Whitehorse Daily Star

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John Streicker, Jeremy Harper and Dan Curtis

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Dan Curtis

Election sees Liberals held to a minority government

Liberal Premier Sandy Silver was re-elected Monday to his third term as MLA for the Klondike riding and second as premier.

By Chuck Tobin on April 13, 2021

Liberal Premier Sandy Silver was re-elected Monday to his third term as MLA for the Klondike riding and second as premier.

Silver, however, will be saddled with a minority government regardless of what happens in the Vuntut Gwitchin riding.

There, Liberal incumbent Pauline Frost and NDP candidate Annie Blake ended the night in 78-78 tie vote. The Yukon Party did not field a candidate in the riding.

The tie would force a recount overseen by a Yukon Supreme Court judge if it stands up when the results are confirmed after the official addition on Thursday.

If the votes remain tied, the riding would be decided by a draw.

The Liberals and the Yukon Party ended the night with eight seats each.

The NDP took two seats.

If the Liberals and Yukon Party remain tied after the Old Crow riding is decided, the common practice is to give the governing party the first opportunity to form the next government.

The premier won his riding handily, garnering 526 votes compared to 364 for Yukon Party candidate Charlie Dagostin and 224 for NDP hopeful Chris Clarke.

Silver said in a telephone interview after the results were in that he attributes his success in the Klondike to just being a people person and representing his constituents – all constituents – as best as he can. People trust him to work hard on their behalf, he said.

For this term in office, the premier said, he’s going to be doing more work in his riding, even with his duties as premier.

“I always hope to have government that represents all walks of life, and I am proud of what we have done in that regard and we hope to continue that,” he said.

Silver said he was proud of his Liberal team and the diversity it brought to the election.

The Liberals, he said, will carry forward with the work they’ve done over the previous 4 1/2 years while following through with the commitments they made in their party platform.

“I will make good on those commitments,” he said.

With 19,001 Yukoners exercising their right, the voter turnout was 65.5 per cent of the 28,992 eligible voters.

The Yukon Party received the most votes at 6,897, or 36 per cent of the total votes cast.

The Liberals received 6,722 votes, or 35 per cent of the vote, while the NDP received 5,356 votes, or 28 per cent of the total vote.

The Liberal headquarters were quiet Monday evening as the results started rolling in.

Party communications manager Sunny Patch said they built their campaign around the work they have done since taking over the government in late 2016. And they focused on their commitment laid out in two guiding documents – Putting People First and Our Clean Future.

“We talked about work we have done and and we talked about the how the Liberal team would like to continue that work,” she said in an interview at the headquarters. “There was great enthusiasm in this campaign. It was a really positive campaign.”

Patch said the Liberals got to work in 2017 resetting the relationships between the government and First Nations.

They spoke about their promise to build more affordable housing and reducing greenhouse gas emissions 30 per cent by 2030, she said.

Liberal campaign manager Moira Lassen said it was real pleasure to work with all of the candidates.

“Everybody brought their life experiences to the team and the team really excelled,” she said.

It was Liberal candidate Jeremy Harper running in the riding of Mayo Tatchun who was the first to be declared elected Monday night.

He finished with 238 votes compared to 208 for NDP candidate Patty Wallingham and 186 for Yukon Party candidate Peter Grundmanis.

A newcomer to politics, the 39-year-old Harper said he and his volunteers worked the riding extensively. He said they knocked on 480 doors over the course of the campaign.

Asked Monday night what attracted the voters to him, Harper simply said it was his reputation in the communities of Mayo, Pelly Crossing, Keno, Carmacks and Stewart Crossing.

“I have been a nice guy, and have always been willing to lend a helping hand,” he said. “I am just so happy to have so many supporters out there going to the polls.”

He will honour their votes by working hard, with his heart, over the next four years, he said.

“I feel this is such a privilege.”

The first order of business, said Harper, will be to develop an action plan for each of the communities he represents.

While Liberal cabinet minister John Streicker was returned to his second term as the MLA for Mount Lorne-Southern Lake, it was not a decisive win.

Streicker pulled in 446 votes, or just 40 more than the 406 votes for Yukon Party candidate Eric Schroff. NDP candidate Erik Pinkerton drew 292 votes.

Streicker said the issues in the Mount Lorne-Southern Lakes riding are many, and varied.

COVID-19 was certainly on everybody’s mind, even if they didn’t raise it at the door, he said.

“As a territory, we still have to find our feet as we come out of this pandemic.”

Streicker said the huge snowpack and the potential for flooding in the Southern Lakes were also major topics, as was renewable energy.

Streicker said he could not offer up anything specific when asked why the voters chose him over the other two.

“It’s a difficult question to get into the hearts and minds of other folks,” he said. “I have always run for this riding, and the people who live here. I think all three of us tried to do that.”

He said he’ll continue his work in the legislation in a respectful manner.

Mayor Dan Curtis, having failed to be elected in the NDP stronghold of Whitehorse Centre, will be back in the mayor’s chair for Tuesday night’s city council meeting.

During an interview Tuesday, he offered his congratulations to NDP candidate Emily Tredger.

Tredger won by a substantial margin, earning 498 votes compared to Curtis’ 312 and 249 for Yukon Party candidate Eileen Melnychuk – who unsuccessfully ran as a Liberal in the 2016 election.

Curtis didn’t make any specific observations about why he placed second, but did note he did hear some voters say they liked the job he was doing as mayor.

He said he put forward a solid effort in canvassing the riding, knocking on every door, but he just came up short.

Silver, meanwhile, said the Liberals will return to the legislature with a lot of civility and a lot of respect.

“It’s not how well we agree,” Silver said of the dynamics among the three parties. “It’s how well we disagree.”

A tie also resulted in the Vuntut Gwitchin riding in the 1996 election.

In a figurative draw from the hat, the NDP’s Robert Bruce, who went on to become the Speaker of the legislature, won over the Yukon Party’s Esau Schaffer.

Comments (28)

Up 3 Down 4

Juniper Jackson on Apr 15, 2021 at 6:11 pm

Thank you Mr. Farley. Yes, you are right. I should have said, without the subsidy, I pay $100 a month more.

Up 9 Down 2

Chuck Farley on Apr 15, 2021 at 1:35 pm

Juniper Jackson; hydro did not go up, check your bill; it's the riders that account for an additional $80- $95 on the bill, energy charge is ok but those damn riders.

Up 13 Down 9

Citizen of the World on Apr 15, 2021 at 10:10 am

@How did John get back in?
The NDP is a more left wing than the liberals so your comment comes off as ridiculous, maybe get rid of the liberals and we'd see who is right or left.

I'm just tired of the liberals making promises then not going through with them, actual snake oil salesmen.

Up 11 Down 9

Juniper Jackson on Apr 15, 2021 at 2:34 am

OMG: My glasses are pink tinted. But, blue is an interesting color. I'll think about it.

Buh Bye: If you don't like my "wine-ing" change to beer and don't read my posts. I don't have a party. I'm old fashioned, I voted for the person. As for my generation, nothing has been invented after us. Improved on? yes. New? No. We put a man in space with a Commodore 64. The greatest music. Just to name a few: The scanning tunneling microscope, DNA fingerprinting, The Jarvik 7 implantable artificial heart, Bacterial cement, THE INTERNET, the ambulatory infusion pump, the Sauk method of Vaccines, Xrays (the Curries, remember them?).
What didn't we do? We didn't have plastic, it wasn't us throwing plastic bottles into the oceans, we had glass everything. Recyclable glass milk bottles, glass pop bottles, glass bowls. It isn't us throwing garbage into space. It wasn't us with plastic credit cards running up the debts, but it was my generation that invented the economic roles still being used today.
Remember John Nash? It was boomers who gave birth to modern physics. It isn't us living in our parents basements, stoned out, looking for handouts, eating tide pods, but it's many of us still working and paying for it. It wasn't us sticking our parents in senior homes, our parents lived with us, and we took care of them. We worked every day. A lot of us still do. Our contributions changed the world. We have morals, we have values. Think again before you come after seniors.

Up 14 Down 6

Fearmongering on Apr 14, 2021 at 7:41 pm

Hey John, Are you really that terrified of Covid that you think it was dangerous to hold an election? Let me guess, you also think we should keep all of our travel restrictions, mask mandates, the whole nine yards. If you want to live in fear that's fine, but don't push it on everyone else. Where in Yukon is this "third wave" you are referring to? How many people became sick during the election?

Up 33 Down 12

Dentist47 on Apr 14, 2021 at 3:45 pm

This is the closest we have come to having proportional representation for a long time. If the Liberals lose Old Crow, then the Yukon Party should form the government because they got a higher percentage of the overall votes. I don’t think I am alone in expressing these sentiments.

Up 17 Down 7

Groucho d'North on Apr 14, 2021 at 2:05 pm

In your zeal to denigrate Ms. Jackson, you must have forgotten to do some research before you applied fingers to keyboard, I'll make it easy for you. Google Mayo B hydro plant. The Carmacks region also benefited from a significant electrical system upgrade when the Minto mine project was being developed in 2006. Just because YOU don't know, doesn't mean it didn't happen.

You demonstrate a piss-poor attitude as somebody I would suspect identifies as a progressive. Calling down the generation that came before you and all they have contributed to the Yukon over their careers is in very poor taste. Ideology debates can bring out the worst in people, but I'm certain that was not your intention. I suspect you were attempting to display your wit. You got it half-right.

Up 14 Down 14

Atom on Apr 14, 2021 at 1:11 pm

Ha Crickets......lota sore folks on here now....election win for Liberals.....yeah yeah, minority....but nobody wanted any other party in there bad enough....or, weren't enough gullible voters to push the Libs out.

Up 11 Down 15

Woodcutter on Apr 14, 2021 at 1:08 pm

Lol...I told you so. Sure 40% voted for cons but 60% rejected the cons.
@Dan, are you serious? With the vast majority of responses coming from the right side of the peanut gallery, you expect them to know things like this? Honesty and balance are not their stock in trade, combine this with labels like socialist thrown out there constantly should provide all the evidence needed to display the level of ignorance on that side of the politic spectrum.
The complaints of socialism doing service when they complain and declare the government should solve everything, including the hi cost of gas, electric prices and housing.

Up 10 Down 22

Olav on Apr 14, 2021 at 12:38 pm

Drum roll..watch for a YP member to walk across the floor to the Lib's.
Who will it be Scott or Brad..
It will be an instant appointment to whatever portfolio they want.
Scott was once a red coat..
Brad has sat as an independent before..he has a bone to pick with Currie..I am sure his loyalty to the YP is waning after he lost the party leadership race.
First one out of the gate gets the big pay increase the other will be left to stagnate with the remaining YP members.
Instant majority for the Lib's and Kate's perceived instant gain of power vanishes.

Up 22 Down 11

JSM on Apr 14, 2021 at 11:00 am

Can't believe that people have any faith in the snakes the keep taking out of there pockets. Lieberal supporters vote against their interests.

Up 11 Down 7

Allan Stanley on Apr 14, 2021 at 10:19 am

I think that the tied candidates should play a game of chess to decide things.
The entire world press would probably be interested.
We'd get soooo much free publicity

Up 35 Down 14

John on Apr 14, 2021 at 8:32 am

Thank you to Sandy and the liberals for calling an unnecessary election during the third wave of the pandemic. Now, not only are we struggling with covid impacts and its emotional toll, we also have a messed up government who won't be able to operate . Thanks again for your selfish actions by taking advantage of a perceived opportunity to win an election at our cost.

Up 30 Down 12

DL on Apr 14, 2021 at 3:35 am

Why should the Libs get to form the next government? Yes, there is a tie, but the YP got 40% of the popular vote, while the Libs only got 33%. Please honour your promise of proportional representation, and let the party with the most popular vote form the government.

Up 17 Down 25

OMG on Apr 13, 2021 at 7:30 pm

Hey June, your hydro isn’t hydro. It’s LNG and diesel. Did you already get how the YP failed to bring any renewable source in the 15 years they were in power?

Renewables don’t face the same market volatility that fossils fuels do but you probably can’t see that through your blue tinted glasses.

Up 15 Down 29

Buh-bye on Apr 13, 2021 at 6:55 pm

Oh, June you grumpy old boomer I had high hopes your incessant whining would end after your team went down in flames as was expected by all of us out here in the real world ie: not your YP echo chamber

Look, this generation is left to pick up the messes left behind by your generation. You can deny science all you want but clearly you and your flat earth ilk are on the wrong side of history yet again.


Up 16 Down 10

Guncache on Apr 13, 2021 at 6:02 pm

So in a tie they'll flip a coin, draw lots, etc. How about rock, paper, scissors. How about the party with the most votes?

Up 21 Down 3

CJ2 on Apr 13, 2021 at 5:46 pm

Cue the angst for proportional representation, but there's no reason the Liberals should have been squeaking in aside from their complacence. (A margin of 40-odd votes for a few cabinet ministers is not exactly resounding confidence.)

Sandy needs to take better care of his backbenchers. I voted Liberal, but I haven't seen or heard from my MLA since 2016. I don't mean personally (also true, but not my point), but when they're not cabinet ministers, their role seems to be negligible and it makes them easy targets.

I also think he called the election a month or two early. Waiting till there were more vaccinations and when there was more distance between the renewed emergency act and calling the election could have made a big difference. Then he doubled down and got huffy about the protest and I think it cost him. It speaks to a blind spot about how people aren't unanimous in how they feel about the pandemic situation.

Up 12 Down 19

Nathan Living on Apr 13, 2021 at 5:43 pm

The real winner was Kate White and the NDP.

Up 8 Down 15

Nathan Living on Apr 13, 2021 at 5:40 pm

Dan Curtis ran in a riding that has been an NDP stronghold, hard to criticize his loss.

Surprised John Streicker did not do better.

Up 25 Down 4

Dan Davidson on Apr 13, 2021 at 5:00 pm

How come so many people forget that Curtis wasn’t running for mayor again and that he’s been on unpaid leave from that post for the whole election period. I am not a Whitehorse voter. I just think the lies aren’t fair.

Up 76 Down 19

martin on Apr 13, 2021 at 4:54 pm

For Whitehorse Center, it makes lots of sense. Mayor C should get the message and not run anymore.

Up 43 Down 31

How did John Get back in? on Apr 13, 2021 at 4:52 pm

Simple. A party promised a bunch of b.s. and convinced people to vote for them.
I seriously dislike the NDP for what they did. At least if it was a two party system we could see if those NDP supporters would lean more left or right. I don't care if the NDP would have voted all Liberal. At least we would have a gov that could do something. This is going to be such a mess to deal with.

Up 25 Down 12

Observer on Apr 13, 2021 at 4:20 pm

Crickets, nothing but crickets today.

Up 43 Down 50

bonanzajoe on Apr 13, 2021 at 4:19 pm

And get it straight folks, the Liberals will not have a minority government despite who wins in Old Crow. Marxists always have each other's back. Just ask Justin Trudeau.

Up 40 Down 42

bonanzajoe on Apr 13, 2021 at 4:18 pm

Why does Silver need to do anymore work his riding? He got re-elected didn't he? Oh yes, I get it, it's just another promise he can break before summer break.

Up 69 Down 38

Juniper Jackson on Apr 13, 2021 at 3:35 pm

Sorry to see this. It means Silver will be importing more Liberals from Ontario into government jobs before the next election. Plus, they won't take the hint.. people don't like what they are doing. My hydro went up 100. a month because the Liberals eliminated the subsidy. Did anyone get an extra 100. a month in their paychecks? My gas went up, damned money grab called carbon. Food went up. Anyone else remember when 100. bought more than 5 items and/or just a bag of canned? I slide farther into the hole every month. I was hoping to see the Liberal party on the curb. How on earth did John get back in?

Up 83 Down 22

Bonepart on Apr 13, 2021 at 3:30 pm

Wonder what the reception for Dan 'double dipper' Curtis will be like back at the city. I expect his mayoral election will go down in flames this fall and rightly so.

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