The spring sitting of the Yukon Legislative Assembly ended today. The 30-day sitting featured the release of the 2019–20 Budget which included a five-year capital plan and prioritized funding for housing, health and social services, education, and community infrastructure.
In addition to the 2019–20 Budget, several pieces of legislation were passed during the spring sitting, including:
- the new Yukon Government Carbon Price Rebate Implementation Act which provides the framework for returning all federal carbon pricing revenues to Yukoners, businesses, First Nations governments and municipal governments;
- amendments to the Employment Standards Act providing Yukon employees with new and amended parental leave and leave provisions for family caregiving purposes; and
- amendments to the Education Labour Relations Act which will enable substitute personnel to become members of the Yukon Teachers’ Association.
The 2019–20 Budget includes funding for a multi-unit mixed income affordable housing project in Whitehorse, which will be the first of its kind in Yukon. The development will provide safe and affordable homes for families and individuals, including vulnerable populations. The Yukon government has also partnered with the City of Whitehorse to release residential parcels and individual lots for private development to help address the need for housing in the city. During the spring sitting the Government of Yukon signed a 10-year housing agreement with the Government of Canada that will see nearly $60 million to protect, renew and expand social and community housing and support Yukon’s priorities related to housing repair, construction, and affordability.
The Comprehensive Review of Yukon’s health and social services systems continues to advance. The scope of review was released this month and was developed in collaboration with the five-member Independent Expert Panel. The panel will provide recommendations that will improve outcomes for all Yukoners in a final report to be delivered in March 2020.
Over $30 million in investments will help modernize Yukon schools. This includes planning for a new elementary school in the Whistle Bend neighbourhood, which will provide additional capacity and flexibility in Whitehorse where student enrollment continues to grow. The Department of Education hired an Assistant Deputy Minister of First Nations Initiatives. This newly created senior level position responds to the Truth and Reconciliation of Canada’s Call to Action #62 and will help advance educational partnerships with Yukon First Nations.
The Yukon government continued to strengthen government-to-government relationships and advance shared priorities with Yukon First Nations partners through the Yukon Forum and Intergovernmental Forum.
Additionally, the Yukon government began forming an independent commission on electoral reform to strengthen our democracy. The government is also engaging the public about how to develop Yukon-specific wellness indicators to improve Yukoners quality of life in partnership with the Canadian Index of Wellbeing.