Change has come to the Yukon. This past November, Yukoners voted in a new government for the first time in 15 years.
As the newly elected Premier, my vision is to lead a government that achieves the change that Yukoners have asked for. We will do so by governing with increased respect and transparency, and by truly listening to our citizens.
As we move forward, we are led by the belief that good jobs in a healthy economy and a sustainable environment are not mutually exclusive. We choose to acknowledge that without protecting our environment, there is no economy.
To achieve this balance, we look to our government’s relationship with Yukon’s First Nations governments. We strongly believe that improving relations and honouring existing treaties and self-government agreements is the way to improve our territory’s economy. The self-governing agreements provide a path forward for all Yukoners, not just for First Nations. These agreements are the road map to a successful future. It is time for a legislature that incorporates First Nations values and culture, moving us towards partnership and reconciliation.
Yukon First Nations’ economic development corporations are a vital piece of building a thriving economy, and for too long there has been disconnect between these corporations and the Yukon government. Lengthy court battles between the Yukon government and First Nations governments have created economic instability in our territory. So much more can be accomplished with a collaborative approach, as opposed to a combative one.
No one industry holds the answer to economic growth, the answer can be found, instead, in a collaborative decision making process, guided by our shared value of a sustainable future. This vision for collaboration requires all voices at the table, including the private sector, investors, development corporations, and non-government organizations.
For our communities, we recognize that local governments and citizens are best-placed to understand their own concerns, and to develop their own solutions. We want to work side by side with our communities to address their key issues in a manner that they have identified. Working together will allow us to build a Yukon that is a stable, profitable investment destination, while honouring the commitments of our Self-Government Agreements and respecting the needs of our communities.
Our government also sees the value in working collaboratively on a national level. We look forward to building upon our relationships with our fellow Northern Premiers. Together we can present a strong, unified voice for the North to both our federal government and our provincial colleagues, benefiting all of our territories.
This is the vision that will lead our government for the next five years. The vision of an inclusive, accountable government with a balanced approach. The vision of a government that governs collaboratively, believing that we can work together towards a common purpose, because all Yukoners are united in our love of this territory. Our vision is for every Yukoner to have a voice, a choice and a place in our territory.