Premier and Minister of Finance Sandy Silver issued the following statement in response to the Government of Canada’s 2017 budget:
I am pleased to see this budget shows the Government of Canada recognizes the distinct challenges we face in the North.
The Government of Canada is addressing the needs of northerners’ health care by including in the budget $25.6 million for Yukon over four years under the Territorial Health Investment Fund (THIF). This funding is in addition to the funding already provided through the Canada Health Transfer agreement, which allocates funds towards mental health and home care initiatives.
Increased THIF funding supports territorial efforts to improve systems and ensure northerners have access to the health care they need, while funding through the national health funding agreements addresses priorities for Yukoners and all Canadians.
This increased THIF funding is a result of our negotiations with the federal government in January. We look forward to working with our federal counterparts to determine how to best use these funds.
Our government also welcomes the increased investment in infrastructure for northern housing. Canada’s commitment of $24 million to Yukon over 11 years will be allocated to housing needs in Yukon.
Finally, the Government of Yukon is encouraged to see investments that support clean energy and climate change adaptation. Climate change affects all Yukoners. Together the efforts of Canadian and Yukon governments to decrease reliance on diesel and improve access to renewable energy sources are beneficial.
We also look forward to working with the federal government to ensure the strategic allocation of $83.8 million for northern infrastructure to address climate change, infrastructure planning and emergency management and integration of traditional knowledge. One of our top priorities is improving community infrastructure when developing local economies in a fiscally-responsible manner.
The federal and territorial governments are working together to build a strong economy that supports healthy, vibrant communities. I look forward to discussing our plan for making improvements in these areas in the upcoming territorial budget.
- In January, the Government of Yukon announced it would receive an estimated $11.4 million in new federal funding over the next 10 years for home care and mental health initiatives.
- The Government of Yukon’s Department of Health and Social Services is working with the federal government to set parameters and identify possible uses for the new targeted funds that best align with our priorities in Yukon.
- Funding announced in the budget under the Territorial Health Investment Fund will begin in 2017–18.
- The $83.8 million in federal funding for northern infrastructure will be allocated over five years.
- The territorial budget will be tabled during the upcoming spring session of the Legislative Assembly which begins on April 20.