Yukon Party touts record, promises jobs in 'True North' platform
Leader Darrell Pasloski presents plan in Whitehorse, re-states opposition to carbon tax
Yukon Party leader Darrell Pasloski was pressed by reporters over the carbon tax and his spending plans, as he presented his party's election platform in Whitehorse on Thursday.
Pasloski said the "True North" plan stands up for Yukoners, and will keep life affordable and create jobs in the territory. It also re-iterates Pasloski's promises of no tax increases, no net debt and fight the introduction of a carbon tax.
On the jobs front, Pasloski says if re-elected, he'll ask the federal government to give Yukon control over the $5 million spent annually by the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor), improve internet service, and support trades training and resource development.
Pasloski said the Yukon Party will also continue efforts to "streamline" the permitting process for resource applications. Some of those efforts were stymied or held up by court challenges during Pasloski's first term as premier.
He said the Yukon Party is committed to reviving the territory's struggling mining industry.
"We're looking at continued strong growth in all sectors of the economy except for the mining sector, because of the potential closure of one mine," he said, referring to the Minto copper mine.
Pasloski said the territory's economy illustrates how important mining is in Yukon.
"We are the only party that's committed to stand behind the resource sector. Now more than ever, we must do that," he said.
Jobs, health care, education
The platform was released at Quantum Machine Works, a Whitehorse high-tech company that sells machined products around world, to the mining sector and other industries.
Company manager Lee Johnson agreed to host the announcement because he believes the Yukon Party is likely to be best at balancing the environment with resource development.
"I have two boys. I want them to be able to live here and work here in the Yukon, and that is important to us," Johnson said.
"We've had a number of times we've been approached by outside companies, overseas companies, about manufacturing our product ... we want to keep those good jobs here, and that's extremely important to us," he said.
The Yukon Party platform also contains pledges to improve health care and education, some of those plans announced earlier on the campaign trail.
Other promises include:
- $100 million to for renewable energy projects and retrofitting Yukon buildings
- a mineral exploration tax credit
- a Missing Persons Act, "to allow police to better respond to missing persons cases"
- increased funding for women's shelters
- pave the Dawson City airport runway
Pasloski peppered his comments at Thursday's event with references to his opposition to the carbon tax, something that's become a campaign theme for the party.
Pasloski was asked if he saw a contradiction in opposing such a tax while continuing to accept millions of dollars in gas taxes collected by the federal government and given to the Yukon.
He countered by saying he has not raised or created any new taxes.
Asked if he has the money to pay for the long list of promises in the platform, Pasloski replied that he expects the federal government will pay for part of the infrastucture improvements.