Today, Premier and Finance Minister Sandy Silver tabled the Government of Yukon’s 2022–23 Budget.
The budget highlights the Yukon government’s plan to continue to make investments that build community infrastructure, address the climate emergency, strengthen the territory’s health care system, increase affordable housing options, strengthen small businesses, support industry and mining and continue to grow the Yukon’s economy.
The Yukon government plans to invest in resilient infrastructure with a record capital budget of $546.5 million for the territory’s roads, buildings, bridges and airports. These investments will bring benefits to Yukoners in every community and help support the territory’s growing economy.
This year the government plans to invest $80.3 million to address the ongoing climate emergency and deliver on commitments outlined in Our Clean Future: A Yukon strategy for climate change, energy and a green economy. This funding is critical as the territory continues to address a climate emergency and work to reduce its emissions, increase weather resiliency, shift to affordable renewable energy and build a strong green economy.
This funding includes $15 million in 2022–23 as part of a three-year, $50 million funding commitment towards the Atlin Hydro Expansion project. The project would bring approximately 8.5 additional megawatts into the Yukon’s grid, enough electricity to power about 3,750 Yukon homes each year.
The Yukon government also continues to develop a health and social care system that supports holistic, integrated care and improves wellness outcomes for all Yukoners. As government takes action on the Yukon’s Substance Use Health Emergency, the Yukon government plans to invest $79.6 million towards social and mental wellness supports and substance-use programs. This commitment of funds will support Yukoners who require access to mental health services, a supervised consumption site and the safe supply of opioids.
The 2022-23 Budget also outlines more than $26 million in lot development in Whitehorse and in Yukon communities to help ensure that all Yukoners have access to an affordable, safe place they can call home. Budget 2022–23 also includes $17 million for affordable community housing and more than $11 million in incentives for residential construction.
As a part of the budget, the Fiscal and Economic Outlook and Five-Year Capital Plan provides an economic snapshot for the year and forecasts strong GDP growth of 9.6 per cent in 2022. This will be followed by continued growth of 2.4 per cent in 2023, largely driven by higher production at the Eagle Gold Mine, Minto mine and Alexco Resource Corp’s Keno Hill project. This year mineral production in the Yukon is forecast to exceed $1.1 billion. The Outlook also forecasts strong employment growth in both 2022 and 2023 as industries most impacted by the pandemic continue to recover.
The Five-Year Capital Plan provides an early look at how government is prioritizing the needs of Yukoners and the projects that will be of focus for the upcoming year. This capital plan, now in its fifth year, provides certainty and transparency for Yukon businesses and the public.
Our government is proud to table a surplus budget this year, reflecting our commitment to responsible fiscal management. The Yukon’s economy is seeing tremendous growth that truly sets it apart from the rest of Canada. This year’s budget will address the critical needs in our territory while making investments that ensure all Yukoners can benefit from our historic economic growth in the Yukon. We continue to advance initiatives outlined in the Putting People First report and Our Clean Future strategy. We are also making strategic investments in housing, wellness, education and resilient infrastructure. We are confident that these investments will contribute towards building a more inclusive, equitable and green future for all Yukoners.
Premier and Minister of Finance Sandy Silver
Yukon’s total budget for 2022–23 is $1.97 billion. Operating and maintenance expenses will be $1.42 billion. Capital spending is $546.5 million.
The 2022–23 Main Estimates show an annual surplus of $39.5 million with year-end net debt of $207.5 million.
Budget 2022–23 once again includes a COVID-19 contingency fund for further spending that may be required for unanticipated COVID-19 expenses. This $10 million fund ensures that the Yukon government has the flexibility needed to respond to unknown events or variants without impacting the territory’s fiscal position.
The Government of Yukon will also table an Interim Supply Bill worth $410.7 million, which will fund operations and maintenance and capital spending for the first two months of the 2022–23 fiscal year while the full year of spending authority is debated in the legislature. Of that amount, $321.1 million is for operations and maintenance spending and $89.6 million is for capital expenditures.
The Government of Yukon will also table a Second Supplementary Estimates for the 2021–22 fiscal year with an overall increase of $10.9 million in spending. This includes a $24.7 million increase in O&M spending, with an offsetting increase of $3.1 million in recoveries, and a $10.8 million decrease in capital spending, with an offsetting decrease of $13.1 million in recoveries.
The Second Supplementary Estimates forecasts a revised surplus of $25.5 million for 2021–22.