CPAWS Yukon congratulates Yukon Liberals; looks forward to Peel protection

–November 10th, 2016

CPAWS Yukon congratulates Sandy Silver and the Yukon Liberal Party on being elected to form Yukon’s new government. We are encouraged by statements made by the incoming government during the election regarding the protection of the Peel Watershed. In their platform, the Liberal Party pledged to “[accept] the final report of the original Peel Watershed Planning Commission.”

With a change in power, there are questions to be answered about how the new Yukon Government can alter its position on the Peel Watershed, and CPAWS is currently working with its partners and legal counsel to get clarity on the road ahead. As we prepare for new leadership in the Yukon Government, we will continue our work to ensure a fair outcome for the Peel and First Nations.

The Supreme Court of Canada hearing will still take place on March 22, 2017 because the matter affects not just the Peel; the ruling will provide certainty for all land use planning processes in the territory moving forward and set a precedent for the entire country. The First Nation of Na-Cho Nyak Dun, Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in, Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation, CPAWS Yukon and Yukon Conservation Society are appealing the 2015 ruling of the Yukon Court of Appeal because it is our contention that the ruling fails to uphold the integrity of the First Nations Final Agreements and the land-use planning process by allowing the Yukon Government a do-over on its dishonourable actions. We are seeking to have the 2014 Yukon Supreme Court decision restored, which would re-start the consultation at the final stage and therefore ensure that 80% on the watershed is protected, as laid out in the Planning Commission’s Final Recommended Plan.

We filed our written arguments with the Supreme Court of Canada earlier this month, while the Yukon Government has been granted an extension until January 20th to submit its written arguments