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WHITEHORSE – The 2022 Fraser Institute Mining Rankings are out and it does not paint a pretty picture for the territorial Liberals. The report says, “Due to its geologic attractiveness, the Yukon ranked 20th in the overall Investment Attractiveness Index, falling from the 9th spot it occupied in 2021.” Botswana has replaced Yukon in the top ten.
During the past two sittings, Premier Pillai and Minister Streicker have boasted on a number of occasions about the top ten ranking in last year’s report. On March 23, 2023, the minister told the House,
“The Fraser Institute listed the industry in the top 10 last year, so that’s pretty good — top 10 jurisdictions in the world…” – Hansard, pg 3267.
When it comes to the overall policy perception, the Yukon has dropped from 23rd to 31st overall. Among the concerns are taxation and duplication of permitting. This is something that is directly in control of the territorial Liberals and their federal Liberal cousins in Ottawa.
“This is the worst ranking we have had since 2019 when we were 23rd when the Premier held the portfolio and had introduced a ‘new way of doing business’,” said Scott Kent, Yukon Party Official Opposition Mining Critic. “Investors around the globe look to these rankings when making their investment decisions so things do not look good for the Yukon.”
At last year’s Geoscience Forum in Whitehorse a Yukon Government Geologist noted in local media that, “The Yukon is not seeing very many new, early-stage grassroots projects, adding the number of companies and prospectors active in the territory could drop to a 57-year low.” McMillan LLP released a legal bulletin on February 13, 2023, entitled ‘Clear as Mud: The Legal Implications of Land Use Planning in Yukon.’ This bulletin focused on the failed Beaver River Land Use Planning initiative of the premier that is now over three years late and counting. Despite these concerns, the premier and minister continue to try to paint a rosy picture of how they are managing the industry.
“I hope this drop in rankings serves as a wakeup call to the premier and minister,” added Kent. “What they are doing clearly is not working and they need to focus on issues in their control to return the Yukon to a more favourable ranking.”
The full Fraser Institute report can be found here.