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Yukon government budget promotes economy, manages prosperity

by NationTalk on March 16, 2012240 Views

For Release #12-044
March 15, 2012

Whitehorse—The Government of Yukon’s 2012-13 Capital and Operations and Maintenance budget, totaling $1.156 billion, was tabled in the legislative assembly today by Premier and Finance Minister Darrell Pasloski.

“Yukon has one of the healthiest financial positions and most prosperous economies of all jurisdictions in Canada today,” Pasloski said. “Nine previous budgets tabled by Yukon governments have put Yukon on the pathway to prosperity. This budget will help to manage that continuing prosperity.”There are a number of funding pressures on the horizon which the Yukon government must take into account in its long term planning. The 2012-13 budget has a healthy $80 million surplus, which puts the government in a strong position to respond to these emerging priorities and demonstrates a fiscally-responsible, forward-looking financial plan.

“Our focus is to use our budgetary planning to help stimulate Yukon’s private sector economy,” added Pasloski. “Like its predecessors, the 2012-13 budget includes a multi-year capital plan that will allow private sector contractors to plan with certainty. This approach has resulted in a private sector economy that is approaching parity with government in contributing to the territorial economy. This kind of growth will build a stronger, healthier, more prosperous Yukon in the years to come.”

The 2012-13 budget includes investments in land development and affordable housing, transportation infrastructure, education and research, health care, justice, protection of the environment and improvements to community infrastructure.

Visit online for detailed budget documents.

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See attached backgrounder for budget highlights.

Contact:

Elaine Schiman
Cabinet Communications
867-633-7961
elaine.schiman@gov.yk.ca


Budget Highlights for 2012-13

Good Governance

• $1.156 billion budget, the fourth budget exceeding the $1 billion threshold.
• The $80.009 million surplus will help enable the Yukon government to address future funding pressures.
• Inclusion of a Multi-Year Capital Plan that allows Yukon’s private sector contractors to plan ahead in key sectors of our economy.
• Utilizing technology to make government services available on-line or to improve existing services.

Economy

• Between 2006 and 2011, Yukon experienced an 11.7 per cent population growth rate, the highest in Canada.
• Exploration expenditures for 2011 are estimated to be over $300 million, almost twice the previous record of $157 million set in 2010 and together with placer mining create over 2,500 direct jobs.
• With three operating mines, the current mineral production value is estimated to be approximately $420 million, with more than 600 workers employed.
Tourism, another key economic driver, is holding its own despite the economic problems in the United States and Europe with annual tourism visitation estimated to be around 320,000.
• Major investments will be made in Yukon’s transportation infrastructure including:
· $15 million under the Shakwak project for the Haines Road and north Alaska Highway and a further $1 million from the Yukon government for the north Alaska Highway;
· $7.25 million for reconstruction of the Campbell Highway from km 10 to 190 and a further $1.5 million for surfacing;
· $2.6 million for reconstruction, bituminous surface treatments and re-vegetation work on the Atlin Road;
· $2 million for the Takhini Hotsprings road reconstruction;
· $7.406 million over two years to extend water and sewer services to the south commercial area at the Erik Nielsen Whitehorse International Airport;
· $6 million for major rehabilitation including substructure improvements and deck repairs for the Upper Liard Bridge.
• $5 million over five years for the Yukon Research Centre and the Yukon Cold Climate Innovation Centre.
• $34.984 million for land development in 2012-13 to address land availability and housing.

Environment

• $12.3 million is being allocated under the Building Canada Plan as part of a multi-year program to improve water and wastewater systems throughout Yukon in Faro, Haines Junction, Mayo and Watson Lake.
• A further $15 million is being provided under the Building Canada Plan for the construction of new wells, pump houses and treatment plants in Burwash, Carcross, Deep Creek, Dawson, Mendenhall, Haines Junction, Old Crow, Ross River, Tagish and Teslin to improve the quality of potable water in communities.
• $766,000 increase in the operations and maintenance budget for solid waste management together with almost $3.4 million in additional capital dollars, including projects identified under the Gas Tax Fund and Building Canada Fund.

Better Quality of Life

• $75,000 for an annual Business Training Fund to help Yukon businesses access training opportunities to further contribute to Yukon’s economic growth.
• $1.86 million to extend the Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program to 2016.
• Proposed development of a major, certified land-based treatment program in Yukon at Jackson Lake in collaboration with the Kwanlin Dün First Nation and the other 13 Yukon First Nations with a contribution of $1 million coming from the Government of Yukon over the course of its mandate.
• $4.5 million for a second stage housing facility in Whitehorse in conjunction with Kaushee’s Place.
• $4.048 million to deal with the increase in costs and volumes of hospital claims.
• $65,000 to support the Challenge program for people with mental disabilities to learn life and job skills at Bridges Café in Shipyards Park.
• $797,000 to provide six additional staff at the Whitehorse General Hospital.
• $457,000 to add six FTE’s to meet the significant growth in the Home Care client numbers and the complexity of care needs.
• $7.3 million for a new Emergency Response Centre that will serve as the city’s primary ambulance station in addition to the Riverdale Station.
• $3 million under the Canada Strategic Infrastructure Fund to complete the last phase of the Whitehorse Waterfront Development project.
• $7 million to construct a new recreation centre in Ross River.

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