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“I am pleased to see Canada’s Premiers gather in Victoria for the first time in three years to discuss issues important to all territories and provinces.
“Given the challenges currently facing the Yukon’s economy, I was surprised that the Premier is not making the labour shortage more of a priority. We have been hearing constantly from the business community about the impact that the labour shortage has had on small and medium businesses throughout the territory. Yukon’s Premier should join other Premiers in calling for the federal government to help tackle the labour shortage.
“It is concerning the Premier is not raising issues that have been identified by the business community. This further highlights why business organizations like the Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses which recently gave the Yukon a failing grade in their internal trade report card, are losing faith in the territorial Liberals.
“The Council of the Federation would be a perfect opportunity for the Premier to announce that Yukon will be joining other provinces in cutting or suspending the fuel tax to help families and businesses deal with the record-high cost of living. Additionally, the Premier should call on the federal government to pause any planned hikes to the carbon tax.
“It is also surprising that the Premier is not raising federal infrastructure funding at the Council of the Federation. The Yukon needs to begin further planning on new projects that will minimize power and telecommunications outages and will require significant new infrastructure funds to address the requirements of hosting the Canada Winter Games in Whitehorse in 2027.
“Finally, I was pleased to note that the Premier is hosting a discussion on Arctic sovereignty and security at the meeting. Earlier this year I wrote an opinion piece in the national news that outlined the inadequacy of the current military presence in the Canadian North and the serious need to invest in a fully built-out Canadian Armed Forces base in the Yukon. While the Premier has recently said that he was disappointed in the federal Liberal’s budget regarding military spending in the North, I hope that he considers adopting my position that the federal government needs to do much more.”