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Premier Sandy Silver

Throne Speech combines Liberals’, NDP’s goals

Tuesday’s Speech from the Throne provided a case of déjà-vu.

By Tim Giilck on May 12, 2021

Tuesday’s Speech from the Throne provided a case of déjà-vu.

If anyone listening to the nearly-hour-long speech outlining the direction of the minority Liberal government thought it sounded like something they’ve heard before ... it’s because they have.

The speech regurgitated a considerable amount of the Yukon Liberals’ election campaign, with a large dollop of the NDP’s platform.

As well, there was more than a smidgeon of the written accord between the two parties that will keep the Liberals in power for two years if it goes well.

To many, that’s not necessarily a bad thing, since Yukoners can enjoy some comfortable familiarity with no surprises.

The speech touched on virtually all of the major focuses of the two co-operating parties in this government.

Climate change, health care – both pandemic and opioid-related – mining, and economic development were the watchwords. All the old favourites made an appearance – save one.

Curiously, the speech didn’t mention rent caps set to initially take effect Saturday – an issue that is starting to heat up in the spring sunshine and warming temperatures.

“We can’t fit everything in,” a deadpan Premier Sandy Silver told reporters in a scrum after the speech was read.

The speech promised to:

• continue to provide COVID-19 support programs for as long as they are needed;

• increased resources to address opioids abuse;

• introduce the Great Yukon Summer Campaign to encourage in-territory travel;

• bring in the new universal early childhood education program;

• offer expanding housing options across the continuum;

• introduce a new immigration strategy to support the Yukon’s workforce;

• develop an Innovation Commission to attract new technology start-ups and grow the Yukon’s digital ecosystem;

• make a bid to host the 60th anniversary of the Canada Winter Games in 2027;

• start the construction of a new elementary school in Whistle Bend;

• create a Yukon First Nations school board;

• release the Yukon’s LGBTQ2S+ Action Plan;

• create McIntyre Creek Park;

• complete the Dawson Land Use Planning;

• continue the implementation of the Our Clean Future and the Putting People First reports; and

• constructing a new secure medical unit at the Whitehorse General Hospital.

“Today’s Speech from the Throne establishes a path forward for our second term in government,”Silver said.

“Building on the strong foundation established during our previous mandate, it outlines our plans to make the Yukon a better place to live. We look forward to working together with all members of the legislative assembly to continue serving Yukoners.

“It does give Yukoners an idea of what to expect over the next couple of years,” Silver added in the scrum. “Our priority in this sitting is to get the year’s budget passed.

“We will be tabling a budget that will be very similar to the one we introduced in March. It’s a strong budget, with a lot of new items, including our new universal childcare program.”

Silver said the over-riding message from the budget was that Yukoners wanted their political representatives to work together, and “to represent the kind of leadership they expect.”

He said the revised items in the budget wouldn’t be available for detailed discussion until the budget is presented. He did not provide a timeline for that.

Silver said he didn’t think Liberal supporters would have much of a problem with the revised budget and priorities that are an outgrowth of the agreement with the NDP reached April 28.

“What we platformed on will be in the mandate letter we will send out, and in the agreement as well,” the premier said.

“We’ve always said the moderate Liberal government has voices from both left and right. That’s how we try to do our platforming.

“It’s very grassroots, lot of ideas coming from all walks of life. Good ideas come from both directions, both left and right.”

Silver was also asked about the timeline for the ambitious plans in the Throne Speech and in the accord with the NDP.

He said NDP Leader Kate White would have to answer that, but added the agreement “wasn’t set up to fail.”

Debate on the speech began this afternoon.

See related stories.

Comments (28)

Up 6 Down 9

Lawl on May 17, 2021 at 11:31 am

You're out of your depth old bean. For starters 'YTG' hasn't existed for more than a decade. It's the Government of Yukon or 'YG' for short.

Queens Printer and Central Stores aren't 'departments'
QP was an Agency and Central stores was a branch of the department of Highways and Public Works If you're gonna try to come off as some expert on the Civil Service maybe get your comprehension level up to Civics 101.

You're post sound like a lot of sour grapes.....like you've spent decades looking at the seemingly greener grass on the other side of the fence.

Up 8 Down 3

Lawl on May 17, 2021 at 11:02 am

@ Wilf Carter

Yukoners first? Okay, how 'bout you head back to Antigonish.

Up 4 Down 3

Crunch on May 16, 2021 at 8:34 pm

You folks from PC need to pay close attention to one of these promises. This is the McIntyre Creek Park. There is a liberal deal here between YG and the COW as they want to target this area for housing development. The park is the carrot and all the rabbits will be hiding in the hole. Once they push the park through the land, bonanza will be on and all the trails a mere memory. Put your foot down and hard.

Up 6 Down 4

Groucho d'North on May 16, 2021 at 10:14 am

My original post was to condem this Liberal administration for not considering the impact to Yukon's housing dilema by importing new employees from outside the Yukon who all need a place to live. Cause and effect. But the Liberal defenders took offence to my mention of Ontario's jobless Liberal supporters seeking new government employment. Through this debate, defensive revisionist memories get posted in an attempt to take some of the sting out of the issues identified. Check your sources for your comment about the Yukon Party's hiring history. I recall they were accused of being too frugal in YG's staffing capacity. YEGU also raised the issue at the time if I recall.

Up 9 Down 5

Jim on May 15, 2021 at 5:14 pm

@yukoner32, yes the Liberals closed down 2 departments. But don’t be celebrating shrinking of government. All those workers were absorbed into other departments (even if not needed). So net loss 0. YTG also added jobs over the pandemic while most departments were shuttered and workers were “working” from home. Even now with the majority vaccinated most departments are still a skeleton crew. Maybe you have an idea when these people will return to work and what all these new employees are actually doing. The way I see it is we have far less services and quite a few more workers. Or you could check the campgrounds and see how many are working from home there. This is not a political party issue, it’s a government issue which knows no party line. To think otherwise just shows which you belong to.

Up 6 Down 17

Yukoner32 on May 14, 2021 at 11:09 pm


If you are worried about more government workers, you should be happy the Yukon Party is not in power right now. Yes, the Liberals added more of them as normal growth, but under the previous 15 years of Yukon Party government (of which Currie, Stacy, Wade, Patti and Scott were members) the size of government exploded. Even after devolution, the Yukon Party continued hiring at a frightening pace. In fact, even when the Liberals closed down 2 branches a few years ago, Queen's Printer and Central Stores, thereby reducing a number of govy positions, the YP actually opposed it and sided with the union in trying to keep them!! So make of that what you will.

Up 16 Down 5

Mouse Trap on May 14, 2021 at 8:23 pm

Dear Mouse - You are incorrect. The research on cognitive biases has demonstrated the inferiority of HR Consultants and HR Practices during the hiring process. Quite simply, HR Consultants are guilty of trying to out think the superiority of a simple algorithm.

HR Consultants are also guided by senior management dictates. HR Consultants are unqualified, and typically under-educated individuals who are hiring for professions they have little or no knowledge about. They have certificates, and workshops on HR processes. This makes them professionally illiterate.

It is also a well known social fact that the current Liberal Governments are going to great lengths to displace local populations with persons who are Liberal friendly - This demographic shifting is a no win for the Yukon and Yukoners.
Consequently Yukoners are being displaced by ideology rather than best fit for the job. It is unfortunate because there are a lot impractical realities that outsiders bring to the Yukon and in serving Yukoner’s needs.

I have watched the terrorism of the resulting mismanagement of government, the people, and the taxpayer’s monies. There is such a huge unspoken to instability within YG and this us and them divide and conquer strategy is largely responsible for this current shyt-show!

So settle down with your transparent hiring practices - It is not true and cannot be proven to be true. However, those of us who know from the inside - It is true that transparent hiring practices are not the same as fair and equitable and it does not mean it squares with honesty and integrity.

Up 15 Down 5

Jim on May 14, 2021 at 6:25 pm

@EJ, maybe the reason Wilf Carter is getting more thumbs up nowadays is the crazy socialists crap this coalition is putting forth and the damage that it will do to the Yukon. These are the same clowns proposing a rent cap at the 1% inflation rate. If you think inflation in the Yukon is only 1% you cannot be using fuel, electricity, paying property taxes or eating. A procurement policy giving a 20% advantage to First Nation businesses only while saying it's good for all businesses. Hiring a bunch more YTG workers, while most departments are shuttered. Unfortunately Wilf has lots of ammo to work with. These clowns will do whatever they have to to keep their jobs. Doesn’t matter one bit what Yukoners want or need.

Up 19 Down 6

Groucho d'North on May 14, 2021 at 4:54 pm

@ Mouse
You must be new here. There is a long history of hiring jiggery-pokery in YG's staff recruitment practices. Just ask some of the employees. Perhaps to make things clearer for you it is not about the province people are hired from, it's just a coincidence that many of the employees of the former Wynn government have found an expensive and rare home here in the Yukon to live in. Small towns are difficult places to keep secrets. Don't you think hiring staff of a similar political ideology as the party presently in power would make for a more congenial and happy workplace? Surely that was the desired outcome eh?

Up 7 Down 20

Mouse on May 14, 2021 at 1:54 pm

@Groucho d'North

YG hires the best person for the job through a transparent hiring process. I mean if you got through grade 6 math it shouldn't really come as a surprise that the most populous province has had the best success landing jobs here.

Being from Ontario (I'm not) isn't the horrible thing you make it out to be in threatening your manhood. You're not 'from' here, no one is. We're all migrants if you go back far enough. Sounds like your biases are showing.

Up 22 Down 7

Praying for a Liberal Exodus... on May 14, 2021 at 11:26 am

New Rule - For every 50 new persons who have been hired by YG from outside the Territory one Liberal MLA must be required to leave the Territory - You can start alphabetically if you like - Go!

Up 22 Down 3

Oya on May 14, 2021 at 10:55 am

"Introduce a new immigration strategy to support the Yukon’s workforce".

Please be sure when developing a new immigration strategy to consider where these immigrants will live. There is a SERIOUS lack of housing here - especially rental housing. Just in case you haven't noticed....

Up 21 Down 7

Groucho d'North on May 14, 2021 at 10:32 am

I have heard different numbers about how many new YG workers were imported from Ontario, I have heard 1200-ish, but I doubt anybody in government has the courage to state the true number.
Where did they expect these new staffers to live and what impact it would have on our already strained housing market? Does anybody in this administration ever look at the bigger picture and evaluate the consequences before they march ahead with their plans? Across the nation Liberal government is the primary reason for surging inflation. But they don't care as they have well-paying jobs despite the fiscal hardships they impose in the name of keeping Canadians healthy.

Up 6 Down 3

JSM on May 14, 2021 at 9:34 am

@TheHammer once again your reply is nonsensical. The nice thing is that the Throne Speech works on multiple levels, no one except weird people should care for it, and the person delivering it has a lot in common in name sake.

Up 13 Down 15

EJ on May 13, 2021 at 8:37 pm

The fact that Wilf Carter regularly gets more 'thumbs up' than 'thumbs down' on all of his crazy comments is a real testimony to the education level of readers on these pages.

Protip: If you find yourself regularly agreeing with Wilf Carter, it might be time to rethink your sanity and values.

Up 2 Down 6

TheHammer on May 13, 2021 at 5:55 pm

"We'll raise our flag our banner high. Beneath that flag we'll live and die, Though cowards cringe and traitors sneer we'll keep the Red Flag flying high." The red of Yukon is like the Red Rose of Lancashire, take the M! highway and keep turning left. It's the cradle of socialism forged in the factories by the working class.

Up 14 Down 6

bonanzajoe on May 13, 2021 at 5:24 pm

And now, high paid government workers will get free childcare. Which means more money for them to buy the high priced real estate while the less paid have to live in high priced apartments for the rest of their lives. No different than all communist style governments where the leaders and government workers get all the special benefits and the lower classes have low paid jobs and fork out most of the taxes.

Up 14 Down 8

bonanzajoe on May 13, 2021 at 5:17 pm

Oh well, communism is communism. They just go by other names for deception sake.

Up 16 Down 6

bonanzajoe on May 13, 2021 at 5:16 pm

A Yukon LBGTQ25 action plan? What the heck is that? Is there going to be a heterosexual action plan also? If not, why? As a heterosexual, I demand to know!

Up 8 Down 8

TheHammer on May 13, 2021 at 4:35 pm

JSM@ 'Thorn speech !' Crucified again JSM? Is anyone out there bawling their eyes out?

Up 14 Down 16

Womp womp on May 13, 2021 at 4:15 pm

Al and Wilf.

Soooo much drama from you guys. Maybe take a couple years off from the incessant online bitching and do something positive for your community and show back up in 2025 to lose another election.

Up 18 Down 6

landlord on May 13, 2021 at 2:11 pm

The rent cap idea got everyone's attention and got the conversation started. As a landlord, I can tell you that I sent in a response to a survey from the YRLA (landlord's association), which included my reality as a landlord, my ideas on how to get more housing for people, what actions I have taken or initiated as a result of the rent cap, and so on.

It's okay to throw a volley out there and get the ball in play. I think the rent cap is the wrong way to achieve the goal, but the goal of an affordable place to live for all Yukoners, primarily provided by the private sector because it's going to be a lot cheaper for all of us that way, is a good goal. Nobody wants to be a have in a have not world up here. Doesn't make you feel very good.

Up 17 Down 10

The eye of the Hurricane has fixed its gaze upon the Yukon... on May 13, 2021 at 1:15 pm

I agree with Al - Throw off the yoke of government largesse before it is too late!
Asleep in perfect blue buildings... Beside the green apple sea... Gonna get me a little oblivion... Try to keep myself away from me...

Why anyone would invite this shite upon themselves is a frightening venture into the psychopathology of the impaired mind... Yet here we are, in the frenzied chaos of a Liberal dystopia propped up by a party that is so fringe they barely cling to party status.

Welcome to the jungle...

Up 24 Down 4

Al on May 13, 2021 at 11:37 am

@ sweet

Wishful thinking I am afraid. If you recall they delayed implementation until December. This is so they can do what they didn't do in the first place - consult with all stakeholders ! That is why Mostyn was demoted in the cabinet shuffle.

Up 29 Down 12

Wilf Carter on May 13, 2021 at 10:26 am

I am confused Yukoners are you???
What housing options? None in last 5 years.
Immigration of workers but no training and employing Yukoners first.
Nothing to fix the mess in health care.
Does this shows how Yukoners come first???
Foundation and leadership are great words but show us when will Yukoners be better off?

Up 31 Down 14

Al on May 13, 2021 at 7:55 am

Well now that we have the speech from the Outhouse we clearly see some of the socialist agenda in stark reality.

The train is rushing forward at warp speed from which recovery afterwards will likely take a generation to repair, or worse irreparable. This is about creating dependency on government. It is akin to tying a rope around your neck and being led to market - as an institutional slave.

Up 22 Down 9

JSM on May 13, 2021 at 7:40 am

Throne Speech? More like Thorn speech... for obvious reasons.

Up 25 Down 2

sweet! the procurement policy is not at all an issue on May 12, 2021 at 8:22 pm

I can see its been dropped and must not be an important element. Right on!

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