Whitehorse Daily Star

Image title

Photo by Photo Submitted

PARTY’S NEW ERA BEGINS – Currie Dixon gives his acceptance speech Saturday evening during a live-streamed ceremony in Whitehorse after winning the Yukon Party leadership election. Photo courtesy YUKON PARTY/CRYSTAL SCHICK

Dixon slams Liberals’ ‘grave abuse of power’

Currie Dixon was elected leader of the Yukon Party on Saturday night.

By Gabrielle Plonka on May 25, 2020

Currie Dixon was elected leader of the Yukon Party on Saturday night.

“It’s very exciting; I was obviously very happy to get the result I did on Saturday night,” the 34-year-old victor told the Star this morning.

“More than that, I was excited to see the engagement.”

Dixon won a narrow victory, with 752 votes.

Brad Cathers ranked close behind with 682 votes, while Linda Benoit secured 160 votes.

The final numbers are based on the second round of voting on a ranked ballot.

In the first round, Dixon took 694 and Cathers 637.

A collective 1,514 Yukon Party members voted in the leadership election, representing 96-per-cent voter turnout.

Dixon said the high voter turnout is promising for the Yukon Party’s future.

“It shows people are engaged,” Dixon said.

“One thing I’ve heard from a lot of members and Yukoners in general is a lack of leadership and indecision on the part of the Liberal government has frustrated people.”

Dixon suggested this is a signifier that Yukoners are ready for a change from the current administration.

His first tasks as leader will be to develop a platform for the party and begin establishing a team of candidates for the next election.

In developing a platform, Dixon is determined to reach out to the “grassroots” of the party’s membership as well as to stakeholders and interest groups.

Dixon said he will steer the party with continued focus on the its foundational values: fiscal conservatism, low taxes, and support for the private sector and the hunting and angling communities.

“These are all important foundational values of the Yukon Party that will continue to underpin my leadership of the party,” Dixon said.

The new leader will aim to develop a “sound, productive and respectful” relationship with Yukon First Nations and take seriously the role they have in the territory’s economy.

Dixon is also looking to broaden the party’s mandate to cover new policy areas.

“One area I’m particularly keen to address is early childhood education,” Dixon said.

“I think we can chart out a policy front there that will set us apart from other parties.”

Dixon also hopes to pay more attention to mental health initiatives and offer new policies and supports in that area.

He is also looking to attract the next generation of Yukoners into the Yukon Party’s base.

He hopes broadening the party’s mandate and appealing to younger voters will help the party grow.

“I know you all understand how imperative it is that we defeat the current Liberal government in the coming election,” Dixon said during his acceptance speech Saturday night.

“In order to do that, we must become ready to serve the next generation of Yukoners and understand their priorities.”

Dixon slammed the territorial Liberals for their handling of electoral reform, not establishing a fixed election date and refusing to reconvene the legislature during the COVID-19 crisis.

“The Liberal government is a ship without a captain, and the lack of leadership from Sandy Silver and his team is really a problem,” Dixon said this morning.

On Saturday night, the new leader pledged to work to lead the party to a victory.

“All Canadians have a democratic right to legislative oversight on the decisions of their governments,” Dixon said.

“This is a grave abuse of power on the Liberals’ part; Yukoners’ trust has been broken.

“I am willing to put in the work to begin to repair it, and I will need all of your help to do so.”

Dixon is a lifelong Yukoner with a masters degree in political science who works for a mining supply company.

He won his seat as an MLA in 2011, representing Copperbelt North.

Dixon served in the cabinet from 2011 to 2016 with various portfolios, including Environment, Economic Development, Community Services and the Public Service Commission.

He left politics in 2016 to work in the private sector, so has no seat in the legislature.

He has served on the management team of ALX, an industrial supply company, since 2018.

The Yukon Party lost the 2016 election to the Yukon Liberal Party, with then-premier Darrell Pasloski losing his Mountainview seat to current minister Jeanie Dendys.

See related coverage.

Comments (49)

Up 2 Down 0

Cameron on May 31, 2020 at 6:52 pm

Currie Dixon - if you get in and I hope you do learn don't make the same mistakes as your predecessors. The libs have been a complete NIGHTMARE, they made your corrupt behinds look good which is no easy feat. If you are serious get rid of the corruption especially in Health and Social Services issue some much needed apologies and get back some ethical people. You may want to look at mental wellness that is a cash cow haven for the managers who commit wrong doing. I have no expectations of hope that you will be different - if you get elected turf out the DM in HSS and offer a big payout to the two he shafted to save his own skin - now that would be a start.

Up 6 Down 6

Moose on May 30, 2020 at 11:42 pm

No Drum Harper did not leave a real surplus. When he took power in 2006 he was left with a 13 billion surplus by the Liberal government of Paul Martin. He burned through this surplus before the recession even hit in 2008 and continued to run deficits right until the 2015 election when he balanced the budget by having a fire sale of government assets in order to do so. Like the infamous GM shares for example. There was nothing structural about his "surplus", it was a one of injection of cash to pretend he had the budget balanced for the election.

Up 8 Down 2

Jim on May 30, 2020 at 6:34 pm

Hey Moose, so we agree that they stopped the spring sitting early. So the government owes the public some sitting time. The opposition parties agreed to the budget so it could pass during the covid shutdown to help keep the government going. So yes, I believe they should come back and finish off the sitting and answer the usual questions and have some debate. Yes, the government did offer to have a sitting but stipulated that only budget questions would be discussed. So when you say the opposition parties wanted to dictate the terms, I guess wanting a regular sitting is your idea of dictating terms. And I think there is still room for all 19 jokers in the legislature. I think it’s not very democratic to ignore MLAs that have been elected by their constituents. So according to the Liberals, those constituents don’t count, and don’t have representation during a pandemic. I say finish off the spring sitting and those jokers will still have plenty of the summer off.

Up 15 Down 9

drum on May 29, 2020 at 5:36 pm

We will be bankrupt. Who is going to pay the price. Our Great, Great grandchildren because Trudeau had us in debt even before COVID-19. Harper left with us having a surplus in the bank. Enough said. Who is a responsible government?

Up 5 Down 3

Anton on May 29, 2020 at 5:34 pm

The Star has slid a story off the front page about the Liberals accusing the opposition parties of telling half truths regarding sitting of the legislature. This set a record for a story moving off the front page. It's under News for May 29th.

Up 5 Down 2

Ginger Johnson on May 29, 2020 at 4:40 pm

BnR on May 29, 2020 at 2:28 pm
"Wilf for mayor!! Oh, wait...."

GRIN - ya think he's get more than 163 votes this time ?

Up 11 Down 3

BnR on May 29, 2020 at 2:28 pm

Wilf for mayor!!
Oh, wait....

Up 23 Down 15

Wilf Carter on May 29, 2020 at 11:14 am

Liberals let people out of jail and fine people who break the law. Trudeau breaks the law but its OK. Now we find that people in prisons are getting $2000 a month. Great job liberals. Wait til Canada goes bankrupt then all the liberals can pay back our debt.

Up 13 Down 16

Wilf Carter on May 29, 2020 at 10:50 am

Liberals are so out of line with the facts on what's going in our world and not connected to reality. So Trudeau gives $790 million to the Gates foundation of our money to start putting a probe in people to track them. Then Trudeau gives China billions to create jobs in China and nothing for oil workers and $250 for Canadian farms.

Up 14 Down 7

DA on May 29, 2020 at 9:38 am

The fact that this 34 year old was elected goes to show how many people disagree with you and your ageism.

Up 16 Down 4

YukonMax on May 29, 2020 at 6:54 am

Most of us are still alive and remember the Peel. Wait, say...another 25, 30 years. You are still young, get a job in the meantime.

Up 11 Down 5

Wes on May 29, 2020 at 6:31 am

So many choices.
You can vote for the Northern Vision Development Party (aka Libs), or you can vote for the Multi-National Mining Corporation Party (aka Yukon Party).
It’d be nice if these two even made an effort to hide their allegiances.

Up 27 Down 8

Irony on May 28, 2020 at 11:58 am

So now the irony is that the 'Leader of the Official Opposition' is not even an elected member of the Legislative Assembly so can't speak there to hold the government to account anyway.

Up 22 Down 21

Obi on May 28, 2020 at 11:35 am

I would make a proposition to my Liberal and NDP friends, if they will stop telling lies about the Conservatives, we will stop telling the truth about them....

Up 32 Down 24

Dean LaRue on May 28, 2020 at 10:59 am

OK - Darryl Junior - you've had a week.

Tell us EXACTLY what this "grave abuse of power" was.
Is your brain still hurting from trying to invent lies that you think that we will believe ?

Up 22 Down 17

Unfeckingbelievable! on May 27, 2020 at 10:52 pm

Sheepchaser - Obedience and nepotism - I too have concerns with the level of obedience within the bureaucratic leviathan. You have a younger generation of people who have no clue that their obedience or acquiescence to an authority is often in the case of government, a matter of complicity. Yet they yield. And the abuses begin to stack up: privacy violations, wrongful terminations, bullying behaviours, violations of law, ethical breaches, and human rights concerns. This style of governance creates cliques while touting diversity. It is the essence of fascism which liberal leaning hypocrites praise in the name of equality. You can point out the contradictions and draw them relatable diagrams using crayon - You will be met with vacuous, quizzical, or confused stares. Sometimes you will get outright hostility.

The government has an incipient form of nepotism that will be difficult to route out in this relatively enclosed environment. Whether it’s nepotism or cronyism it is defined as like minded persons acting in concert whether consciously or unconsciously for the benefit of its group members at the expense of the organizational goals. Within the context of government you see this often - THIS IS WHY POLITICS AND POLITICIANS ARE SUPPOSED TO OPERATE AT ARMS LENGTH FROM THE CIVIL SERVICE - But time and again, political interference, it makes you go WTF!

Up 36 Down 21

Crunch on May 27, 2020 at 8:33 pm

What bothered most people is that when Currie and the gang got their butt kicked to the Supreme Court........ and back....... not even an appolgy was offered to Yukoners. The embarrassment of the Peel shenanigans only led Dixon to one alternative...... RUN and hide. He had as much to do with the dismantling of the Pasloski government as any YP MLA. The Yukon is somewhat transient but there is enough of us around that we don't forget in 5 years. The YP could have elected a leader like Benoit and offered some new direction but instead went with one with major baggage hoping that people are going to forget?? Not this cat.

Up 34 Down 19

Moose on May 27, 2020 at 6:13 pm

Hey Jim - How is the government not being democratic? There have always been two sittings in the Yukon legislature - one in the spring and one in the fall. This year there was one in the spring (albeit shortened) and there will be one in the fall. NOTHING CHANGED. In fact, the government even offered to have a sitting this month for the opposition members which they declined because they couldn't dictate the exact terms. Plus they can't clutch at pearls and feign outrage if they had accepted the offer. Oh and btw - there are 19 "jokers" in there.

Up 39 Down 18

Yukon Justice on May 27, 2020 at 5:41 pm

Grave abuse of power!!!???. Come on now, this is the Yukon not Washington!

Up 11 Down 10

woodcutter on May 27, 2020 at 5:02 pm


That is funny, Can they use that slogan?

Up 28 Down 10

All the better - easy to see things have not changed on May 27, 2020 at 4:36 pm

And PS - Brad's just way too honest - Oops! I mean a Loose Cannon; to be trusted as leader of the Yukon Party.

Up 45 Down 33

All the better - easy to see things have not changed on May 27, 2020 at 4:34 pm

There is no bloody way I will vote for Currie after what he tried to do to the Peel. It wasn't simply that he wanted it industrialized, it was that he and other Yukon Party members tried to railroad over the wishes of the vast majority of Yukoners, when they had their hands on the levers of power. Then there were the cruises in Vancouver where mining executives could blatantly pay money to talk to Yukon Party MLA's and the premier, and Archie's scam at the golf course, tacking on the bill for his favourite golf course's donation from the government, to the cost of a lot in Whistlebend, WHEN THE GOVERNMENT ALREADY OWNED THE LAND; and on and on it goes. This party is so corrupt, and they don't care who knows it once they are in power. The fact that they voted Currie in says it's going to be more of the same. I guess I should be happy that Linda Benoit did not get elected, because she's the only one of the three who represented real change for the better.

And yes, being pals with the trophy hunting industry isn't going to make you real popular with the average Yukoner, either.

Up 57 Down 5

SheepChaser on May 27, 2020 at 11:45 am

I just wish it wasn't the same old story with these guys. They pretend to be different, but all North American politics is basically Republican-Lite now. Meaning, donations buy you access and the vote you cast is largely irrelevant.

You want to show you're serious to the next generation? You'll have to fire an entire generation of entrenched bureaucrats in Whitehorse. We watch them do terribly incompetent things and somehow maintain their position and reputation. Do something to resolve the obedience and nepotism based fail upwards culture holding this territory hostage... you'll have my vote for life.

Up 27 Down 15

justsayin' on May 27, 2020 at 11:05 am

Politicians regardless of what colour they wear are slimy. No government has come in and cleaned the scum from the bottom up. We as a society, change the surface scum and let the bottom feeders continue to mess up and change OUR Yukon to a special needs version of city down south. The Liberals continue to create immense amount of divisiveness in our society. They hold closed door meetings with the Indigenous peoples of the Yukon and then dictate to us what is going to be done. Their method of preferred consultation is by survey's where the questions are designed to forward their agenda. For example, there is never a generic question, do you agree or disagree with making changes. The surveys are worded in a manner e.g, if this change was to be made, would you like A, B, C or D; this question, if answered would indicate regardless of choice, that Yukoners would want a change. Furthermore, anyone throughout Canada can complete these surveys and one could fill them out as many times as they want. I do not blame the Liberal government for this, I blame the bottom feeding prokaryotic people who continue to work for the Government. I would vote for a government which would clean house and be transparent. Heck, they do not even open tenders in front of bidders anymore.. who knows if numbers are being changed for the right price... Hassard, Dixon, Silver, Stricker, whomever they are, they do not run the show, they lack the testicular fortitude to do it.

Up 44 Down 36

Darrell Drugstore's smartest neighbour on May 26, 2020 at 8:37 pm

"The new leader will aim to develop a “sound, productive and respectful” relationship with Yukon First Nations and take seriously the role they have in the territory’s economy.'

First Nations people will not forget his involvement in Pasloski's
"Rape the Peel" project any time soon.

Up 32 Down 31

Itookalook on May 26, 2020 at 8:20 pm

It is truely laughable, cons will do anything to make themselves look good, including voting once, twice, three times on a obscure WS website. Listen the only vote that counts is the one on election day and the cons stand no chance.

Up 27 Down 20

jim on May 26, 2020 at 6:19 pm

"Canadians should have a democratic right to legislative oversight on the decisions of their government". And people have an issue with that? Are you nuts? I don't care if it's Liberals, NDP, or Conservatives. That is a fundamental principle of our system. We do not have a dictatorship last time I checked, although Silver and Trudeau are both acting like we do. But let's use the Covid19 excuse to not have sittings, virtual or in person. Go to Canadian Tire, Walmart, Super Store or any other grocery store. If it's remotely essential then it is open and working. There is only 13 of these jokers in a huge legislature chamber, so make it work. Maybe there's some way that the excuse makers and party loyalists can blame Harper for this also.

Up 13 Down 8

Bob Folster on May 26, 2020 at 6:18 pm

Woodcutter on May 25, 2020 at 7:38 pm

So you're voting for "THE NORTHERN HELLFIRE CLUB" to be the new name that we give to the Pasloski Party ?

Up 55 Down 25

brian on May 26, 2020 at 1:06 pm

DBH... how about giving themselves the ability to change the terms and conditions of any contract without review. It gives them the power to do anything they want with out legislative oversight. I'd say that is definitely an abuse of power regardless of how the libs will spin it.

Up 60 Down 29

Crunch on May 26, 2020 at 11:17 am

From what it looks like there will be more of the same. Handing out favours to the people who put you in power. Precisely the reason the electorate doesn't get the smartest people for the job. Dixon will be counting up his IOUs and prioritizing them as the first order of business. However, cozying up to players like the trophy hunting industry is dangerous business in 2020. Anyone who can come up with an equitable system to replace this ridiculous political system we are forced to put up with gets my vote.

Up 60 Down 70

Mick on May 26, 2020 at 11:13 am

Dixon slams Liberals’ ‘grave abuse of power’
How DARE the Liberals keep Yukoners alive. What gives them the right to ensure our public safety?

Up 61 Down 50

DBH on May 26, 2020 at 11:11 am

Notice how these sneaky Cons never specify what these imaginary abuses of power were.
Not convening the legislature when everyone is in isolation due to a pandemic makes sense... it's a large gathering, which is exactly what people shouldn't be doing.

They still haven't actually explained what they are mad about. What did the Liberal government do? Enact rapid pandemic response measures? Enact budgetary changes to provide coverage for people who can't work during the shutdown? You know, all the things they should have been doing? I can't help but think that's why these guys won't specify, because it will blow their argument to shreds if they do.

Moreover, this kind of thing is a common Conservative tactic. By not saying it, they let the listener fill in the blanks with whatever they want to imagine, whether it happened or not.

Up 48 Down 41

Mitigated Bawl on May 25, 2020 at 11:45 pm

Dear Unmitigated Gall - Your comment is Scheer lunacy. You and your Liberal friends will Currie no favour here. It should be highly concerning to everyone that the other parties are so self-absorbed that they cannot stop massaging themselves long enough to come together for the collective good of the country. Trudeau has worked hard to disassemble Canada, ruin its international reputation, and commit the country to virtual house arrest while impoverishing the nation making indentured servitude a certainty - The taxation nation on the brink of hyperinflation, economic stagnation, and moral deflation.... Now that is truly unmitigated gall!

Up 58 Down 40

drum on May 25, 2020 at 10:12 pm

I supported Brad Cathers and wished him to be the leader. I find Currie arrogant and not interested in anyone who cannot benefit him in some way. He does not appeal to the average taxpaying Yukoner. He thinks he is so special and above the real people of the Yukon.

Up 36 Down 38

Wilf Carter on May 25, 2020 at 9:48 pm

I see liberals don't want lower taxes. Our taxes going up on each family by over $3000 year, it drives everything we buy in Yukon up. This means less money for seniors, families, all cultures.
Then you have liberals supporting taking away Yukoners guns so we can't hunt like we have done for over 120 years.
We have had the highest employment of Yukon governments coming from outside then from the Yukon in the past 3 years. Yukoners are not priority when liberal employees are in Yukon government.
The records show that the liberal Yukon Government management has been the worse in history even worse then the last liberal government in Yukon.
Then you have the mining industry having a hard time getting permits to mine because of the red tape created by this liberal government.
Economic Development does not exist in Yukon because liberal politicians have no understanding of how to do it. Number one in economic development is housing to house workers. Right now Whitehorse is short 285 building lots based on the demand from Yukon Government data on sales of lots but they can't even see that right in front of their nose.
Then you have liberal telling Yukoners you will get back 100% of our carbon tax which we all got a total of $125.
When the Yukon party was in power there was more money per Yukoner in our pockets then ever in Yukon history.
I will give liberals one credit and that is fixing the Alaska Highway through Whitehorse which is not safe.
Other economic development opportunities are specialized forest, argo and fishing industry could be developed for export like northern Europe. I put a trip together for Ec Dev staff and they went to north Europe and did not understand what to look for on giving Yukoners ideas on new types of development.
Yukon has the opportunity to develop hydro power that will improve fisheries and wildlife environment which we could export to western Canada and US. This is 100% green energy like 95% of our energy comes from Hydro alone. Along with this we could remove trucking buy building a rail line along with hydro line south. The trains could use only green energy and could haul goods both ways not one way. Top of these trains could also carry tourist. 60% of our carbon created in Yukon is by trucking. As John S that because he knows that.

Up 72 Down 47

Observer on May 25, 2020 at 9:45 pm

UUm Mr. Cunning Curry, "Grave abuse of Power??", let me remind you of a time, not too long ago. We had a con government in power, you were a minister and actually lead the charge on trying to cirmumvent the First Nation Final Agreements in the traditional territory of the Peel River Watershed. The so called Yukon Party tried to rewrite the plan and we all know how that worked out, there sir was a real "grave abuse of power". You better hope they call an election soon, cause I have a long list of these!

Up 55 Down 49

andy cap on May 25, 2020 at 8:18 pm

Start off on the right foot. Attack the opposition with political pandemic bashing, promise FN to treat them as equals, placate business with tax breaks, and unleash the hordes of 4x4 s against the wild life. Promise Brad Cathers the job of deputy Sheriff, and make sure no one leaves Dodge with their boots on. And make a deal with Alberta to get a discount on Cowboy Hats.

Up 68 Down 43

Woodcutter on May 25, 2020 at 7:38 pm

Nothing on the environment I see, no green energy idea's or equality for all. Same old crap as always from this party. However who could figure otherwise, the party is controlled by the Langs, Tuton and that lot of godfathers.

Maybe now he can get a seat in Northern Ventures Group.

Up 44 Down 75

Yukoner45 on May 25, 2020 at 7:07 pm

This guy is 34 years old and wants to be Premier? Better cool your heels a bit junior. Come back and try again when you are at least 40. Yukon has the smallest population of all provinces and territories so we already have trouble making our voice heard at the Canadian table. Now imagine that on top of this, we send a kid to sit at the grownups table? Yukon would be a joke.

Up 51 Down 32

One One-Lesser-Voice on May 25, 2020 at 6:16 pm

Honestly, we could not vote in anyone from the Yukon Party and do well with just the liberals and ndp.

If we still get the generous transfer payments the formula for success is to spend wisely and get along with first nations.
The Yukon Party lost me when they bought land they already owned to fund the golf course.

Up 56 Down 52

Allan Stanley on May 25, 2020 at 5:38 pm

SO - "Rape the Peel" Dixon is back !


Up 84 Down 75

Unmitigated Gall on May 25, 2020 at 4:34 pm

An MLA leader for three and a half years making claims and imagined scenarios just like the National leader Scheer who also can't get anyone of the other 4 parties to side with him. There are common traits here, all too familiar for this crew of next generation 'good ol boys'.

Up 103 Down 72

Tally ho on May 25, 2020 at 4:20 pm

“It is imperative that we defeat the liberals in the next election” truer words were never spoken on a territorial and national level!

Up 55 Down 78

Patti Eyre on May 25, 2020 at 3:57 pm

I'm a long time Yukoner and my trust in the Yukon Liberal party is unbroken! Also, it is not right that the Conservatives call themselves the Yukon Party, they should be the Conservative Party of Yukon, or the People's Party of Yukon. The People Partiers of Yukon?

Up 49 Down 18

Edie rue on May 25, 2020 at 3:52 pm

Great news of this win for the party.
I get a little confused about their position on the spectrum. Dixon is not conservative, but the only position for the party is on the right.
Is it possible to have two mid parties, and a popularity contest?

Up 96 Down 65

HarvardYaleAndPrincetonMan on May 25, 2020 at 3:26 pm

"Dixon slammed the territorial Liberals for refusing to reconvene the legislature during the COVID-19 crisis."
REALLLY Currie ?
I can't recall even ONE useful thing that any member of your party was willing to do to help get the Yukon through this mess.
It was always and still is nothing but petty politics with your new entourage.

Up 83 Down 58

Henry Wensleydale on May 25, 2020 at 3:20 pm

MEH - all I'm seeing here is a younger version of Pasloski !
Dixon needs to get rid of Darryl's deadwood .

Cathers - Hassard - Smith need to be shown the door.

Up 87 Down 60

Gordon of Riverdale on May 25, 2020 at 3:14 pm

"Dixon slammed the territorial Liberals for their handling of electoral reform, not establishing a fixed election date"
Already Sanctimonious Currie !
The Pasloski government that he was part of postponed a Yukon election so that Darryl could meet Prince William.

Up 89 Down 71

Bud McGee on May 25, 2020 at 2:56 pm

Congratulations to Mr. Dixon. Now the real work begins, which is to toss these Liberals.

Add your comments or reply via Twitter @whitehorsestar

In order to encourage thoughtful and responsible discussion, website comments will not be visible until a moderator approves them. Please add comments judiciously and refrain from maligning any individual or institution. Read about our user comment and privacy policies.

Your name and email address are required before your comment is posted. Otherwise, your comment will not be posted.