decree financial largesse for all your mental minds to regress,
Spend, spend, spend with no political redress,
Divide and conquer is Liberal progress,

Radicalized, racialized, categorized, white-male despised, Liberal dreams realized,
The citizenry divided and diverted into their categorizations they have been herded,
Psychological concentration camps the public mind perverted...

The current Liberal governments have been the most destructive influence our country and the world has ever seen relative to our supposed evolutionary success.

The fact that these people know no shame should give us all cause for pause to realize if there was a door to Liberal consciousness... A knock at the door would reveal that no one was home...

Up 16 Down 16

Wilf Carter on Feb 25, 2021 at 7:27 pm

Folks when I grew up in Nova Scotia liberals used to buy booze and hand out to liberals the night of the election.

Up 18 Down 17

Wilf Carter on Feb 25, 2021 at 7:26 pm

Did you notice liberals bring this out just before a party weekend? Ranj did you learn that in Cape Breton?

Up 29 Down 8

Josey Wales on Feb 25, 2021 at 7:05 pm

"Pillai, though, insisted the largesse isn’t tied to the upcoming territorial election."
...After the briefing, Pillai denied and disputed the money for the programs amounted to an “election grab of goodies.
“It’s not a grab-bag,” he insisted. “It’s a valuable tool for some businesses.”

yeah OK WTFE...Team SS Pontificate the definition below folks, please?

"Gaslighting is an insidious form of manipulation and psychological control. Victims of gaslighting are deliberately and systematically fed false information that leads them to question what they know to be true, often about themselves. They may end up doubting their memory, their perception, and even their sanity. Over time, a gaslighter’s (*YLP & CLP) manipulations can grow more complex and potent, making it increasingly difficult for the victims to see the truth."
*OJW insert - faith in team Red will get someone dead...the SS must go!

Up 13 Down 13

Snowman on Feb 25, 2021 at 6:48 pm

@Sheepchaser - You must be an NDP guy I guess since cheaper liquor has been one of the only things Currie Dixon has been asking for. Only the NDP granolas oppose this.

@Wilf Carter Are you still a member of the Yukon Party executive? Or are you just working for a few of their candidates?

@Kneel Liberal I agree about wealth redistribution. The Liberals cut the small business tax by 3% while the Yukon Party cut it by 1% which was more reasonable. Hopefully the Yukon Party raises the tax rate back to where it was if they win the election. We don't need these BS liberal tax cuts.

Up 10 Down 24

Clifton on Feb 25, 2021 at 4:57 pm

Awesome what fantastic programs announced by Minister Pillai.

Up 22 Down 9

bonanzajoe on Feb 25, 2021 at 4:35 pm

This bonanza isn't tied to the upcoming election? Yeah, sure. We believe you Lieberals. Now, the Yukon Party is going to have to try to pay off this massive debt when they are elected, because if the Lieberals or NDP is elected, it will just balloon to the size of the Goodyear blimp. Remember, youngsters, it's your hard labour, sweat and taxes that will have to pay off this debt and deficit. Keep voting for those socialist parties and enjoy your future.

Up 24 Down 7

Matthew on Feb 25, 2021 at 4:03 pm

I guess no one understands basic economics in government.. the more you print the less it's worth.. soon we will be spending $10 for a loaf of bread.. but hey, the IMF already said they want governments to spend as much as they can, when you've spent as much as you did, spend some more.. not my words.. theirs.. scary isn't it.. do YOU know the hidden agenda? I sure do, and its YOU owning nothing and being happy, again their words not mine..


Up 18 Down 4

Groucho d'North on Feb 25, 2021 at 3:59 pm

"...“We cannot predict what changes will come, but we will find ways to make life better. This is not forever.”
Drop the writ and see what changes will come- One and done like many have been saying for the past four years

Up 27 Down 10

Pokemeinthearm on Feb 25, 2021 at 3:48 pm

Funny how they feel the need to parade Ranj in front of the cameras for a pandemic update only to remind us all of all the good (read: expensive) things they're doing with the 1.4B ongoing welfare check we get from Ottawa.

Some of these initiatives are good and will hopefully help keep tourism operations afloat while we wait for things to open back up, but using a COVID update as a platform to announce or remind us of them is insulting.

I'll remember it on election day, and I know I'm not the only one.

Up 30 Down 5

liquor discount? on Feb 25, 2021 at 3:31 pm

That's valuable!


Up 44 Down 14

Kneel Liberal... and Repent for thine sins! on Feb 25, 2021 at 2:24 pm

Deputy Dog runs straight into the financial bog! Will there be an audit to see if the money is what got it?? Election time, party time, let it rain, let it rain, down on me, all that taxpayer money... Here today, hopefully gone tomorrow! Pulling back the reins on the Liberal reign of making it rain taxpayer money...

Liberals... The bizzaro world version of Robinhood wealth redistribution!

Up 22 Down 16

Wilf Carter on Feb 25, 2021 at 2:00 pm

Minister uses major health to launch the Yukon liberal Party election campaign.
By announcing all great wonderful goods to help Yukoners business during a briefing on CV19 is just discussing political actions.

100% no taxes by Federal and Yukon governments for the next two years for small businesses over certain sales volume would be a big help and support cash flow but our MP and minister don't understand how small business needs to make it through this situation with CV19

Deferred loan program does not help small business because that just adds more debt and interest onto their business which will take them years to pay off. Easier to close and open again down the road or close altogether. These are not my words but words of small business in Yukon.

Let small business keep GST that is charged on their goods sold. Again that helps cash flow.
Why doesn't the Yukon Liberal party talk to small business and ask them what they need instead of telling them what they're going to get from Yukon Liberals' government. Consultation is the key to success of any government to help their business.

Liberals did a study on Yukoners drinking to much and stated we have to do something about it back several years ago. It was driving up the cost of our health care and hurting families. Yukon liberal solution was put hidden tax on booze by increasing the price of booze by 32% or more. Now they want to give bars a discount on selling booze. Is the minister trying buy votes from Yukoners who drink booze? Minister what about your liberal government concern about Yukoners health and drinking to much??

Where is the money coming from to pay for this program? What is your government cutting. ie, education, municipal funding for capital projects, health care, Highway capital budget, social services, support for kids going to post secondary education, etc. Tell us minister.

Or is your government going deep into debt for these programs like our federal liberal government?
Yukoners please tell us what might be a solution to help these problems that affects us all? Thanks.

Up 42 Down 7

Sheepchaser on Feb 25, 2021 at 1:28 pm

Discount on liquor. Yup. Let’s incentivize the gatherings we’ve banned and enable more compromised immune systems. Put all our chips in the vaccine basket. Brilliant, Ranj. Positively brilliant!

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