Yukon Party MLA Scott Kent says his party understands it made mistakes during the Peel watershed land use planning process, and that it respects Friday’s Supreme Court decision.
The country’s highest court issued a ruling that brought an end to a years-long legal battle that was prompted by the Yukon Party government’s decision in 2012 to come up with its own plan for the Peel region. In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court ordered the Yukon government to instead consider the final recommended plan that was proposed in 2011 by an independent commission.
The government’s plan had no validity, the court ruled, because it effectively ignored the land use planning process spelled out in Yukon’s Umbrella Final Agreement with First Nations. “We understand that there were mistakes made,” Kent said. “And we respect the findings of the court, and we look forward to moving forward with the land use planning process here in the territory.”
The Yukon Party was ousted last year by Sandy Silver’s Liberals. After Friday’s decision came down, Silver said his government would accept the commission’s final recommended plan, and now move forward with consultations on that plan.
“We’re very keen to start working towards finalizing a regional land use plan that now reflects a shared vision,” he said.