Surplus budget passes as 2022 spring sitting of the Yukon Legislative Assembly concludes
Today, the 2022 Spring Sitting of the Yukon Legislative Assembly concluded. During the Spring Sitting, the Government of Yukon’s 2022-23 Budget received assent along with a number of pieces of legislation.
The 2022–23 Budget shows a surplus of $39.5 million and a total of $1.97 billion in spending. This includes a record capital budget of $546.5 million for the territory’s roads, buildings, bridges and airports. These investments will bring benefits to Yukoners in every community and help support the territory’s growing economy.
Budget highlights include more than $26 million in lot development in Whitehorse and in Yukon communities to help ensure that all Yukoners have access to an affordable, safe place they can call home. The Budget also includes $17 million for affordable community housing and more than $11 million in incentives for residential construction.
The Budget also includes $80.3 million to address the ongoing climate emergency and deliver on commitments outlined in Our Clean Future: A Yukon strategy for climate change, energy and a green economy. This funding is critical as the territory continues to address a climate emergency and work to reduce its emissions, shift to affordable renewable energy and build a strong green economy. $15 million in 2022–23 will support the Atlin Hydro Expansion project as part of a three-year, $50 million commitment. The project will bring approximately 8.5 additional megawatts into the Yukon’s grid, enough electricity to power about 3,750 Yukon homes each year.
The Yukon government continues to develop a health and social care system that supports holistic, integrated care and improves wellness outcomes for all Yukoners. As government takes action on the Yukon’s Substance Use Health Emergency, the 2022-23 Budget will invest $79.6 million towards social and mental wellness supports and substance-use programs. This commitment of funds will support Yukoners who require access to mental health services, a supervised consumption site and the safe supply of opioids.
In addition to the 2022-23 Budget, several pieces of legislation received assent during the Spring Sitting, including:
- Act to Amend the Assessment and Taxation Act and the Municipal Act (2021): These amendments expand the definition of local improvements to include energy-efficiency retrofits in the Assessment and Taxation Act. The amendments enable the creation of the Better Building Program, which can provide loans up to $50,000 for home energy retrofits and up to $100,000 for business energy retrofits. Loans will be offered at the lowest interest rates in the country. The program will make homes and businesses more efficient, reducing Yukoners’ energy bills and the territory’s greenhouse gas emissions.
- Act to Amend the Child and Family Services Act (2022): These amendments will reduce the over-representation of Indigenous children in care and improve outcomes for all children, youth and families who are involved with the child welfare system. The amendments to the Act were created through the Child and Family Services Act Steering Committee, which included representation from Yukon First Nations and was co-chaired by the Council of Yukon First Nations and Yukon government.
- Income Tax Amendments Act, (2022): This Act includes a range of administrative changes that align the Yukon’s Income Tax Act with its federal equivalent and modernizes the Act to continue to meet the needs of Yukoners. The changes to the Yukon’s Income Tax Act do not involve any new or increased taxes for Yukoners.
- Act to Amend the Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods Act (2022): The amendment to this Act will support a review of the Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods Act. The review will begin in 2023.
- Act to Amend the Legal Profession Act, 2017 (2022): Amendments to this Act will allow the Law Society of Yukon to permit out-of-territory corporations to practice law in the Yukon, increasing access to justice for Yukoners.
- Miscellaneous Statute Law Amendment Act, 2022: This Act amends existing 25 Yukon acts. Amendments include the correction of typos, language errors and outdated names and references.
- Interim Supply Appropriation Act 2022– 23: This Act provided authority to fund operations and maintenance and capital spending for the first two months of the 2022–23 fiscal year while the full year of spending authority was debated in the legislature. Of that amount, $321.1 million is for operations and maintenance spending and $89.6 million is for capital expenditures.
- Third Appropriation Act 2021– 22: This Act authorized additional spending for the 2021–22 fiscal year, including an overall increase of $10.9 million in spending. This includes a $24.7 million increase in O&M spending, with an offsetting increase of $3.1 million in recoveries, and a $10.8 million decrease in capital spending, with an offsetting decrease of $13.1 million in recoveries.
“We are pleased to pass another surplus budget that will improve the lives of Yukoners and build a stronger, more inclusive territory for generations to come. These investments will help ensure all Yukoners benefit from our territory’s strong economic growth. We are making life more affordable for Yukon families by making record investments in childcare and early learning initiatives as well as housing and lot development across the territory. We also continue to improve the Yukon’s health and social services system as we implement the Putting People First recommendations. Further investments in renewable energy projects and infrastructure throughout the territory will advance our climate change goals while supporting our green economy and building resilient communities.”