Whitehorse Daily Star

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Pictured above: DAVID LAXTON

Laxton’s quick foray means he won’t lose pay

David Laxton took his first seat in the legislature as an independent MLA on Monday afternoon – but left before question period began and never returned.

By Sidney Cohen on May 17, 2016

David Laxton took his first seat in the legislature as an independent MLA on Monday afternoon – but left before question period began and never returned.

It was the first time Laxton had shown his face in the chamber since he suddenly and mysteriously exited his post as Speaker, and the Yukon Party caucus, last Tuesday.

He and Premier Darrell Pasloski have refused all media requests to explain what had happened.

An MLA is typically docked $100 for each day he or she is absent from a sitting of the Yukon Legislative Assembly, and for each time he or she misses a committee meeting where attendance is expected, according to the Legislative Assembly Act.

The MLA will not lose his pay if he can provide a reason, such as illness, for his absence.

Laxton, who is now sitting as an independent MLA, missed three sitting days in a row last week, after he announced he was resigning as Speaker and leaving the Yukon Party.

This means he stands to lose $300 in pay.

The MLA for Porter Creek Centre turned up for fewer than 30 minutes at the start of Monday’s sitting, but left before debate began and never returned.

When Laxton saw reporters outside the chamber doors on Monday, he immediately turned to stride off in the opposite direction.

His cameo appearance in the chamber, however, was enough to count as being present.

That means Laxton will not be docked pay for Monday, legislative assembly clerk Floyd McCormick confirmed today.

All MLAs are earning a base salary of $75,790 this year. The Speaker earns $29,151 on top of that amount.

Laxton will no longer take in the additional pay that comes with the Speaker’s position.

He is, however, still entitled to the $14,574 expense allowance that all members will get this year.

Patti McLeod, the Yukon Party MLA for Watson Lake, was elected Speaker last Tuesday.

The Star approached Laxton outside the legislature before this afternoon’s sitting began at 1 p.m.

Asked why he had suddenly resigned as Speaker, Laxton said he wasn’t talking today.

Asked if he had anything to say to his constituents, Laxton said, “I’ll talk to them later.”

When the Star inquired why he had abruptly left the Yukon Party, and if anything had happened between him and the premier, Laxton remained silent.

Shortly before his sudden exits, Laxton had publicly stated he’d planned to run for the Yukon Party in Porter Creek Centre in the election Pasloski must call by October.

Comments (6)

Up 42 Down 2

steve on May 18, 2016 at 12:40 pm

Wow I'd love to go to work for 30 min then leave and get paid a full days pay. I try that stunt and I'd be fired.

Up 9 Down 14

Joe Boyce on May 18, 2016 at 12:25 pm

David will come clean soon when he is ready to explain why he is leaving.

Up 24 Down 3

BnR on May 18, 2016 at 6:49 am

The word is out on why Dave was told to leave, and we'll leave that for he or the YP brain trust, but there exists within the YP an interesting double standard where they coddle and ignore Old Crow MLA Darius Elias' issues yet cast out faithful old Dave. One can only guess as to why, or maybe it's not too hard to guess....... Hypocrisy: know it, love it.

Up 35 Down 1

BB on May 17, 2016 at 6:53 pm

He's getting paid to show up and run away. That's interesting. I can't respect this. Whatever happened between him and his Yukon Party keepers, now he's playing games with the public and that is just bad all round. Won't do his job but wants the pay. Good riddance.

Up 27 Down 5

June Jackson on May 17, 2016 at 4:58 pm

Election year, the pressure is on. Poor Mr. Laxton seems to be in over his head.


Up 82 Down 3

Lost in the Yukon on May 17, 2016 at 3:37 pm

As much as I like Laxton, he does have an obligation to his constituents and Yukon public-at-large to explain why. After all it is the tax payer that pays his salary.

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