Whitehorse Daily Star

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ASSESSING THE VERDICT – Yukon Party Leader Currie Dixon gives his speech at the party’s election headquarters late Monday evening. Photo courtesy YUKON PARTY

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Geraldine Van Bibber

‘It’s a very interesting decision by Yukoners’: Dixon

This could only be called an inconclusive result to an odd campaign.

By Tim Giilck on April 13, 2021

This could only be called an inconclusive result to an odd campaign.

Yukon voters were left in limbo Monday evening as there was no clear winner in sight after hours of territorial election vote- counting.

A 78-78 tie in the Vuntut Gwitchin riding was the fly in the ointment, leaving the Liberals elected or leading in eight of the 19 ridings.

The Yukon Party also had control of eight seats, and the NDP had two.

That left the Liberals potentially one spot short of a majority government and the Yukon Party potentially one riding short of tying the Liberals.

A win in Old Crow would give the Liberals nine seats to the Yukon Party’s eight. A loss would give the NDP three seats.

The NDP is left as potential kingmakers in the jumbled results.

The Yukon Party raked in nearly 40 per cent of the votes, significantly ahead of the Liberals and their 33 per cent.

Their support, though broad-based, was either too diffused to capture a large number of ridings, or concentrated in too few ridings.

The Liberals’ concentrated support made a compelling difference in the results.

The atmosphere at the Yukon Party headquarters was mostly quiet through the evening.

Cheering erupted sporadically as party candidates were announced leading or elected, but there was far more of an attitude of concern as the night wore on.

The Yukon Party did make history with the first election of a Filipino member, with Yvonne Clarke wrestling away Porter Creek Centre from the Liberals’ Paolo Gallina.

“Yvonne Clarke has made history tonight under the banner of the Yukon Party,” said party leader Currie Dixon. “I want to wish her all the best in doing so.”

Dixon also won comfortably, ousting Liberal MLA Ted Adel.

All three party leaders sounded unhappy with the results in their Monday night speeches.

A recount will need to be conducted in the Vuntut Gwitchin riding where Pauline Frost of the Liberals and Annie Blake of the NDP were running, possibly followed by a judicial recount and drawing of lots if necessary.

The process could take days to complete.

Dixon spoke of the highly unusual outcome of the election.

“It’s a very interesting decision by Yukoners tonight. Here’s what we know: we know the almost 40 per cent of Yukoners voted for the Yukon Party tonight. That’s an almost overwhelming number.

“All six of our MLAs were re-elected with the considerable confidence of electors,” he added.

“Of course there is a bit of uncertainty remaining. What we do know is in spite of the overwhelming support of Yukoners, the seat count did not go in our favour, and my understanding of parliamentary tradition is the Liberals will have the first opportunity to form government.

“We’re watching the results of the coin toss or however it is settled with great intertest.

“Until we see the results of the tie-breaker in Vuntut Gwitchin, we will have to remain interested in the final outcome. It’s a very difficult situation to determine what the outcome is going to be. We do know it’s going to affect the composition of the legislature, and consequently the government of the Yukon,” said Dixon, who took over the leadership 11 months ago.

“We’ll remain watching with bated breath. Collectively, we believed that better is possible. We need a government that does what it says it’s going to do.”

Dixon congratulated Liberal Leader Sandy Silver on that opportunity, but he made it clear the Yukon Party will continue to press on its campaign promises to make life more affordable for Yukoners and to fight for the private sector and communities.

He also congratulated NDP Leader Kate White on her campaign.

Ted Laking, the Yukon Party’s campaign manager, said “obviously we were always gunning for a majority government.

“It’s been a nail-biter for sure.”

Laking said the party expected a tight race, but added no one could have predicted this outcome.

One of the successful candidates was Geraldine Van Bibber in the Porter Creek North riding.

She said it was an honour to be re-elected and had been very pleased with the support she was shown during the campaign.

Comments (15)

Up 7 Down 1

Jim on Apr 17, 2021 at 3:58 pm

This election was not about values or integrity. This was a choice of which party was going to give me the most stuff. Promises and money was flowing like drunken sailors at a stripper bar. The only problem is that all these sailors were spending your money and everyone gobbled it up. Even trying to buy the Old Crow seat by spending 7 million dollars over the budget and lowest bidder made nobody bat an eye. Conservatism didn’t stand a chance, and really wasn’t offered. Socialism was the flavour of the day no matter how you try to colour it. Nobody had a clear plan on building back business or industry and from all debates it was just about hand outs.
We have to keep in mind that we have over 50% of our work force working for some sort of government that haven’t missed a pay check for over a year, and most haven’t been back to work. Why would they want to change that. But hey, barely more than 30% voted for the incumbent party, and the swing vote goes to a party that can’t figure out how rent control can’t work. It’s going to be an interesting 5 years.

Up 6 Down 9

Merlin on Apr 16, 2021 at 10:21 pm

Sorry Zombie Nation but Conservatism is dead in the Yukon no matter how much it hurts you to acknowledge. The recent election proved that. Not a single conservative party ran in this election. Even the previously conservative "Yukon Party" ran on a Liberal platform this election. For example they promised a more expansive (and expensive) childcare policy than the Liberals and also wanted to subsidize everyone's power bills to take away any personal responsibility. Oh, and the cherry on top was Dixon saying that the Yukon Party no longer opposes a carbon tax! So sorry bud, but conservatism in the Yukon has died. And I won't shed any tears about it either.

Up 17 Down 12

The Zombie Nation - Chaos in the Territories on Apr 15, 2021 at 9:12 am

Dear Mick - Conservatism is not dead. Far from it. Liberalism is dead and the lunacy of the Lefty Liberal’s is figuratively nothing more than “Zombie Politics” creating more of the walking dead, walking around moaning about this and that, looking for someone else’ brains to feed on.

Ironically, Liberalism has a strong positive association with mental ill-health. We get to see the evidence of this daily and thus the doublespeak from the Liberally Offended Loons (The LOLs).

It’s not Conservatism that is dead. What we are currently experiencing is the death of sanity. You have no understanding of what Conservatism is but I get it... Let the party continue... Money for nothing! We are in Dire Straits and this is why the Loony Left has prescribed cannabis to everyone who wants it...

Up 14 Down 10

bozmeg on Apr 15, 2021 at 1:12 am

Certainly not looking forward to another Liberal government. Was everyone not paying attention when they were looking into introducing a sales tax for Yukon? Thankfully that did not happened. They did however get rid of some housing grants during covid and disguised the move during the creation of new YTG web site. Surprise! Housing grants are gone! Tipping fee`s were introduced in rural areas of the Yukon while handing over the responsibility over to a third party. The excuse given by one MLA was that too many residents from Whitehorse were driving to these dumps to get rid of their garbage. If that was the real issue than develop a program that gives the local residents free access by using a pass or sticker in their vehicle. Farming out does not end there. The privilege to get free material from public quarries is going the same route as the free dumps. They will be run by a third party as well. Will they be free? I doubt it. I wonder what will be next? Will they start charging everyone for water at all the pump stations?
One last thing. Those huge 511 signs on the Alaska Highway look pretty grotesque. I wonder what they cost us? Million Dollars as I heard. Either way, a little to much for the Yukon traffic and poorly planned. Just another southern idea misplaced here in The Yukon. I can`t wait for a high load to come through. Last I recall is that Silver represented second place. The last four to five years have certainly proven that correct.

Up 21 Down 31

Mick on Apr 14, 2021 at 3:09 pm

@Adam Smith

Conservatism is dead. It's over. Not just here but globally. Maybe you can choose to remain a sucker and make your boss rich and you can die broke but the rest of humanity doesn't want to do that anymore.

We're all in this together and need to work together. Make sure you donate your CERB cheques to a decent charity of your choice, don't want to get any of that pesky socialism on ya!

Up 4 Down 18

Sierra on Apr 14, 2021 at 12:33 pm

I don't really like any of the leaders. In the end I voted for Francis because I like her. I wish you had won Francis. I almost didn't vote but wanted to support you. Plus you were the only one to knock on my door. I guess the other 2 was to good to go to a trailer court.

Up 39 Down 16

Mary on Apr 14, 2021 at 8:38 am

Either way you look at it we didn't need to go to election now, should have waited till fall to get past covid. Liberals really made a mess of everything.

Up 12 Down 16

Sue Sez on Apr 14, 2021 at 5:44 am

So a cold snap kept over 30% of Yukoners from voting. 1st past the post or YP 40% beats L 33% popular vote. Hopefully Ms. White will have the answers of "How To Actually Do" her visions when welding the NDP 1%. Sad, 1 or 2% overlording the populace. How rare is that? Good Luck Y.

Up 24 Down 37

Adam Smith on Apr 13, 2021 at 10:35 pm

I'm kind of glad Currie and the Yukon Party lost. Hopefully they will get the hint that all of their progressive liberal policies were a flop and that they need to return to good old fashioned conservative values. Less government, not more. Less regulations not more. Listen to your grass roots Currie and stop moving this once great party, so far to the left.

Up 19 Down 29

Olav on Apr 13, 2021 at 9:23 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 22

Ex-YP on Apr 13, 2021 at 6:37 pm

Currie you not coming out against those anti maskers and anti vaxxers cost you 2 votes in this house. I know you think they are supporting you but it cost you the election. Yukoners health trumps the economy. Every. Single. Time.

There is a lesson in leadership for ya.
Also, the old guard running the campaign (McInroy, Hillier, Jonas et al) still leave a bad taste in our mouths from the Fentie/Paz years. Clean house, reset the board and try to be in a better spot in the next election.

Up 69 Down 75

bonanzajoe on Apr 13, 2021 at 4:14 pm

Either way one looks at it, the Liberals have another majority government. The NDP's 3 seats will always have their Marxist socialist's back. Looks like another 5 years of mess under Silver. And how he got back in in Dawson is a mystery. He, trying to shut down mining and getting re-elected in this mining town has got to be a mystery. Anyway, youngsters, good luck with paying off the huge debt and deficit this Nova Scotian is leaving you. Right now, I'm just having a good laugh over it.

Up 73 Down 16

bonanzajoe on Apr 13, 2021 at 4:10 pm

There's only about less than 150 voters in Old Crow. How long does it take to count them?

Up 80 Down 33

Go YP! on Apr 13, 2021 at 3:44 pm

I love this so much. I watched all three speeches. It was a wonderful campaign. I also must say that the Yukon Party ran the most mature, professional campaign I have seen in a long, long time. I was hoping they would win majority. I hope all goes well for all MLAs from all parties - they are all wonderful people. Stellar job Currie. You have an amazing team, and I wish more could have moved on with you. Best of luck!

Up 89 Down 12

Juniper Jackson on Apr 13, 2021 at 3:37 pm

You have an opportunity Mr. Dixon. Stand for something or fall for anything. The voter turn out indicates that everyone is watching, all the parties. Find out what integrity means and stand by it.

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