The Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Board (YESAB) could soon be without enough members to function — and the premier is putting the blame on Ottawa.
"What we know for next week is that we would be in a holding pattern, because they [YESAB] would not have quorum," said Premier Ranj Pillai in the legislative assembly on Wednesday.
"That has been voiced to the federal minister [Northern Affairs Minister Dan Vandal], and our displeasure that we could be put in that position."
YESAB is a neutral body that conducts environmental assessments of development projects in Yukon, and makes recommendations to the territorial government about whether projects should proceed, and under what terms and conditions.
It's comprised of a chairperson and six board members who are nominated by the territorial government or the Council of Yukon First Nations, and appointed by Vandal. The chair and two members make up YESAB's executive committee.
Before last week, there were already two vacancies on the seven-person board — the chair and a member. Then on Oct. 25, two other board members saw their terms expire.
This coming weekend another member, who sits on the executive committee, will also see their term expire. That would leave just two people on the seven-seat board.
"That's obviously deeply concerning to all of us, especially to proponents who have projects before YESAB right now," said Official Opposition Leader Currie Dixon in the legislature on Wednesday.
Vandal ultimately makes the appointments to the board. Pillai said nominations have been submitted to the minister, so it's not clear what the hold up is.
"We are in a position where we are waiting on the federal government," Pillai said.
"We will be continuing to dialogue, as we have been, to communicate the fact that this is a very significant challenge and that it needs to be rectified."
In an email to CBC News, a spokesperson for Vandal said his office is "committed to ensuring there are limited impacts to the operations of the [YESAB]."
"We're aware of the potential loss of quorum and ... we're working diligently to get appointments onto the board," wrote spokesperson Kyle Allen.