Whitehorse Daily Star

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NDP MLA Annie Blake

Yukon NDP condemns Liberals’ decision to cancel meal program

The Yukon NDP is condemning the Liberal government’s decision to “quietly end” an essential public meal program that provided dinner service at the Family Hotel to Yukoners in need.

By Whitehorse Star on January 24, 2023

The Yukon NDP is condemning the Liberal government’s decision to “quietly end” an essential public meal program that provided dinner service at the Family Hotel to Yukoners in need.

“The government first tried to shut down this meal program in 2020,” the NDP said in a statement late last week.

“After public backlash, the government was forced to reverse their decision and keep the program open.

“The Liberal government is abruptly ending this program again, without notifying clients or service providers.”

Due to the timing of this program closing, the NDP added, “holiday food programs were able to temporarily fill the gap. This means clients and service providers didn’t learn it had been cancelled until now.”

“There are many Yukoners who relied on this particular food program – and now they are left with one less resource for food security,” said Annie Blake, the NDP MLA for Vuntut Gwitchin.

“The government’s decision to suddenly end this food program is reckless and harmful to our community.”

Just weeks after ending the program, the NDP noted, the government reported a $55-million surplus.

“While people continue to struggle to put food on the table due to skyrocketing costs, the Liberals are turning their backs on those in need,” MLA Blake added.

The NDP is calling on the government to support Yukoners through the ongoing affordability crisis and to immediately restart the meal program.

In a statement the Star requested, cabinet commuications staff said Friday the government created an evening meal program during the COVID-19 pandemic to promote social distancing.

“The Yukon government is now integrating COVID-19 services into existing programs, as outlined in Charting the Course: Living with and managing COVID-19,” the statement said.

Prior to Oct. 1, 2022 and the transfer of operations at the 405 Alexander St. shelter for the homeless to the Connections organization, the government had been offering breakfast and lunch drop-in options at that location.

Dinner was available to guests and in emergency situations.

“We continue to support and have ongoing discussions about the needs and programs at 405 Alexander with Connective,” the statement said.

“To help with the rising cost of living in the Yukon, the government has provided additional funds to people receiving social assistance, the senior income supplement, and pioneer utility grants.

“We understand the importance of long-term food security. As part of our response to Putting People First and Our Clean Future, we have committed $100,000 to support community food networks in the Yukon and are looking at ways to provide food aid throughout the territory.”

The government is also reviewing social assistance rates as part of Putting People First, the statement noted.

As well, in late 2022, the government also announced a firewood rebate program and ensured that federal inflation benefits are not counted as income when determining eligibility for assistance.

Comments (15)

Up 10 Down 6

Juniper Jackson on Jan 26, 2023 at 2:55 pm

BonanzaJoe: Some times you nail it so completely, I can't think of a single thing except to write in and support you.

Up 16 Down 2

Groucho d'North on Jan 26, 2023 at 8:37 am

I am detecting the scent of a negociation topic for the next version of the Confidence and Supply Agreement. Come on Kate. pull the plug and le'ts democratically determine who forms the next government of the Yukon. The one we presently have is well past its best before date - time to chuck it out, it's smelling worse as time goes on.

Up 16 Down 1

Atom on Jan 26, 2023 at 8:10 am

I was wondering when it was going to be all Ranj's fault! But that was Quick!
As folks have said, those that do, do, those that don't, need to figure out how to get without doing anything.....and that's every governments citizens.

See the shelf price of a litre of oil these days? 10 bucks at CT.....theres a lot of hurt to come.

Up 15 Down 2

Crunch on Jan 25, 2023 at 11:21 pm

If Kate rides this right to the end she will lose her seat.

Up 35 Down 4

Dave on Jan 25, 2023 at 3:17 pm

Call an election PLEASE.

Up 37 Down 4

Yukoner on Jan 25, 2023 at 2:48 pm

Sorry Annie but you continue to support the liberals so everything you say is mute and irrelevant.

Up 18 Down 3

Not sure about that on Jan 24, 2023 at 9:50 pm

If it’s cutting this sacred cow, I’m guessing there isn’t a surplus.

Up 29 Down 4

drum on Jan 24, 2023 at 6:47 pm

What does the Shelter do three times a day but supply meals to people who say they cannot afford meals.

Up 31 Down 2

Joe on Jan 24, 2023 at 3:51 pm

“NDP condemns liberal devision” blah, blah , you’ve list all credibility, you’ve lost your party identity and all your words are just empty noise. You support the liberals, you enjoy the throught, at least be honest .

Up 43 Down 3

bonanzajoe on Jan 24, 2023 at 3:49 pm

The NDP knew the Covid program was temporary. They have no right to question it now that the emergency is over. And if you don't like it, stop supporting the Liberal government and let's have an election.

Up 42 Down 9

bonanzajoe on Jan 24, 2023 at 3:47 pm

@ Annie Blake: Who are struggling to put food on their tables and why? Maybe doing a bit of work and earning a living might solve that problem. And what is the FN doing about feeding their poor? Please give us information instead of always complaining and pointing fingers. There are two kinds of persons: the needers and the wanters. The needers have to be helped, but the wanters have to be told to earn their living. And why should those who leave their communities for Whitehorse, be allowed everything free while they drink, drug, and loaf around - many getting into trouble with the law. Send them back to their communities with a message, the tax payers will not tolerate their behaviour in our city. And the Government and FN should provide or make jobs for them so they can look after themselves with dignity. So, Anne Blake, what kind of message are you sending your people?

Up 33 Down 1

Judas on Jan 24, 2023 at 3:36 pm

Ya your unhappy Annie but ya keep supporting them so quit yer whining and complaining.

Up 22 Down 4

Sad on Jan 24, 2023 at 2:37 pm

As long as Ranj got food on his own plate after a long day of pushing paper, that’s all that matters

Up 15 Down 7

Wilf Carter on Jan 24, 2023 at 2:14 pm

They have also cancelled foot care for people with diabetes and other skin issues which can be chronic.

Up 24 Down 7

Juniper Jackson on Jan 24, 2023 at 12:03 pm

When I think of Trudeau spending $12,000 a month on groceries, over #55,000 a year, i want to throw up...Food banks begging for food as they run out. How many at the food bank could use a few dollars? Didn't Marie Antoinette tell the poor, to just eat cake. Trudeau is plenty aware of what he is doing. That's why he went into hiding when the truckers put up a bouncy castle. Trudeau is also aware of how Canadians feel about these days. He will do what he was always done, the wrong thing.

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