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Mandate letter for Minister Pillai

Download Minister Pillai's mandate letter  1.4 MB

January 6, 2017

The Honourable Ranj Pillai
Minister of Economic Development
Minister of Energy Mines and Resources
Minister responsible for the Yukon Development Corporation
Minister responsible for the Yukon Energy Corporation

Dear Minister Pillai:

I am honoured to welcome you to your role as the Minister of Economic Development and of Energy, Mines and Resources and the Minister responsible for the Yukon Development Corporation and the Yukon Energy Corporation. Yukoners have entrusted us with a mandate to govern the territory. In fulfilling this serious responsibility, we must lead with respect, courage and compassion. We must work every day to earn the trust of the people we serve and respond to their needs and aspirations for a better Yukon.

This letter is to provide you with guidance in implementing our commitments to Yukoners looking at both what we do and how we do it.

We are clear about our priorities. Our government will help create jobs, balancing efforts to strengthen and diversify our economy with environmental stewardship. We will work collaboratively with Yukon First Nations for their benefit and the benefit of all Yukoners. We will build thriving Yukon communities recognizing local needs, local interests and local solutions. We will help Yukoners lead healthy, productive, happy lives through accessible, integrated programs and services tailored to their needs.

As we advance these priorities, we will work as a cohesive team respecting the collective nature of Cabinet decision making and recognizing that issues do not exist in silos. They are inter-related and often complex, requiring a ‘one government’ approach. We will also focus on delivering results that improve people’s lives. We will monitor progress on achieving these results and report to, and seek feedback from, Yukon citizens on this progress.

At the same time, we will live within our fiscal means. We must make thoughtful and careful decisions about spending to support meaningful, effective investments in jobs, in people and in communities across the territory.
The limits of financial resources require a measured approach in fulfilling our commitments. Some initiatives will take more time to accomplish and we will need to account for emerging needs during the mandate. In order to deliver results in a paced manner, I want you to work in the near term on specific goals linked to our priorities.

Your overarching strategic priority is to support the development of a thriving, prosperous and diversified economy that provides well-defined benefits for communities, First Nations and Yukon as a whole and integrates a high level of long-term environmental management. Our economy needs to be better able to absorb downturns. This means working with First Nations, business and industry partners, and the federal and municipal governments to broaden our economic base, build local capacity and competitiveness in new and existing businesses and services. Government investments are to help build sustainable job creation for Yukoners and innovative approaches to existing and new industries, and increased investment opportunities.

More specifically, I expect you to work with your colleagues and other partners in the near term to deliver on these key goals:

As Minister of Economic Development:

  • Encourage economic growth and diversification by aligning program funds and supports to
    • attract new investment to Yukon businesses
    • develop innovation and the knowledge economy
    • enhance trade opportunities for manufacturing and product development
    • strengthen entrepreneurial opportunities for Yukon First Nation development corporations
  • Encourage major industrial proponents to have local purchase programs that complement government procurement practices
  • Work with the Minister of Community Services to identify and work to remove regulatory and service impediments to competitiveness
  • Work with the Minister of Tourism and Culture to increase the benefits to Yukon from research conducted in the territory

As Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources:

  • Increase the availability of renewable energy solutions, while reducing the reliance on non-renewable sources and lessening energy consumption by:
    • developing energy policies and programs that meet future needs from renewable sources
    • providing stable pricing mechanisms for renewable energy projects
    • developing opportunities for the private sector to create fuel for biomass heating projects
    • allocating $30 million annually for an energy retrofit program for residential, commercial and government buildings
  • Promote responsible resource development balanced with environmental management and demonstrable benefits for Yukon by:
    • encouraging resource industries to establish strong environmental stewardship and community development programs
    • ensuring a strong environmental assessment process without unnecessary duplication of effort
    • promoting oil and gas development outside the Whitehorse trough and without fracking
  • Increase Yukon’s ability to be self-sufficient in food production
  • Work with the Minister responsible for the Yukon Housing Corporation to increase affordable housing options across the territory
  • Work with the Ministers of Environment and Justice on collaborating with First Nations on steps towards accepting the final report of the original Peel Watershed Planning Commission pending the outcome of the Supreme Court decision

As Minister responsible for the Yukon Development Corporation and the Yukon Energy Corporation:

  • Establish a $10 million fund to support economic diversification and innovation
  • Increase the availability of renewable energy solutions, while reducing the reliance on non-renewable sources and lessening energy consumption by:
    • initiating pilot projects in energy storage
    • reducing community reliance on diesel energy
    • converting street lighting to LED