Government of Yukon

FOR RELEASE     #09-071
March 19, 2009

2009-10 Budget Continuing to Invest in Yukon’s Future

WHITEHORSE – The Government of Yukon’s 2009-10 Capital and Operations and Maintenance budget, totaling $1 billion and $3 million, was tabled in the legislative assembly today by Premier Dennis Fentie.

“This budget reflects our commitment to building a better quality of life for Yukoners by investing in infrastructure and in our communities,” Fentie said. “This budget will stimulate Yukon’s private sector economy by investing in economic, social and public infrastructure.”

This year will be the seventh consecutive year-end with a budget surplus, which includes $240.6 million in Capital spending and $762.6 million in Operations and Maintenance.

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See 2009-10 budget highlights below.

Roxanne Vallevand
Cabinet Communications

Highlights of 2009-10 Budget Initiatives

• $1.8 million for the Yukon Mining Incentive Program (YMIP)
• Implementation of new Fish Habitat Management System for Yukon placer mining
• Streamlined and modernized administration of mining claims
• Implementation of Energy Strategy for Yukon that addresses priority energy issues
• Ensuring Yukon is “pipeline ready” for both the Alaska Highway Pipeline and the Mackenzie Gas Project
• $987,000 for the “Growing Forward” initiative to support agricultural industry
• Streamlined the land management system to improve disposition of land to Yukoners
• $500,000 additional funding for Overseas Tourism Marketing and a further $100,000 to host more meetings and conventions in Yukon
• $2.632 million to participate in the 2010 Vancouver Olympic and Paralympic Games
• $3.4 million for Whitehorse Waterfront development and $735,000 for the Carcross Waterfront
• Support for construction of Kwanlin Dun First Nation Cultural Centre on Whitehorse Waterfront and Champagne and Aishihik First Nations Cultural Centre at Haines Junction
• $56.7 million investment in transportation infrastructure, representing a 13.8% increase over 2008-2009, for work on the Campbell Highway, Shakwak Project and Atlin Road
• $15.7 million for expansion of Erik Nielsen Whitehorse International Airport terminal building
• $14.9 million for the Mobile Communications System, including cell phone expansion to Ibex Valley and Lake Laberge
• Marketing initiatives in China have led to the purchase of Yukon Zinc’s Wolverine Project by two Chinese companies that plan to invest $240 million in the mine for production in third quarter of 2010
• $3.3 million for the Community Development Fund (CDF)
• $3.21 million is available through Economic Development’s funding programs to support the diversification of the Yukon economy

Better Quality of Life
• Implementation of the “New Horizons” multi-year education strategy flowing from the Education Reform Report
• $75,000 to establish Leaders in Education/Innovation Fund
• $150,000 Early Years Transition Learning program targeting pre-kindergarten to grade 3 students to help reduce performance gap in both First Nation and other Yukon children
• Established a Student Advisory Council to give youth a voice in their education
• $400,000 to plan for replacement of F.H. Collins
• $286,000 for Targeted Initiative for Older Workers Program
• $210,000 for Labour Market Framework strategies for: Comprehensive Skills and Trades Training, Immigration, Retention, and Labour Market Information
• $1.5 million for Community Training Funds
• $3.5 million Capital and $924,000 O&M for four years to implement Teleradiology initiative to improve x-ray services for all rural Yukon communities
• Transfer of the management of Watson Lake Hospital to the Yukon Hospital Corporation
• $1 million to begin construction of new Health Centre in Dawson City
• $1.8 million for a new “super green” replacement for the Children’s Receiving Home in Whitehorse
• $200,000 for the very successful 811 – Yukon HealthLine
• $108,000 for an additional Environmental Health Officer to monitor and address food and waterborne threats and illnesses
• $100,000 for a psychologist for the Child Development Centre
• $176,000 increase in Child Care Subsidy program
• $612,000 increase for the Yukon Seniors Income Supplement
• $2.08 million increase for Social Assistance program, including the recent raise in the food benefit
• $21.6 million for construction of a new Corrections Facility to replace the Whitehorse Correctional Centre (WCC) to be built in conjunction with a new Treatment Centre
• $719,000 to begin construction of Women’s Transition Living Unit for female inmates of WCC
• $575,000 for the Community Wellness Court, plus an additional $96,000 for a full-time Alcohol and Drug Services addiction counselor for the court
• Continuing to fund the Journey Far Carver Program aimed at youth at risk
• $178,000 to improve services of the very successful Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods (SCAN)
• $300,000 for a new Court Registry Information System to improve treatment and management of offenders
• $200,000 for the Prevention of Violence Against Aboriginal Women program
• Construction of an estimated $11 million, 30-unit Whitehorse Affordable Family Housing Project
• Construction of a 12-unit seniors housing complex in Watson Lake and another in Teslin
• $10.45 million for land development in rural Yukon and $18.2 million for Whitehorse
• $2.533 million for water, sewer and road upgrade in Takhini North
• $1.75 million to complete Hamilton Boulevard extension

• $450,000 to establish a Climate Change Secretariat to oversee implementation of the Climate Change Action Plan
• Establishment of Climate Change Research Centre of Excellence at Yukon College, in conjunction with the Yukon Cold Climate Innovation Centre (YCCIC)
• $150,000 for the Good Energy Program to help Yukoners lower their energy costs by purchasing energy efficient products
• Improved water treatment: $2.5 million for Ross River; $2.4 million for Marsh Lake; and $1.5 million for Carcross
• $5.5 million for Carmacks Wastewater Treatment System
• Reached a consensus with Canada and affected First Nations on a preferred closure option for the Faro Mine that will maximize local job opportunities and will cost $30 million per year for the 15-year construction phase and another $10 million per year for the 15-year period of adjustment
• $3 million for selection and planning of appropriate option for treatment of Dawson sewage
• $319,000 for Animal Health Program
• $50,000 to VGFN for protection of Porcupine Caribou herd
• $240,000 for Animal Welfare Officer
• $250,000 to assist community-based recycling centres

Good Government
• $1 billion and $3 million budget, the largest ever, with the 7th consecutive year-end budget surplus
• Budget designed with input from Yukoners to stimulate the private sector economy by investing in economic, social and public infrastructure that will improve Yukoners’ quality of life and balance economic development with the protection and preservation of the natural environment
• Health Care Review Steering Committee to engage Yukoners in a dialogue on the findings and recommendations of the Yukon Health Care Review which examined the current and long-term sustainability over the next 10 years
• $40 million for extension of Whitehorse-Aishihik-Faro electrical grid from Pelly Crossing to Stewart Crossing
• $120 million to upgrade Mayo dam, Mayo B, to provide an additional 40 GWh of green energy
• $4.25 million for 3rd turbine at Aishihik dam
• $275,000 for hosting Western Premiers Conference
• $341,000 annually over three years for Substance Abuse Program for Yukon government employees
• Comprehensive evaluation of French language services 2004 to 2009