Campaign trail notes: Here's what Yukon's political parties had to say March 19

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Party campaign signs are posted at the intersection of Lewes Boulevard and Hospital Road in Whitehorse March 18, 2021. (Chris Windeyer/CBC  - image credit)
Party campaign signs are posted at the intersection of Lewes Boulevard and Hospital Road in Whitehorse March 18, 2021. (Chris Windeyer/CBC - image credit)

All three major parties had policy announcements Friday ahead of the Yukon territorial election on April 12. Here's a roundup of those promises:

NDP

The NDP is dubbing its latest package of campaign promises a "bundle of joy."

Flanked by new moms, including Porter Creek Centre candidate Shonagh McCrindle, and burbling babies, leader Kate White announced a set of policies aimed at helping new parents.

White said an NDP government would look into building a birthing centre near the Whitehorse General Hospital that would offer both Western medicine and traditional Indigenous birthing services.

The NDP would also cover the cost of perinatal mental health care and expand the use of midwives, including Indigenous and French-speaking ones and midwives trained to serve transgender and non-binary parents. The Yukon government introduced midwifery regulations this year, but White said that isn't enough.

"It's important to recognize midwives as primary health care providers, you should be able to choose a midwife first, just like you might choose a doctor, a nurse practitioner, and we need to make sure that they can practice to their full scope of practice and that they have access to all the facilities that they need, including the hospital setting," she said.

The NDP would also cover the cost of fertility treatments up to $8,000 and cover travel costs for people who need to leave the territory to access those services.

Liberals

The Liberals announced a suite of plans to make healthcare in Yukon more accessible. If re-elected, the party plans to hire more nurse practitioners in communities.

It also plans to expand Telehealth in rural communities for things like renewing prescriptions and medical appointments.

"This will reduce unnecessary travel and support Yukoners to get the health care they need without leaving home," said Liberal candidate John Streicker, who's running for re-election in the Mount Lorne-Southern Lakes riding.

Streicker said a "health lodge" will be set up in Whitehorse for those who need to travel to attend appointments in the city.

He also said the territory's Health Professions Act will be revised. He said it will be done to improve how health-care professionals are regulated.

Yukon Party

Yukon Party leader Curry Dixon announced plans to tackle climate change.

Dixon wants to partner with Yukon University, industry and local unions to invest in training construction workers in retrofitting homes and office buildings to become more energy efficient.

"What we don't want to see is companies have to come up from down south to do that kind of work," he said.

"So by really focusing on upskilling and improving the training available to our workforce here in the Yukon, we are really putting our businesses in a competitive advantage while also improving our efforts on climate change."

The party is also pledging to ensure that existing infrastructure investments integrate green building standards.