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During the course of the pandemic the Yukon Liberal government has hidden from accountability and refused to allow for any democratic oversight of their actions.
While Legislatures across the world were meeting to provide democratic oversight over government decisions, the Liberals refused to allow the Legislature to sit for over seven months. They also refused to allow Committees to meet or discuss issues or Ministerial Orders related to the pandemic.
This means that for nearly a year the Liberals have been operating in secrecy while undermining the basic principles of democracy. At the same time, legislatures in almost every other province and territory in Canada have been sitting, or have resumed sitting, during the pandemic.
In response to this abuse of power, a Yukon Party government would amend the Civil Emergency Measures Act (CEMA) to require democratic oversight of government during an extended emergency, like the one we are in today. The amendments will include:
- Changes to the law to ensure that even in an extended emergency, governments will still be subject to scrutiny and accountability by the Legislative Assembly.
- The requirement that any extensions of a state of emergency be subject to debate in the Legislative Assembly.
- That Orders-in-Council and Ministerial Orders brought forward under the auspices of the CEMA would also be subject to review by the Legislative Assembly.
“Some of what the Liberals have done was necessary. Some of what they have done was flawed, misguided, implemented without consultation, and potentially catastrophic for the territory’s future. But all of what they have done deserves scrutiny in the Legislature,” said Yukon Party Leader Currie Dixon.
“Simply put, the pandemic is not an excuse for the Liberals to avoid scrutiny of their actions. Yukoners expect and deserve a working democracy.”
Over the course of the past year the Liberals have dramatically increased spending, launched broad new unbudgeted programs, issued unprecedented executive orders that affect the way people can live their lives, and possibly even infringed on Charter and constitutional rights. Further, the Liberals directly requested that their debt limit be doubled to $800 million dollars. Finally, they have announced an extension of the state of emergency without any democratic oversight.