Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources Ranj Pillai tabled draft amendments to the Territorial Lands (Yukon) Act and Forest Resources Act today in the Legislative Assembly.
The proposed changes are intended to deter violations of Yukon’s land protection acts during resource development and other activities, and would allow Yukon to apply higher fines in some cases when the Acts are violated.
Unauthorized environmental disturbances like the one at McGregor Creek are of significant concern to our government. Through these proposed changes we are strengthening our legislation to encourage better compliance with the law. It is important that any resource activity in Yukon follows our legislation, respects other land uses and upholds strong environmental management.
Minister of Energy Mines and Resources Ranj Pillai
The changes to the Territorial Lands (Yukon) Act would provide clarity in instituting fines that currently exist within the legislation, but could not be utilized due to the way the acts are currently structured. Proposed amendments will ensure that all regulations under the Act would carry a maximum penalty of $5,000.
The updated Territorial Lands (Yukon) Act would contain the ability for a court to issue remediation orders to a person found guilty of damaging natural resources due to an offense.
In addition, the definitions of “forest resource harvesting” and “timber harvesting” in the Forest Resources Act would include cutting or removal of forest resources, timber, or both.