Yukon North Of Ordinary

News archive for January 21, 2014

Yukon Liberals to choose their new leader on March 1

The Yukon Liberals will have an official leader come March 1.

By Ainslie Cruickshank on January 21, 2014 at 3:17 pm

The Yukon Liberals will have an official leader come March 1.

The party announced the date of its leadership convention today.

On Dec. 4, the party membership voted in favour of holding a leadership vote. The executive has been working to develop the rules of the race since then.

“The sooner we secure a leader, the sooner we can start moving forward with securing and developing our policy platform,” Devin Bailey, the party’s president, said today.

Bailey was elected president at last month’s Liberal annual general assembly.

Once the leader is named, the party will recruit candidates and begin to develop its platform for the 2016 election.

“We want to start selecting our candidates for the next election so we can form the strongest possible team,” said Bailey.

“Now is a very exciting time. We’ve doubled membership in the last several months; people seem like they want change; they’re looking for a party that’s reactive and listens to their voice, and the Yukon Liberal Party seems to be the answer to a lot of people’s desires for a political party right now,” he said.

“We’re excited about that and we’re going to take this momentum and carry it through to the next election.”

Candidates who wish to run for the leadership must submit their nomination form by 11 a.m. Feb. 8, while any new members wishing to vote must be registered with the party by Feb. 22.

Interim leader Sandy Silver announced his intention to seek the official position in July 2013.

Having an official leader will create the stability in the party that’s necessary to attract candidates, he said in an interview early this afternoon.

“They can take a look at the leader and say, ‘that’s a person that I can get behind.’”

In the years since the 2011 election, a lot of work has been done to strengthen the core of the party and to give Yukoners an option in the centre of the political spectrum, Silver added.

“We’re ready for that next step, we’re ready to have a leader in position so people can feel confident that this party is stable and solid and has a leader with a vision.”

Silver said the belief that there’s a better way of running a government is driving him to run for the party’s top job.

He said he wants to create an atmosphere where people can speak freely, bring their ideas to the forefront and know they’ll be heard.

“People’s ideas on the ground floor don’t resonate into policy. I think that’s the biggest thing that motivates me to want to get involved,” he said.

“We’re proposing a system and alternative to the current way of government that will work because it’s going to involve more input from locals.”

Silver was elected to represent the Klondike riding in October 2011.

He became interim leader of the party when Vuntut Gwitchin MLA Darius Elias left the caucus to sit as an independent before joining the Yukon Party ranks in 2013.

The only government the Liberals have ever formed lasted from 2000 to 2002 under the leadership of Pat Duncan.

By Ainslie Cruickshank
Star Reporter

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