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Yukon budget lays out $48.2 million surplus, funding for dental, inflation relief

The Canadian Press
Yukon budget lays out $48.2 million surplus, funding for dental, inflation relief

WHITEHORSE — The Yukon government is predicting a $48.2-million surplus in 2023 with a budget promising cash for housing, health care, infrastructure and inflation relief.

The document, tabled by Finance Minister Sandy Silver, is the first budget of new Premier Ranj Pillai, who took over the top job from Silver earlier this year.

Silver told the legislature the government is delivering programs and services that meet today’s needs while investing in infrastructure for the future.

“This year’s budget will make life more affordable for Yukoners. It moves our territory forward on reconciliation. It sets out our plan to grow a strong, resilient economy,” he said.

The 2023 budget includes almost $10 million in inflation relief measures like ongoing utility rebates, school food programs and income supplements for seniors.

An estimated $3.6 million is being spent for the territory’s new dental program, which gives uninsured Yukoners up to $1,300 in benefits each year.

Another $26 million is going to land development projects and more than $40 million to stimulate housing development.

Silver said there’s also $61.4 million for infrastructure including local projects like community centres, recreational facilities, boat launches, fire halls, EMS stations and public works buildings.

The budget also earmarks $4 million for efforts to increase the number of health care workers in the territory.

Another $10 million is going to a mental wellness unit at the Whitehorse General Hospital.

Silver said the territory is also funding projects to help address the substance-use health emergency in the Yukon, including the expansion of the safe supply of opioids in the territory.

In total, the territory is predicting $484 million in capital spending and $1.45 billion in operations and maintenance expenditures for this fiscal year.

© 2023 The Canadian Press

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