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Yukon Party Leader Currie Dixon

Yukon Party questions sitting length, rent cap plans

The Yukon Party isn’t quite sure what to make of the Liberal government’s Throne Speech,

By Tim Giilck on May 12, 2021

The Yukon Party isn’t quite sure what to make of the Liberal government’s Throne Speech, but it knows it doesn’t like some things about the plans.

Leader Currie Dixon made that clear while being questioned by the media Tuesday afternoon.

“We do want to read it (carefully) and understand the full contents of it,” Dixon said. “There are some things in there that we can support for sure.”

He revealed that during discussions among the three house leaders Tuesday morning, the Liberals and NDP have allegedly agreed to keep this sitting of the assembly to 11 days.

That span is supposed to be enough time to debate both the Throne Speech and pass a revised territorial budget.

Dixon acknowledged there have been shorter sessions on record following an election.

“But that didn’t happen for $1.8-billion budgets, a Throne Speech and relevant legislation,” he said. “We think that’s incredibly inadequate.

“We think democracy requires debate and transparency, and there’s no reason for the Liberals to deny that.”

The official Opposition asked for a full 30-day sitting to allow for proper oversight and scrutiny of the largest budget in the territory’s history.

“This 11-day sitting shows the Liberal-NDP coalition are hiding from proper legislative scrutiny of a territorial budget,” said Dixon.

The standing orders for the legislative assembly call for a minimum of 20 days for a sitting, but acknowledged this was a “unique situation.

“This is unbelievably short,” Dixon said.

“The Throne Speech usually takes two or three days of debate. We don’t think 10 days is enough to be properly briefed on the budget.”

Legislative scrutiny, Dixon added, is a core part of our form of democracy.

He was also frustrated the speech didn’t contain a reference to the controversial rent caps outlined in the April 28 agreement between the Liberals and NDP.

Dixon called the plan the most controversial issue in the territory right now.

“This was an opportunity for the government to set out some clarity on this policy,” he said.

“This is a huge issue causing an incredible amount of tumult in the territory and the housing industry and rental market.”

He said this was a lost opportunity for the government to explain how the cap will work and the Liberals missed it. He called it bad policy with no details that should at least be slowed down.

“It’s not good policy and it’s not good implementation. Democracy depends on public transparency, and proper scrutiny by the legislative assembly. There is no good reason for government to hide from this oversight,” said Dixon.

“Yukoners are getting a strong indication of how unaccountable a Liberal-NDP coalition will be, as the two parties have agreed behind closed doors to a very short 11-day sitting of the legislative assembly. This effectively shuts down proper public accountability and scrutiny for the largest budget in the territory’s history.”

But Yukon Party MLAs “still have our job to do, and we will be the official Opposition,” he said.

“We have to go and provide scrutiny and legislative oversight. That’s what we’re prepared to do.”

Comments (16)

Up 11 Down 17

Erin on May 15, 2021 at 11:36 am

Against rent caps? Must be a landlord. Rent is insane all over the territory, being driven up by Whitehorse rent prices and government subsidies. Between the gov refusing to put quality paying jobs into communities, a minimum wage that is $10 lower than the cost of living and, rent that is quickly creating an insane reliance on subsidies, the Yukon is quickly becoming a place that only YP voters can afford to live in.
The Yukon party is who put us in this position with way too many years only catering to those wealthy enough to own multiple properties. Perhaps if Currie hadn’t gone from his parents home to an elected position, he might have a clue what blue collar people in THE Yukon are up against. But considering his only job has paid 75k a year, I’m not shocked he’s completely out of touch with reality.

Up 13 Down 6

Jim on May 15, 2021 at 9:59 am

I cannot believe the gullibility of some of the Liberal/NDP commenters on this issue. Do you honestly believe that this will help with new rentals to market? Who in their right mind would want to enter into a market that on one hand tells you you can only recoup 1% of your increases because they believe their own BS that inflation is only 1%. All the while with their other hand they take 1/2 the profit of rental income.
I feel sorry for renters as they will be caught in the middle of Kate White’s pipe dream and property owners. I would much rather hear about this during the legislative sitting than just hearing the government announce it on CBC. Similar to the procurement policy that they jammed through without consultation.
Kate and Sandy should keep in mind that Yukoners did not give either party a majority, and you don’t just add your votes together and think you do. Think about it for a minute, Liberals campaigned against the NDP in regards to a rent cap. But now it’s a good thing. I believe there is another very old profession that tells the clients what they want to hear to keep working.

Up 18 Down 4

Groucho d'North on May 14, 2021 at 12:24 pm

@Patti Eyre
You speak of enlightenment. To what? The new progressive woke movement where 2+2 = 5?

Up 11 Down 20

Patti Eyre on May 14, 2021 at 11:25 am

Yukoners don't listen to Wilf Carter he is on the exec for the conservative party and everything he says slanted so badly it can't be called accurate it is not even in the same ballpark as what can be called accurate. The bible teaches tolerance, so let us not cast him out but offer him an olive branch and try and show him the way to enlightenment!

Up 18 Down 7

Thump, thump, crash-bang... on May 13, 2021 at 8:02 pm

Dear Whomp-Whomp: The role of the opposition is to question the government. What is wrong with people who think like you? That’s a rhetorical question by the way... I know what is wrong with people who think Iike you!

Up 21 Down 26

Womp womp on May 13, 2021 at 4:09 pm

What ever the Libs say we say the opposite. Page 1 of the YP users manual.

Up 26 Down 12

Groucho d'North on May 13, 2021 at 3:00 pm

Not much will be accomplished in only 11 sitting days. The COVID excuse is getting old, especially after all the protective measures were put into place before the Legislature was shut down. Have all the elected folks been vaccinanted like they have been promoting to the public? I suspect the government is trying to avoid the scrutiny from the official opposition, the media and we in the electorate. A new Liberal administration and still no accountability. Seems they didn't learn much from the recent election process.

Up 26 Down 15

Bingo on May 13, 2021 at 2:02 pm

@hurr during or whatever....nobody elected the NDP see that’s the issue, so good on Currie for taking the jellyfish liberals to task.

Up 12 Down 20

Wilf Carter on May 13, 2021 at 12:48 pm

Rent caps don't work and kills Yukon economy.
Increase in carbon tax kills Yukon future for our kids and great kids.
Traveling in Yukon is against liberals carbon reduction plan.
Nothing in the budget for economic development or job training for Yukoners.
Yukoners there is nothing in this speech that gets anyone interested. Even reading it because liberals hide what they are really going to do like take us $500 million in debt.

Up 30 Down 47

Sheepchaser on May 13, 2021 at 11:55 am

Dixon, no one is listening. You hit the mute button on yourself when you protected your buddies. Official opposition? More like official reactionary.

Got any good ideas of your own?

Up 51 Down 19

Al on May 13, 2021 at 7:50 am

I have to agree with Currie on this one. This is a major piece of legislation that does require scrutiny. Budgets should never be rubber stamped for expedient purposes. Silver should have thought about that when he dropped the writ. If the budget is that important it should not have been stalled. This is the making entirely on the Liberals. All of this is reminiscent of how the Liberals govern in Ottawa - remember last summer? They prorogued the house for 5 weeks then when reconvening tried to force through legislation that was urgently needed that they themselves had stalled.

Do your job Silver - for once - do your job. Your holiday time is not that important.

Up 36 Down 20

JSM on May 13, 2021 at 7:39 am

As they should, these socialist policies are just going to lead to reliance and rent hikes that will hurt everyone. I have already had to increase rent to tenants by about $400 each to account for it. This is hurting everyone, including me! Lieberal and NDP coalition is going to sink us so far into debt it's not even funny.

Up 13 Down 34

Patti Eyre on May 13, 2021 at 6:34 am

Will there be a paper report on anything that was in the speech, or just what Dixon thinks about it? I’ve heard that the rent cap is being rethought, just like a good leader would do when face with such opposition, and it’s going to be rolled out carefully if at all, so to Joe and Jacklyn, please act more responsibly, you don’t have to scream murder when someone butters some toast for goodness sake!

Up 11 Down 35

Hur durr on May 13, 2021 at 6:09 am

Against rent cap?
Talk about out of touch with reality and the people's whom elected them.
Looks like conservatives didn't have any landlords donate to them. They usually bend right over for donors and companies. Think of a reverse robin hood and you have conservative ideology.

Up 41 Down 15

TMYK on May 12, 2021 at 7:35 pm

Well we’ve seen this refusal for public oversight from the Federal Liberals and now we see it from our local Liberals. They continue to be the least transparent government in Yukon history.

Up 22 Down 37

Politico on May 12, 2021 at 3:21 pm

Yawn! Total rhetoric accomplishing nothing. I think he just likes to hear himself talk and is upset he won't get enough air time with the short session.

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