Whitehorse Daily Star

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Photo by Vince Fedoroff

ON THE TRAIL – Yukon Party Leader Currie Dixon campaigns with his sister, Bonnie Dixon, on March 16 in Copper Ridge.

Dixon: ‘We have put together a great team’

Ed. note: this is an analysis of the Yukon Party’s leader and campaign.

By Tim Giilck on April 9, 2021

Ed. note: this is an analysis of the Yukon Party’s leader and campaign.

Currie Dixon is one thoroughly modern conservative.

Dixon is the fairly new leader of the Yukon Party, guiding his party into his first election with seemingly a decent chance to win amongst the log-jam of parties.

He seemingly has a lot going for him in this image-based society. At 35, he’s young, but with years of political experience.

He’s a Yukoner born and raised, which is still an important factor to some voters. He’s been called handsome, but not so handsome as to be intimidating.

He has a young family that could be hired to star in a commercial.

He’s educated, with a bachelor’s and master’s degree. He’s quite capable of being charming in a somewhat low-key fashion.

He’s also as articulate as anyone on the current political scene in the Yukon.

In short, superficially, he’s the complete package for a contemporary politician, but that begs the question: What makes Currie Dixon tick?

Let’s try to find out.

“I think my extensive experience as an MLA and in the private sector works in my favour,” Dixon said.

“Yukoners are ready for fresh ideas and new ways of approaching issues. Take for example the issue of First Nations graduation rates.

“Government after government has been unable to fix this – so trying the same old thing is not going to work. I am ready to bring these new ideas to table and with our team’s diverse experience, we will finally be able to deliver action for Yukoners.”

One thing is certain. He’s seemingly intent on pulling the Yukon Party further into the centre than it’s generally comfortable with, but said he doesn’t like terms such as “Red Tory”.

As a student of political science – he has the two degrees in the subject – he insisted that’s a term traditionally reserved for federal politics.

“The Yukon Party has its own identity,” Dixon declared. “That’s the way I want to keep it.”

Still, since the term fits, whether he likes it or not, and it should be acknowledged, a Red Tory is a left-leaning Conservative; one who is not quite a Liberal but is closer to the centre of the political spectrum than most colleagues.

Sometimes it’s used as a pejorative amongst more traditional Conservatives, but often it’s a salute to the Progressive roots of the former Progressive Conservative Party.

Even the party’s slogan for this territorial election – “Action for a Change” – more than hints at where Dixon’s mind is at. That’s the kind of call to battle you might expect more from Liberals or even the NDP.

It’s been an entertainingly ironic part of the campaign that in some ways the Liberals and the Yukon Party have exchanged roles.

The Liberals explicitly they say they want to run on their track record and look to their past accomplishments for their inspiration while the Yukon Party is ostensibly looking to a change-filled future.

“The party has needed a bit more progressive approach in some ways,” Dixon told the Star. “We’ve needed more forward-looking thought.”

Perhaps it was inevitable that Dixon would straddle that line.

He told the Star his mother was a Liberal supporter while his father was a staunch Conservative.

Interestingly, one of those areas he’s made a prime part of his election platform is in trying to salvage the Yukon Party’s somewhat tenuous relationship with the territory’s First Nations.

During a leaders’ forum last week, Dixon readily admitted he had messed up the file on developing the Peel River basin during his first term in office.

It’s likely the first time that’s been heard publicly.

His interest in the First Nations is thanks to a deep dive in First Nations governments while finishing his master’s degree in political science at the University of Northern British Columbia.

He’s planning on tapping into that background and expertise should he and the party win.

So, Mr. Dixon, why else do you think you would be a good premier?

“We have put together a great team that Yukoners can trust to lead the territory out of the pandemic and into a prosperous future,” he said.

“We have a bold action plan to support the economic recovery and make life more affordable for Yukoners and their families. Our team’s mix of experience in government and in the private sector mean that we will be ready to take action starting on day one.

“As a former cabinet minister, a member of the private sector myself, and a parent raising a young family, I bring a lot of perspectives that I think would work well in providing Yukoners with responsible leadership.”

A slightly different version of the question had Dixon expanding on why he wants to be the Yukon premier.

“This is my home. This is my family and friends’ home. Yukoners are resilient people. I want to help the territory recover from the pandemic and put the Yukon on the right path to a prosperous future.”

As a prospective territorial leader at a young age with a young family, Dixon already has a sense of what he is getting into thanks to his former life as an MLA and cabinet minister.

“I could not do this without my family, and especially my wife, Brittany. They have been so supportive of my political career from when I was MLA from 2011 to 2015, through gaining the Yukon Party leadership, and now the election campaign.

“It is important to make that family time so you can be with your kids and watch them grow. No matter how stressful or tough the job is, going home and reading a book to your son or watching your daughter learn a new word makes you realize how lucky we are to live here.

“That’s my motivation and my inspiration. They are so incredible and supportive, and I would not be where I am today without their love and support.”

Less than a year into his tenure as leader, Dixon says he has travelled around the territory trying to get a feeling for what the public wants out of its government.

“I have travelled all over the territory and met with thousands of Yukoners to listen directly to them about their ideas for the future of the territory. Their input, their ideas, their concerns have directly helped develop our action plan.

We are a grassroots party and a lot of our ideas such as our bold ideas to improve our education system, taking decisive action on climate change, and bringing in truly universal child care come directly from the membership.

“We also have a solid Yukon Party team that have a variety of backgrounds and experiences that bring a lot of life experience to the table.

“I’ve made it my goal to lead and shape a party that includes and stands up for all Yukoners. I’m proud of what we have accomplished so far and will keep doing my part to advocate for a Yukon where everyone feels welcome.”

Comments (36)

Up 6 Down 4

Joe on Apr 15, 2021 at 12:32 pm

@ Mick.. aka Moystyn. I would say the liberal party has aged like a glass of milk on the patio on the longest day of the year. Joe is my real name but you can call me Chris Langan if it makes you feel better.

Up 3 Down 5

Mick on Apr 14, 2021 at 2:38 pm

@joe

That comment aged like a glass of milk on the patio on the longest day of the year. What a rube!

Up 16 Down 11

Joe on Apr 12, 2021 at 2:22 pm

@ observer.. aka Moystyn.. getting a bit nervous over there we see. You should be nervous.

Up 18 Down 14

Mike on Apr 12, 2021 at 1:42 pm

Just voted along with my wife, sons and friends all for the only Party that can restore balance back to the Yukon, fingers crossed we have a conservative government tomorrow. Come on Yukoners get out there and vote.

Up 20 Down 7

Groucho d'North on Apr 12, 2021 at 10:00 am

Election day did not come too soon. With the last month of pre-election mode and voters endorsing or ridiculing the wanna-bes, it seems tempers are getting a bit frayed, as witnessed by the decent into name calling by perhaps those who have reached the end of their ability to participate in these forums politely. Don’t worry, you will have plenty to spout off about during the up coming federal election where the real house cleaning needs to happen.

Up 24 Down 14

Cmon on Apr 11, 2021 at 7:57 pm

Oh Liberals. Do you have your staff helping you comment your displeasantries and boost your likes? These comments are hilarious. They seem pretty worried about making the Yukon Party look bad. Maybe they’re worried about something else? Like how they’re going to cram their stuff in the third party office when even their egos won’t fit?

Up 28 Down 13

Haha on Apr 11, 2021 at 5:36 pm

I would love to be a fly on the wall at the Liberal Campaign Office.
"Hey guys - Currie is getting only good comments on his story! Start making up names and emails and commenting to make him look bad!"

Hahaahah. You can see the moment it happened.

Up 10 Down 31

Observer on Apr 11, 2021 at 5:22 pm

Attention YP voters, by now u know that YP will not form a government. A vote now for YP is actually a vote for the NDP! Vote Liberal if u don't want a NDP Socialist, Communist government!!!

Up 26 Down 32

Gordon of Riverdale on Apr 11, 2021 at 3:52 pm

Sanctimonious Stacey - Sniveling Scott - Log Cabin Cathers all still on the roster.
A Great Team - NOT

Up 20 Down 28

Richard Ablanalp on Apr 11, 2021 at 3:39 pm

"A Great Team" you say.

HA HA HA HA !

I live in Whitehorse Center
"Tricky Dickie's" candidate is a party hopping loser in the last election who doesn't live in my riding.
Someone who has made ZERO effort to understand the problems the the territory's most complicated riding has.

Up 20 Down 34

Lynx on Apr 11, 2021 at 12:11 pm

Yukon Conservatives: Go Currie! We can't wait to get rid of the horrible Liberal progressive government. These socialists need to go!

Currie Dixon and the Yukon Party: We are going to put in place an even more progressive and expensive childcare system than the Liberals and subsidize everyone's power bills to take away their personal responsibility like all good socialists! Then of course blame the inevitable deficit on those darn tax and spend liberals.

Yukon Conservatives: YES!! That's great Currie, we are so pumped to go and vote for your progressive ideas and policies!! Socialist and progressive policies are only bad when the Liberals do them. You're the man Currie, let's have a big frat boy keg party when you win!! Wahoo!!

Up 23 Down 48

Vote Liberal on Apr 11, 2021 at 11:30 am

Hello fellow Yukoners, think for a second about all the animosity that was here during the con years, do we want to go back to that sort of environment or do we want to move forward and build a better Yukon for all of us. Vote Liberal.

Up 25 Down 47

Hes Just Not Ready on Apr 11, 2021 at 9:14 am

Curries 36 years old.
He's just not ready.

Up 27 Down 27

Wilf Carter on Apr 11, 2021 at 12:02 am

Let's look at what liberals have done and what NDP would like to do over the next 4 years.

Take us into debt and bankrupt the Yukon.
Then our housing prices would drop by at least $200,000 and people will give the keys to the banks like what happened under liberal governments before.

When Ottawa goes into insolvency, our transfer parents will drop like a rock. The Liberals supported by NDP is just nuts.
Why are we letting the Liberal and NDP people tell us how to live? If you vote for them this is what you will get.

Up 15 Down 23

Not This Time on Apr 10, 2021 at 11:32 pm

So let’s make believe this guy becomes a......bah ha ha

Up 39 Down 25

Joe on Apr 10, 2021 at 5:49 pm

It's great to see all the paid liberal commentators (cause they got no volunteers) trying to trash talk the next premier. Everybody sees right through it.

Up 42 Down 51

Yukoner32 on Apr 10, 2021 at 12:09 pm

Two reasons I won't consider the Yukon Party this time around.

1. I live in Whistlebend and the person running for the Yukon Party here, Yvonne Clark, lives in Lake Laberge. Whistlebend is a new and growing community and needs someone who at least lives in the riding to properly represent us.

2. Brad Cathers who is the rep for Lake Laberge, has been making a fortune charging taxpayers for food and gas driving back and forth to Whitehorse. Has anyone else from Lake Laberge/Takhini road area made $25,000 from their commute into work? It's appalling and I can't believe Currie is refusing to comment on it publicly. I guess this gravy train will just keep rolling if they get back in, Ugh.

Up 58 Down 27

Charlie Widrig on Apr 10, 2021 at 11:03 am

It's Yukon Party's turn. With herd immunity weeks away, this extended state of emergency is a head scratcher. June to August will be next with current Gov, unconstitutional power grab imo. Crushing effect to small businesses and Yukon's economy. Ramp up rapid testing and open up!!!!!

Up 36 Down 64

Woodcutter on Apr 10, 2021 at 10:25 am

Lol...2 weeks in the bush and I see this 35 year old with 2 degrees, 5 years in the disaster that was the spazloski government and now he tries to ride his private sector life. Dude you spent 30 of your years in school and blowing up the relationships with Yukon First Nation. What, you spent 4 years actually working for a living and now you self identify as us proletarians? I wonder what it's like to be a capitalist dressed up like a socialist, and now I see it.

You guys aren't going to win. You attract all the crazies, your policies are the same as the governing party and the voters know the con brand only looks after people with wealth.

When you've spent 20 plus years in the private sector, earning a living then you can utilize those credentials, but at this stage you're like a make believe veteran, who steals a uniform and try's to steal their valor. Phony con, but is there any other type ?

Up 24 Down 47

GreenLeader on Apr 10, 2021 at 9:57 am

Even though the Green Party are sitting this election out we still have a green representative.
Speaking of sitting one out Frat Boy decided to check in for this campaign. I guess the heat from the last election had the mind trust rethinking.

When you Peel back the layers of this candidate you don’t real see much substance. Speaking of substance anyone else notice that Boy Blunder decided to hold his Frat Party at a bar?
Oh well, it’s quite laughable that he is the Chosen One in a Party that has the old Boyz Club pulling his strings.

The funny thing about this campaign, the usual suspects are moaning and complaining because that is all they do. It’s a full time job for some of these cave dwellers to attack a government that has done a great job.
This government has done a much better job than Drug Company that ran it before.

This is a two horse race, and I for one am happier with who is the lead.
Does anyone think that the Yukon Party would make a better government?

Up 21 Down 39

Darrell on Apr 10, 2021 at 9:31 am

Currie Pasloski for premier!!

Up 30 Down 13

Nicole Charlie on Apr 9, 2021 at 11:53 pm

What is the "plan" though for FN students? In communities I'm hearing stories and experiencing it myself with my own daughter that some teachers can be quite rude, even going as far as calling some students stupid. Complaints been made but nothing done. My daughter is 14, a good kid, gets her work done and comes home to tell me things that teachers say that makes them feel stupid. So maybe the graduation rate isn't because of the student but the way they are being treated at school by the same people that should be there teaching not shaming.

Up 35 Down 48

HST on Apr 9, 2021 at 9:53 pm

The Yukon party would be, essentially, the same old boys club in charge: Scooter Kent, Brad "Grecian Formula" Cathers and Currie D. The rest are warm bodies.
Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

Up 25 Down 33

YT on Apr 9, 2021 at 9:49 pm

I see Curries committed to reviewing the elk management plan. LOL!!
Reckon Cathers is getting desperate for the 3 farmers who've been bitching about it.

Up 26 Down 40

BnR on Apr 9, 2021 at 9:47 pm

The Yukon Party's trying to out spend the NDPers.
Does Currie think money just grows on trees? Maybe he does, he was Pasloskis boy after all.

Up 43 Down 21

Joe on Apr 9, 2021 at 7:42 pm

@ captain obviously moystyn... nice try. I especially like the” sandy’s done a good job” best ever funny line of the month.

Up 49 Down 25

Mike on Apr 9, 2021 at 7:30 pm

I'm voting for the Yukon party this time. I used to be liberal but it's getting way way too left for my liking. I doubt I'll ever support another school teacher politician again - federally or territorially. Stick to teaching kids and let's not pretend teaching social studies class level politics makes you qualified to do the real thing.

Up 31 Down 51

Observer on Apr 9, 2021 at 6:56 pm

Sorry Mr. Currie Con, ain't happening. I was waiting for a con to say it and there you have it," we need to Make Yukon Great Again", if that does not sum up the yucon party nothing does, if that is not the nail in the coffin, that is pretty damn close!

Up 53 Down 35

Mike on Apr 9, 2021 at 6:56 pm

Anyone who thinks Sandy Silver has done a good job is a government employee or a business that has profited from the liberals. Besides that he's done nothing for the Yukon or its residents.

Up 46 Down 118

CaptainObvious on Apr 9, 2021 at 5:15 pm

Many supporters I've talked to say he's got potential but his time hasn't come yet. They're worried about the New Disaster Party and will be voting strategically this time. They say Sandy's done a good job and is the best choice this time around. I agree.

Up 113 Down 43

Northstar res on Apr 9, 2021 at 5:01 pm

Can I just say thank you to Currie for throwing his name back in. You already have my vote, but so happy to have had you on the ballot this time around! And a potential premier. Here’s to a better 4 years.

Up 99 Down 45

Yukoner79 on Apr 9, 2021 at 4:57 pm

So this is the first election I have been TRULY proud of MY Yukon Party. Kudos to you, Currie. Best of luck to you!

Up 112 Down 44

What I want on Apr 9, 2021 at 4:14 pm

I'm voting for the Yukon party for the first time. My grandparents settled here, my mother was born here, we raised our family here. I'm not ready to give up on living here. Recently I've really wondered if we can remain. Without a prosperous, thriving economy, what do we have? My fear is endless lockdowns, lack of direction and no commitment to recovery will destroy this place we call home.

Up 34 Down 22

Sarah on Apr 9, 2021 at 4:07 pm

His mother is NOT a liberal, hahahahaha as if he would say that.

Up 96 Down 52

Mike on Apr 9, 2021 at 3:56 pm

Can't wait for election day - conservatives by a LANDSLIDE

Up 95 Down 50

JSM on Apr 9, 2021 at 3:54 pm

I believe in Curries vision for a better Yukon. It's time we get rid of the lieberals and their socialist agenda and make the Yukon Great Again. I will be happy to see the right team as the winning team now that I made a vote for the winning team.
It is clear the Silver can not lead us out of these dark ages.

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