WHITEHORSE—The Government of Yukon has released the What We Heard document, summarizing comments provided during the Peel consultation process.
“Input received during the four-month consultation was reviewed and used to complete this document,” Energy Mines and Resources Minister Brad Cathers said. “We would like to thank everyone who took the time to provide their perspectives, which will all be considered as government moves forward with finalizing a plan for the Peel Watershed region.”
Over the course of the consultation, the Government of Yukon received a total of 2,127 submissions, of which 82 per cent were collected from Yukon. In addition, there were 11 petition drives and postcard campaigns that generated a total of 8,048 signatures, of which 86.5 per cent were from outside of Yukon.
Feedback in the recent public participation process was collected through a variety of methods including the website, notes posted at public meetings, emails, telephone, fax and by a feedback form provided to households throughout Yukon. The What We Heard document identifies four major themes from perspectives expressed during the consultation:
• The view that the Peel Watershed is an irreplaceable global asset and the views of all must be considered, not just Yukoners;
• The view that the Peel Final Recommended Plan is fair and balanced because it calls for 55 per cent permanent protection, 25 per cent interim protection, and 20 per cent open to development;
• The perception that the Government of Yukon is not following the rules as laid out in Chapter 11 of the Umbrella Final Agreement; and
• The belief that the Government of Yukon must balance development and environmental protection in the Peel region.
Under Chapter 11 of the Umbrella Final Agreement (UFA), the government must consult with affected First Nations and any affected Yukon community and then approve, reject or modify the plan as it applies to Crown land; approximately 97 per cent of the Peel region is Crown land. Under the UFA, the affected First Nations must also consult with government and then approve, reject or modify the plan as it applies to their respective Settlement Lands.
“The government will review the What We Heard document, complete consultations with affected First Nations, and then move to conclude the planning process in a way that achieves balance and respects the environment as well as all sectors of the economy,” Environment Minister Currie Dixon said.
The What We Heard document and a compilation of all comments received are available at www.peelconsultation.ca.