Significant legislation focused on modernization, openness and inclusivity will pass as the fall sitting of the Yukon Legislative Assembly ends today.
New legislation this fall includes:
- the Lobbyists Registration Act that makes it mandatory for lobbyists to disclose their activities in a public registry;
- the new Access to Information and Protection of Privacy (ATIPP) Act that increases the transparency of government decision making, increases access to information and strengthens privacy protection;
- the new Equality of Spouses Statute Law Amendment Act (2018) which updates many pieces of Yukon legislation with language that includes lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, Two-Spirit plus (LGBTQ2S+) Yukoners and repeals the Married Women’s Property Act;
- the new Coroners Act, overhauled for the first time in 60 years, which clarifies the duties of coroners and reflects best practices and procedures;
- the new Societies Act that has been enhanced to better meets the needs of societies and clarify processes for creating, operating and governing societies;
- the Act to Amend the Forest Resources Act and the Territorial Lands (Yukon) Act (2018) which includes changes to encourage better compliance with land protection laws
- the Act to Amend the Legislative Assembly Act (2018) which makes changes to the pay and benefits of Members of the Legislative Assembly and closes a loophole in MLA severance rules;
- the Technical Amendments Act (No. 2), 2018, which fixes practical and policy issues that were unforeseen when the original legislation was drafted.; and
- the Second Appropriation Act, 2018–19, which included $13.4 million in additional spending over the 2018-19 Main Estimates, an historically low increase of less than one per cent.
Several witnesses also appeared in the Legislative Assembly during the fall session. Representatives from the Yukon Hospital Corporation and the Workers’ Compensation Health and Safety Board answered questions about their operations, as they did during the fall 2017 sitting. Mr. David Loukidelis answered questions about his independent inspection of the Whitehorse Correctional Centre, which includes 40 recommendations to improve the delivery of programs and services at the correctional centre and better serve inmates who have mental wellness needs. Yukon’s Information and Privacy Commissioner also appeared in the Legislative Assembly for the first time in history to answer questions about the new ATIPP Act.
We heard from Yukoners about the need to modernize our laws and the legislation we brought forward this fall will help to move our society and the government towards more openness and inclusivity. The new lobbyist registry will give Yukoners access to information about who is lobbying public office holders to influence government decisions. Our new ATIPP Act reverses changes made in 2012 and makes government decision making more transparent, open and accountable. We also significantly overhauled the Societies Act and Coroners Act to bring them into the twenty-first century and removed language in Yukon legislation that discriminates against LGBTQ2S+ Yukoners.
Premier Sandy Silver