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WHITEHORSE – Yukon Party Official Opposition MLA Stacey Hassard is calling on the new premier to deliver on his transparency commitment to Yukon contractors. During the Yukon Chamber of Commerce debate in the 2021 territorial election, the new premier agreed the opening of tenders with contractors in the room seemed like a good idea and committed his party to act on it. So far, this policy has not come to fruition leaving contractors questioning the process.
“This is another classic case of the new premier saying one thing to Yukoners and doing another,” said Hassard, Highways and Public Works critic for the Official Opposition. “He committed to improving transparency and returning to the old practice of opening of bids with contractors in the room. Now that he’s the premier, he should direct his minister to change the policy.”
The Liberal government changed its practice when it comes to opening the bids of tenders and posting of prices. Yukon businesses have indicated the change has made the process less open, less transparent, and less accountable.
“Bidders on government work are often left waiting for days and sometimes weeks to hear whether or not they were successful on a bid,” Hassard explained. “The contracting community is simply looking for transparency and improvements to the procurement process. However, as the Liberals have done for years, they ignore stakeholders affected by their decisions, in this case, with the procurement process.”
It seems transparency is not in the cards for the new premier. The now-expiring Confidence and Supply Agreement (CASA) negotiated behind closed doors has hurt the small business community with hikes to the minimum wage, rent control, and paid sick leave. Business owners had no opportunity to provide input before the implementation of those left-wing policies. Small business owners are now again wondering what economy-crushing NDP policies they will be forced to accept with a potential new CASA.