Yukon Liberals, NDP make deal to work together in government

·2 min read
Yukon Liberal Leader Sandy Silver and NDP Leader Kate White said Wednesday their parties will work together, holding 11 of the territory's 19 seats. (CBC - image credit)
Yukon Liberal Leader Sandy Silver and NDP Leader Kate White said Wednesday their parties will work together, holding 11 of the territory's 19 seats. (CBC - image credit)

Yukon's Liberals and NDP have struck a deal to work together in the next Legislative Assembly — signalling that Yukoners will not be returning to the polls anytime soon.

Liberal Leader Sandy Silver and NDP Leader Kate White on Wednesday announced a formal agreement "that creates a more formal bridge between our two caucuses," according to Silver.

The leaders stopped short, however, of calling it a coalition. It's an "agreement," under a Yukon Liberal minority government, Silver said at an afternoon news conference.

"The sky's the limit, as far as what we want to accomplish together. And we're going to start with this and we'll see where it goes," Silver said.

The agreement will be in effect until Jan. 31, 2023.

White said she has committed her party to passing Silver's budget, and other confidence bills. She called it a "confidence and supply" agreement.

"But I will not stop saying what I believe," she said.

The deal gives the parties a working majority in the Legislative Assembly, with 11 of the 19 seats between them. The Liberals won eight seats in the territorial election earlier this month — down from 10 before the campaign — while the NDP won three, raising speculation that a deal between the parties might be in the works.

The other eight seats went to the Yukon Party, now to remain the Official Opposition.

'A great day for Yukoners'

"Today is a great day for Yukoners. Yukoners have asked the parties to work together, and that's what we've done," White said. "It's a deal that I'm so proud of."

Silver — who last week announced his intention to form a government despite his party losing its majority — said the two parties appreciate the "need for a stable government."

The two said they agree on several priorities — the need for affordable housing, new initiatives to address the territory's opioid crisis and climate change.

White said she's also secured some commitments from Silver's Liberals — to cap rent increases, increase the minimum wage and introduce a publicly funded dental plan.

MLAs were all sworn in last week.

Silver has not yet named his cabinet.

Read the agreement between the two parties: