The 2022 fall sitting of the Yukon Legislative Assembly concluded today.
The 2022–23 First Supplementary Estimates received assent. The supplementary budget includes additional spending of $26.2 million in operations and maintenance and no changes in capital funding. Spending increases are largely due to an unprecedented 2022 fire season as well as mitigation and clean-up work required in response to extensive flooding throughout the territory. Funding associated with these items make up approximately $20.2 million of total new spending.
The supplementary estimates also include $3.2 million in support to make electricity more affordable for Yukoners. The Yukon government announced the $150 Inflation Relief Rebate in March 2022, providing direct relief on all residential and commercial electricity bills. The 2022–23 First Supplementary Estimates represent an increase of just 1.8 per cent in spending over the 2022-23 Main Estimates Operations & Maintenance spending.
The 2021-22 Public Accounts were tabled in the Yukon Legislative Assembly this fall, confirming a surplus on both a consolidated and non-consolidated basis. For the 2021–22 fiscal year, the Public Accounts report a surplus of $8.9 million. This represents a $15.5 million change from the $6.6 million deficit forecast in the 2021–22 Main Estimates.
Several new pieces of legislation received assent:
- The Clean Energy Act, which legislates the Yukon’s targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and will ensure long-term climate change accountability through public reporting. It will also enable the Government of Yukon to deliver on several key climate actions found in Our Clean Future: a Yukon strategy for climate change, energy and a green economy.
- The Carbon Price Rebate Amendments Act, which ensures that Yukon businesses, municipalities and First Nations continue to benefit from the Yukon’s carbon pricing rebate system in a way that meets new requirements being imposed by the federal government.
- The Animal Protection and Control Act, which addresses longstanding issues that have been raised in rural communities around the protection of animals and human safety. The new Act will better enable animal control enforcement by providing tools to respond to high-risk and feral animals, updating animal welfare standards and regulating animal-related businesses.
- The Midwifery Integration Amendments Act, which enables registered midwives to work to their full scope of practice while ensuring midwifery clients are able to receive an improved continuity of care.
- The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation Act, which establishes September 30, National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, as a general holiday in the Yukon. The Truth and Reconciliation Commissions Call to Action #80 calls for the establishment of National Day for Truth and Reconciliation to honour Survivors, their families, and communities, and ensure that public commemoration of the history and legacy of residential schools remain a vital component of the reconciliation process.
- The Second Act to amend the Legal Profession Act, 2017, which will support the Law Society of Yukon in the administration and regulation of the legal profession by allowing investigators to dismiss a complaint for justifiable reasons after it has been investigated. The new Act also protects individuals acting in good faith on behalf of the Law Society of Yukon by providing immunity from legal action for damages.
- The Technical Amendments Act (2022), which includes amendments to three different Acts: the Land Titles Act, 2015; the Condominium Act, 2015 and the Corrections Act, 2009. The technical amendments are designed to update legislation to align with operational requirements and to fix errors and align cross-references.
The fall sitting saw a number of witnesses appear before the Legislative Assembly including:
- the Yukon’s Chief Medical Officer of Health;
- the Chief Executive Officer and Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Yukon Hospital Corporation;
- the Chair and the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Yukon Workers’ Safety and Compensation Board;
- the President and Chief Executive Officer and the Chair of the Board of Directors of the Yukon Energy Corporation; and
- the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Yukon Development Corporation.
As the Yukon continues to enjoy the strongest economic growth in the country, our government remains focused on making life more affordable for Yukoners and investing in moving the territory forward. Our updated made-in-Yukon carbon pricing rebate program will ensure Yukoners continue to receive 100 per cent of the carbon pricing revenues collected by the federal government. The Clean Energy Act is one of the most progressive greenhouse gas emissions reduction pieces of legislation in North America and will help us meet the goals in Our Clean Future. Other legislation passed this fall will promote the protection of animals and human safety, strengthen midwifery in the territory and allow the Law Society of Yukon to better serve the public The territory is in a much stronger place than when we formed government in 2016 and it continues to move forward for the benefit of all Yukoners.
Premier Sandy Silver