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Yukon MP Larry Bagnell

Bagnell sorry to hear about minister’s departure

Yukon MP Larry Bagnell says he’s too busy to be a cabinet minister.

By Tim Giilck on January 13, 2021

Yukon MP Larry Bagnell says he’s too busy to be a cabinet minister. Bagnell, the long-time representative first elected in 2000, was responding Tuesday to that day’s small cabinet shuffle made by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

He said he wouldn’t have “refused the call” if Trudeau had made the offer, but indicated he is quite satisfied with the changes he saw.

In particular, Bagnell said, the Yukon would miss Navdeep Bains, the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, who announced his resignation from the cabinet, as well as his intention to leave politics. That decision prodded Trudeau into making the shuffle (see details, p. 10).

Bagnell said he thinks highly of Bains, and praised his interest in the Yukon.

Bagnell related a tale of how a group of 15 to 20 Yukoners hopped on a plane in the last year or so and headed to Ottawa to hopefully meet with some officials there to outline various concerns.

Bagnell was with them, and he emailed Bains from the plane to see what he could do to facilitate their interests. The group had not scheduled any meetings ahead of time, he said.

“You know it could take weeks or months to hear back from a written request to a government minister,” Bagnell said.

Nevertheless, he was successful in contacting Bains, who agreed to a meeting at 8:00 the next morning, much to Bagnell’s surprise.

He was also to quick to praise Bains for helping to resolve a potential loss of service to Yukon customers of Xplornet last fall.

Remote customers were faced with the prospects of losing access to the network, but Bains helped to find a workaround to preserve the access for the hundreds of customers – many living in remote areas – who rely on it.

Bagnell said his departure is a “big loss to the Yukon.”

He said Bains was of considerable help as well during the pandemic when it came to helping repatriate Canadian citizens who were abroad when the travel restrictions were in effect.

As for Bagnell, he said his constituency work keeps him more than busy.

“I have my hands full being an MP,” he said with a chuckle. “Yukoners are very good at contacting their political representatives with their concerns.”

Bagnell said that during the pandemic, he was getting out of bed at 1:30 a.m. to begin handling his duties for the day. It’s only in recent weeks that he has stopped doing that, and started getting more sleep.

Recently, he said he took no work home with him, and the novelty of that simple fact was quite appealing.

“I had time to do laundry and other stuff around home,” he said with a laugh.

He has not publicly indicated whether he will contest the next election, which could come as soon as the spring.

Comments (13)

Up 4 Down 3

Yukoner79 on Jan 19, 2021 at 1:15 pm

HAHAHAHAHAHAAH. What in the pandemic heck has you up at 1:30 am Larry? What duties? Nice try but thanks for the laugh.

“I have my hands full being an MP,” he said with a chuckle. “Yukoners are very good at contacting their political representatives with their concerns.”
Bagnell said that during the pandemic, he was getting out of bed at 1:30 a.m. to begin handling his duties for the day. It’s only in recent weeks that he has stopped doing that, and started getting more sleep.

Recently, he said he took no work home with him, and the novelty of that simple fact was quite appealing.
“I had time to do laundry and other stuff around home,” he said with a laugh.

Up 24 Down 15

Anie on Jan 15, 2021 at 12:56 pm

JC I've been on the other side. There was a Yukoner who thought he was being treated unfairly, and complained to Larry. Larry's office contacted us for the facts, and the person was still unhappy. Larry set up a meeting of all parties, listened, asked pertinent questions, and helped the unhappy person. I was impressed with his patience's civility, and respect for everyone in the room.
Although I am not a fan of his political party, I do think he has served his constituents well. And to those who chastise about him showing up to fund raising social events attached to our favourite cause - we invite him, and then complain when he comes - does that make any sense?
There's an MLA in Alberta who had not been in his riding since the election, in fact he just got tossed from caucus after submitting expense claims cause he was in Edmonton just about every day, not his riding.

Up 19 Down 7

Harvey on Jan 14, 2021 at 8:09 pm

Uh JC why did you have to contact MP Bagnell's office so many times? That is not normal.

Up 16 Down 7

drum on Jan 14, 2021 at 5:02 pm

The Politicians work for us!!! We elected them and we pay them. Why would we wait for months to get an appointment to discuss something important to the Territory. Bains was just doing her job that we pay her for. It is not a OMGod moment.

Up 26 Down 48

Curly on Jan 14, 2021 at 12:08 pm

Larry is an old man, I’m getting up there myself and can tell you first hand things move slower with age. Couple that with the fact that his is one of the most travelled MPs simply because of geography. He’s also got young kids.

I’ve been largely on board with how he’s represented us in Ottawa.
He shouldn’t run again but he will leave some big shoes to fill. I’ve lived all across Canada and Yukoners are amongst the most entitled people I’ve known/worked with. It will be a huge challenge for whoever replaces him.

Up 37 Down 6

Vlad on Jan 14, 2021 at 11:47 am

@drum - not many babies available to kiss in the pandemic era, difficult when wearing a mask too.

Up 56 Down 8

Sheepchaser on Jan 14, 2021 at 11:44 am

Thanks for the chuckle, Larry. Time to retire. You didn’t ask for all this insanity of late, no doubt. Do your constituents a favour though and admit you’re probably not the person that’s most able to lead us forward. Good intentions, I’m sure but your office is going to need someone educated in this century.

Up 65 Down 15

Ramsey on Jan 14, 2021 at 7:03 am

“I’m to busy to be a cabinet minister”. Give me a break.
Truth be told, he wouldn’t be able to go to as many buffet lunches.

Up 63 Down 14

jack on Jan 14, 2021 at 1:00 am

Larry would give anything to be a cabinet minister. Short of being PM, being in cabinet is the zenith of any MP's career.

The truth here is that Larry isn't really cabinet material and wouldn't be considered for a post at all.

Up 40 Down 17

Wilf Carter on Jan 13, 2021 at 5:53 pm

Larry here are some concerns.
Very little funding for land development and building houses which you promised before the last election for all communities. Where is it? We have a need for 361 public housing units. We have a need for over 1800 different types of housing.
Do you understand the meaning of supply and demand in housing?
Companies wanting to move here can't find housing like mining companies.
WE have 40% 0f the population who can't afford to rent a house and your rental program only covers 15 to 20% of Yukon renters.
Then you supported taking away Yukoners guns which are all legal.
Than you support carbon tax that has driven up the cost of everything like food, dry goods, taking away $1800 to 2200 a year from the average family .
How does carbon tax reduce carbon in Yukon atmosphere?
Why are you dividing the Yukon culture by trying to buy First Nations votes over all Yukoners. That is causing so much divide and frustration in the Yukon, bad feelings. I have never seen so much anger in Yukon people in 35 years.
This is what people see and don't like about liberals.
You've done very little for pensioners but tax them more.
You make $182,500 per year but don't help seniors, poor, low income workers or the middle class etc.
Our kids and grandchildren's future is filled with debt which you supported.

Up 44 Down 14

Yukoner on Jan 13, 2021 at 5:09 pm

Too busy doing what? Like JC said, you're certainly not responding to constituents.

Up 41 Down 13

drum on Jan 13, 2021 at 4:52 pm

All through the Pandemic he received his pay cheque every two weeks. Did you see him anywhere doing anything!!!!! I sure did not. Typical Ottawa politician. They do nothing for us living in their riding.

Up 90 Down 24

JC on Jan 13, 2021 at 3:39 pm

Larry says, "Yukoners are very good at contacting their political representatives with their concerns". Yeah Larry. Only you don't answer their concerns. I have sent you many concerns over the years. The only one you responded to was one several years ago, when I told you I agreed with something you said. Nothing since. I sent you another serious concern of mine the other day, but don't expect to hear anything about it. But, you're right, Yukoners are very good at contacting their political concerns. But like yourself, many political reps have no interest to answer them.

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