Yukon Premier and Finance Minister Sandy Silver has tabled a $1.79 billion budget that includes significant investments in community infrastructure and renewable energy projects.
“Having returned the territory’s finances to a sustainable path, we are taking significant steps to build a healthier, more vibrant, sustainable and inclusive territory for the benefit of all Yukoners,” said Silver. “Our new universal childcare program will make life more affordable for Yukon families while more than $50 million will help address climate change and grow Yukon’s green economy. We have also included a $15 million COVID contingency to ensure we can continue to support Yukoners and Yukon businesses as we navigate the pandemic.”
More than $50 million will support initiatives in Our Clean Future, Yukon’s strategy for climate change, energy and a green economy. This includes $16 million for community-based renewable energy projects across the territory, and $6.1 million for energy rebates to help Yukon families and businesses adopt renewable sources of heating and make their homes and buildings more energy efficient. Over $1 million in clean transportation rebates will help Yukoners acquire electric vehicles, including ebikes, and $500,000 will go towards fast-charging stations to support electric vehicle use throughout the territory.
In addition, $10 million is also included to advance the Atlin hydro expansion project in partnership with the Taku River Tlingit First Nation to increase renewable energy in the territory.
This year’s budget includes record capital expenditures of $434.3 million, 17 per cent higher than 2020-21.
From over $30 million for lot development to $12 million for affordable housing projects and more than $70 million towards transportation infrastructure, this capital spending will provide increased opportunities for Yukon businesses to contribute to community infrastructure projects across the territory. Yukon’s small business tax was also cut to zero per cent on January 1, 2021. The change will support an estimated 2000 Yukon businesses and is expected to save this sector approximately $2 million per year.
This year’s budget was again tabled together with a Fiscal and Economic Outlook for the territory and a Five-Year Capital Plan.
The plan outlines how the Yukon government will prioritize the interests and needs of Yukoners through the procurement, management, and delivery of capital projects. The plan considers northern construction realities, aligning capital needs with the strengths of local businesses in order to maximize the benefit for Yukon communities.