Yukon party leadership campaign
MLA for Lake Laberge
Yukon Party Leadership Candidate
January 16, 2020
Improving Environmental Assessment and Permitting
WHITEHORSE – Brad Cathers, MLA for Lake Laberge, announced today that improving environmental assessment and permitting will be a high priority if he becomes Premier of the Yukon.
“In recent years, the Yukon’s environmental assessment and permitting processes have gotten worse,” noted Cathers. “The current government has increased uncertainty, failed to ensure procedural fairness, and gone so far as to ignore clear legal rights of Yukon citizens in some cases. People have a right to expect that their government will respect the rule of law and make fairness for everyone a priority.”
“Yukoners want both economic prosperity and a healthy environment. I support our obligation to fully consider potential negative environmental impacts of projects, and put in place appropriate mitigations and safety measures. That is presumably the goal of each of the separate pieces of the Yukon’s permitting puzzle – but the system as a whole is not working well,” added Cathers.
“We must base our practices on sound science and uphold the principle of fair process. Duplication and overlap of process and unnecessary information requests waste the resources of the private sector and government, and waste the public’s time and money as well,” said Cathers.
Brad’s vision for improving assessment and permitting in the Yukon includes working with all other orders of government and with the business community to develop and implement solutions to reduce overlap, duplication and unnecessary delays, while ensuring environmentally responsible development and reclamation.
His vision for improving environmental assessment and permitting if elected as Leader of a Yukon Party government includes these action items:
• Honouring the government’s moral duty to respect the rights of every person, including avoiding causing economic hardship to placer miners, prospectors, farmers, the forestry sector and others due to needless delays in process.
• Taking the lead on seeking agreement with the Yukon’s business community, First Nations, and the Government of Canada on improvements to the federal Yukon Environmental Socio-economic Assessment Act (commonly known as YESAA).
• Working with the business community and other levels of government to identify solutions to harmonize the YESAB and Yukon Water Board processes – with the goals of reducing timelines and ending unnecessary duplication, while ensuring activities are done in an environmentally responsible manner.
• Fulfilling its legal obligations, including following timelines for issuing YESAB Decision Documents.
• Developing a ‘Class 0’ category of mining exploration activities that complies with court rulings, while reducing red tape and delays.
• Increasing government’s investment in environmental and wildlife baseline data research.
During the Leadership Election Campaign, he will be reaching out to the business community, and is eager to hear more about their ideas and priorities.
Brad’s experience in government includes serving twice as Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources. When he held that portfolio, the government made improvements including changes to the Quartz Mining Act in 2008 that reduced cost of staking, facilitated grouping of claims for assessment work, and established competitive royalty rates.
“It’s easy to make promises – but as my record shows, I deliver results,” stated Cathers. “If I am elected as Leader of a Yukon Party government, I am committed to working together to improve assessment and permitting in the Yukon.”
Brad Cathers Campaign Office