Today, Premier and Finance Minister Sandy Silver tabled the 2022–23 First Supplementary Estimates in the Yukon Legislative Assembly. It includes increases 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. This increase is offset by $1.5 million in recoverable funding from the Government of Canada and third-parties as well as an increase of $18.2 million in new revenue. The latter is made up of a $2.2 million increase in the Canada Health Transfer, $15 million as part of the federal Affordable Housing in the North agreement and $1 million as income from land sale agreements.
The 2022–23 Interim Economic and Fiscal Update was also released today. This mid-year update shows that the Yukon’s economy continues to grow as the territory moves forward from the COVID-19 pandemic with the forecast for key industries, such as mining and tourism, looking increasingly positive. The update details how the Yukon has led the country in real Gross Domestic Product growth for the last two years with 9.1 per cent growth in 2021 and forecast growth of 4.8 per cent in 2022.
The Interim Update also highlights the Yukon’s tight labour market. In August, Statistics Canada reported that the Yukon’s unemployment rate of 1.7 per cent matches the territory’s all-time low reported for April 2018. The Yukon’s unemployment rate continues to be the lowest in Canada.
Our government’s dedicated leadership has helped foster the strongest economy in Canada. The Yukon is currently leading the country in both population and economic growth, and we have the lowest unemployment rate in the country. This supplementary budget is another demonstration of our government’s commitment to sound fiscal management. We remain focused on making life more affordable and continuing to move the territory forward for the benefit of all Yukoners.
Premier Sandy Silver
Supplementary Estimates are used annually by the Yukon government to account for spending that is unforeseen at the time of setting the annual Budget.
The 2022–23 surplus is now forecast at $33 million, down from the March forecast of $39.5 million. Projected year-end net debt of $214 million is up from the March projection of $207.5 million.
The Fiscal and Economic Outlook is tabled in spring during the legislative sitting and an interim update is published in the fall. These provide a snapshot of the Yukon’s economy and government finances as well as updates on several indicators monitored by the Government of Yukon.