Yukon political parties have entered the final week of campaigning for the 2021 territorial election.
The Yukon Liberal Party held a press conference this morning to say, if re-elected, they will work collaboratively with Yukon First Nations governments.
Whitehorse Centre candidate Dan Curtis was in attendance along with Mountainview candidate Jeanie Mclean and leader Sandy Silver.
Here is what Curtis had to say.
“I truly believe in my heart that a re-elected liberal government understands the depth and respect necessary of partnering, true partners, true partners with all levels of government and in particular the Yukon first Nations. They’ve done a tremendous amount of great work and great leadership and it’s been very evident in the last four and a half years and for that I’m very proud and excited.” Says Curtis.
Mclean spoke at the conference, saying that when the party formed government in 2016, resetting First Nations relationships was a priority. McLean cited her party signing a memorandum of understanding on heritage management and making National Indigenous Peoples Day a statutory holiday as ways the previous liberal government has strengthened relationships with First Nations.
Silver also stepped in to say that a re-elected government will implement the Yukon’s MMIWG2S+ strategy.
NDP leader Kate White celebrated her birthday by holding a press conference to say that if her party forms the next government, they will freeze rent and undo any increases that took place this year.
“I’ve heard from renters who’ve gotten 30 and 40 percent rent hikes just this year. It’s a huge additional cost burden for people at a time when they really need a break. I don’t think anyone wants to see their family or neighbours forced out of the territory because they can’t afford the price of housing. So, to give renters a break, I’m committing that our rent freeze will be retroactive to December 31, 2020. What that means is that if your rent has increased since, it will be reset to what you were paying on December 31, 2020 for every future payment you make this year.” Says White.
White went on to say that her party will build more affordable housing and put 250 more units on the market.
Later in the afternoon the party launched an online game called Yukon or Vancouver. Players are given photos and prices of apartments and houses. They then have to guess if the unit is in the Yukon or Vancouver. At the end of ten rounds, players are directed to read the NDP’s full platform. The goal of the game is to bring attention to rising housing costs in the territory. You can check it out at yukonorvancouver.ca.
At the beginning of campaigning, White said “the Yukon is starting to feel like Vancouver when it comes to housing.”
Yukon Party leader Currie Dixon alongside Porter Creek North candidate Geraldine Van Bibber held a press conference, saying that a Yukon Party government will reduce wait times for essential health procedures.
“In order to help reduce hospital wait times, a Yukon Party government will create and support the implementation of a wait time reduction strategy. This life saving strategy will collect and compile procedure data from Whitehorse General Hospital programs and services and laboratory services and medical imaging, it will rank and prioritize procedures with back log wait times. Our wait time reduction strategy will also identify the resources needed to address these back logs. It will consider what procedures should be delivered here in the territory and it will improve public awareness of wait times through a publicly available dashboard.” Says Dixon.
Dixon went on to say that his party will begin construction on a new secure medical until at Whitehorse General Hospital and improve surgical services. Dixon also mentioned that his party will ensure staff at hospitals have enough supports to prevent burn out.
The party also announced that they will explore the creation of territorial medical director and review rural dental services to ensure they are meeting the needs of communities.
The territorial election will take place this coming Monday April12.