Federal Conservative Leader Stephen Harper announced a plan to create a Canadian Armed Forces reserve unit in Yukon during a campaign stop in Whitehorse today.
The reserve unit would be aimed at “enhancing the Arctic operations capacity” and providing “specialized emergency response capacity,” according to a news release.
The territory last had its own reserve force in 1968. […]
The Conservative leader also addressed the controversial Bill S-6, which imposes changes to Yukon’s regulatory regime. The legislation has angered Yukon First Nations, who say it undermines their land claims under the Umbrella Final Agreement. Three First Nations are planning to take the federal government to court over the bill.
Harper said the changes in S-6 were requested by Yukon Premier Darrell Pasloski’s government. He said the legislation tries to balance industry and conservation and that he appreciates the views of those opposed to the bill, but declined to comment on the pending court case.
“The government believes we’re operating within our constitutional authority,” Harper said. “We’ve had strong support from both houses of Parliament to pass [S-6] and from the territorial government.”
Harper touched down in Whitehorse Thursday evening, where he was greeted at the airport by party supporters. He then headed to the Yukon Brewing Company, a local microbrewery, with Ryan Leef, the territory’s incumbent Conservative MP.
Leef was in the news this week after he carried out a “citizen’s arrest” of a woman defacing his campaign signs.
Leef won the riding by less than 200 votes in 2011, beating longtime Liberal Larry Bagnell, who is running again this time around.
See also: “Yukon candidate Ryan Leef defends actions in citizen’s arrest of sign defacer” (CBC News)