The Yukon Land Use Planning Council reviewed the Peel Watershed Planning Commission's Final Recommended Plan, and submitted it to the Senior Liaison Committee (a committee of senior Yukon Government and First Nations representatives).
The full document and cover letter is found here.
The Council concluded that:
- The Commission met its mandate by submitting a consensus based Final Recommended Plan;
- The alterations the Commission made to the Recommended Plan were largely done without a cohesive message from all the Parties or clear and specific direction regarding the nature of changes the Parties desired to ensure its approval and implementation. Without these, the Commission relied on their best judgment as an independent body in putting forward their Final Plan;
- The lack of a cohesive response from the Parties at the Recommended Plan stage indicates that there are still divergent opinions between the First Nations and the Yukon Government. First Nations have made their preferences and position clear; the Yukon Government has not. The net result is an impasse that put the Peel Commission in an untenable position. They believe their Final Recommended Plan honours both the letter and the spirit of the land claim agreements;
- The Commission was told that implementation would be determined by the Parties. As a result, this section is very weak. Leaving it up to the Parties to work out the implementation process after plan approval is a mistake. It raises the very question of how committed the Parties really are to effective plan implementation. The absence of performance metrics dilutes plan effectiveness and compromises its credibility. History repeatedly shows that plans without clear, definitive work plans and accountabilities do not get implemented;
- Despite improvements, the document would still be difficult for the lay person to understand. A summary document should be developed prior to the last round of consultations this fall. If requested, YLUPC would make staff available to assist with this task. Council’s staff also has many technical comments that it will share with the Technical Working Group.