Whitehorse City council salvaging free transit after Yukon Liberals bail

WHITEHORSE, YT – The Yukon Liberals’ refusal to fund free transit in the territorial capital has left Whitehorse city council reaching for the best deal it can get.

The city announced last Winter that free transit would cost more than the $1.5 million the Liberals committed under their Confidence and Supply Agreement with the Yukon NDP.

Community Services Minister and Whitehorse West MLA Richard Mostyn then balked at a solution proposed in October by Lane Tredger, Yukon NDP MLA for Whitehorse Centre.

 A Whitehorse city council resolution on Monday, Nov. 27, calls on Mostyn to put the $1.5 million toward free bus tickets to be distributed by local non-profit organizations.

A frustrated Tredger noted Tuesday that, while they appreciate council’s efforts to save what’s left of the initiative, handing out bus tickets won’t make transit free.

“Council is trying to salvage what they can after the Liberals refused to fully fund their commitment. The Liberals killed free transit in October, and as usual, they’ll leave it for cash-strapped non-profits to do the heavy lifting,” they said.

Coun. Mellisa Murray brought forward the motion that formed the basis of council’s resolution.

“We’re heading toward the eleventh-hour, and that $1.5 million is just sitting there, doing nothing,” Murray said.

Tredger had suggested repurposing money in the Liberal’s Fall supplementary budget to pay for free transit.

 Mostyn refused, insisting that $1.5 million in free bus passes would satisfy the Liberals’ obligation under CASA.

 “It’s not what the Liberals committed to,” Tredger said.

“They found $20 million this year to pay for an ore dock in Alaska, and they gave $1 million to landlords, so it’s really disappointing to see them walk away from a perfectly good opportunity to lead on free transit.”


For more information please contact:

Laurie Tritschler, Comms Lead, Yukon NDP