The fall sitting of the Yukon Legislative Assembly concluded today. The first sitting of the Third Session of the 34th Yukon Legislative Assembly began on October 3, 2019, with a Speech from the Throne delivered detailing the priorities of the government for the remainder of its mandate.
The 30-day sitting saw several important initiatives announced, including the opening of the territory’s first ever Housing First residence in downtown Whitehorse; the certification of the Mayo aerodrome as an airport; the completion of the Nares River (Naataase Héen) Bridge replacement; and the release of a draft climate change, energy and green economy strategy for public feedback.
The Honourable Angélique Bernard, Commissioner of Yukon, assented to seven bills that passed during the fall sitting. Highlights include:
- Bill No. 200, the Second Appropriation Act 2019–20, a supplementary budget that includes $43.3 million in capital expenses to complete infrastructure projects and keep up with growing housing demands across the territory, and $19 million to address this year’s long wildfire season;
- Bill No. 2, the Yukon University Act, legislation that will enable Yukon College to transition to Yukon University and become Canada’s first university in the North;
- Bill No. 3, the Tobacco and Vaping Products Control and Regulation Act, which will replace the Smoke-Free Places Act, and includes provisions for vaping and raise the minimum legal age for access to tobacco and vapour products to 19 years old;
- Bill No. 5, the Liquor Act, a modernized law that balances social responsibility with economic opportunities; and
- Bill No. 6, the Act to Amend the Corrections Act, addressing segregation within Yukon’s corrections system.
This has been a very productive sitting. Exciting initiatives are underway, such as the creation of the first university north of 60 and a new ambitious plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions over the next 10 years in light of the climate change emergency we are facing in Yukon. My colleagues and I continue to focus on modernizing our laws to support a progressive and inclusive Yukon that promotes the wellbeing of all Yukoners.
Premier Sandy Silver
Additional laws assented to during the fall sitting include:
- Bill No. 4, the Act to Amend the Elections Act, enabling a more complete and accurate permanent register of electors;
- Bill No. 7, the Technical Amendments Act, amending the Crime Prevention and Victim Services Trust Act, the Jury Act and the Safer Communities and Neighborhoods Act.
The Speech from the Throne identified key priorities of the government, including:
- Reducing greenhouse gas emissions in recognition of the climate change emergency
- Creating a youth panel on climate change
- Expanding early kindergarten across Yukon
- Establishing a tourism advisory board
- An innovation plan to foster a strong economy
- Banning single use bags
- Electrifying the Alaska Highway to support the use of electric vehicles
- Legislation to ban conversion therapy in Yukon
- Introduction of leave provisions for individuals who have experienced domestic violence
- Amending the Small Business Tax Credit
- Creating an energy retrofit loan program to support Yukoners to retrofit their homes
The spring sitting is scheduled to begin in the first week of March 2020.