Whitehorse Daily Star

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EMPHASIS ON EQUALITY – New Democratic Party candidate Justin Lemphers says he is committed to helping Yukoners receive fair treatment and address the challenges they face in daily life.

Lemphers: ‘I believe in a new deal for people’

Long-time public servant Justin Lemphers is running with the New Democratic Party (NDP) on a platform of climate action, affordability, reconciliation and tax fairness.

By Gabrielle Plonka on October 18, 2019

Ed. note: here, the Star presents profiles of the territory’s five federal election candidates in alphabetical order. All five candidates’ profiles are available for free to view.

Long-time public servant Justin Lemphers is running with the New Democratic Party (NDP) on a platform of climate action, affordability, reconciliation and tax fairness.

“As a New Democrat, I believe in a new deal for people. It’s about recognizing people, and the challenges we face in day-to-day life,” Lemphers said.

He chose to run with the NDP because the party’s platform aligns with values he developed through 16 years of public service.

Lemphers’ campaign has focused on a people-first approach, pledging to advocate for change that will benefit all Yukoners.

“There’s always room to do better,” he said of livability in the Yukon.

“Everyone has their own idea and vision of what success looks like, and they just want the tools to move into those places.”

Lemphers, 44, said he is committed to helping Yukoners receive fair treatment and address the challenges in their lives.

Lemphers advocates for “real climate action” through renewable energy, science-based emission reduction targets, ending subsidies to big oil companies with a transition plan for oil and gas workers.

“No one gets left behind,” Lemphers said of his party’s climate plan.

Affordability has been a major point of focus throughout Lemphers’ campaign and ties into his commitment to fight inequality and address social justice issues. 

He has committed to universal pharmacare and dental care, housing affordability, student debt relief and a cap on cell phone and Internet fees.

In an interview with the Star, Lemphers noted that both Whitehorse and rural Yukon communities are dependent on communication infrastructure, and he would work to improve the stability and affordability of services.

Lemphers has also committed to “true and equal partnership” with First Nations communities.

His party plans to implement the United Nations’ declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and honour the calls to action laid out in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the National Inquiry on Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls.

He has noted that reconciliation includes revenue-sharing and supporting Indigenous self-determination. 

Lemphers has stationed himself as a passionate advocate for First Nations at several debates. He conceded his speaking time at the Sept. 28 multiculturalism debate to circle the room brandishing a piece of paper demanding “Justice for Colten”.

It referenced a Canada-wide movement for justice reform following the acquittal of the Saskatchewan farmer who fatally shot Cree youth Colten Boushie in 2016.

Finally, Lemphers advocates for increased taxation on the “super-wealthy” who he says must pay their fair share. 

This is part of a platform focusing on tax fairness that includes closing tax loopholes, over-the-counter Canada Revenue Agency services, volunteer tax credits and “ending giveaways for the richest companies and individuals.”

Lemphers is pro-electoral reform, and advocates for mixed member proportional representation.

Born in the N.W.T., Lemphers lived in Yellowknife before moving to the Yukon as a child in 1983. He is the father of three adult sons.

“I know the reality of living in rural communities, I know the challenges, and the opportunities,” Lemphers said.

“I know I can be an effective representative because I understand what life in the North is like.”

Lemphers’ public service work has mainly been in the union and labour sector. He is a former president of the Yukon Federation of Labour. 

He worked in the Yukon’s mining industry for 14 years, as an assayer in a mineral analysis laboratory and then as a mining lands officer for the Yukon government.

Lemphers also worked as a water lab technician, where he established the first accredited drinking water testing laboratory in Yukon.

Within the Yukon Employees’ Union and the Public Service Alliance of Canada, Lemphers held multiple positions. Those included 10 years as shop steward and director as well as president and executive board director.

Lemphers currently volunteers with the Boys and Girls Club of Yukon and previously founded and ran a local LGBTQ2+ community group.

His hobbies include “fishing, cycling and games of all kinds.”

Lemphers hopes his fight for equality will resonate with Yukoners.

“We need to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to be successful here, in the North and across our communities.”

Comments (10)

Up 0 Down 0

Educate Yourself - Don’t take your own opinion too seriously on Oct 26, 2019 at 9:19 pm

With Juniper Jackson - Thank you. You are absolutely on the right track - To understand something you have to read it, all of it, and if you truly care about society and your contribution to it you should also be aware of and understand the counter argument and be able to illustrate the soundness of your thought.

Unfortunately we often see people yelling at one another, engaging in insult, all the while failing to notice the inherent contradictions in our own argument.
Just because you have an opinion it does not mean you should express it when to do so serves only to further ignorance. Read, understand and discuss. Ignorance is violent and it is destructive. Down right pernicious even.

Up 3 Down 1

Juniper Jackson on Oct 23, 2019 at 1:15 pm

Mr. Miller, You could have looked this stuff up yourself. But I am happy to provide 207,000 links. Mr. Singh goes on about the slaughter of Sikh in India and people think it's current..but it isn't..it was in 1978 or 9..and it was a country response to the assignation of Indira Gandi by her Sikh bodyguards. When I am looking into something, I never look at just one page. I hope, if I read enough of them I will get a clearer picture of the issue instead of just 1 person's insight. Any elected politician should be able to go to any country in the world and be greeted respectfully. Just my opinion. But, here are just a few of the links you asked for.









Up 5 Down 6

JC on Oct 21, 2019 at 5:34 pm

Mathew, we don't need to ask Notley. We had a NDP government up here a few years ago. They bankrupted us. The Yukon still hasn't recovered. They took away our freedom in fishing, hunting, mining and living in the bush. Can't build a cabin anymore. Yukoners totally urbanized. That's Socialism in its pure evil.

Up 11 Down 10

Matthew on Oct 21, 2019 at 6:33 am

Want to see how NDP works? Ask any Albertan who survived Notley.. they have NO way to make money but have plenty of plans to spend it..

Up 4 Down 10

Sarah on Oct 20, 2019 at 8:01 pm

I and most of my friends are voting for Lenore. All the other candidates are singing the same song and we’re tired of it.

Up 7 Down 5

Michael Miller on Oct 19, 2019 at 2:09 pm

Seriously June, provide more info on jagmeet as a revolutionary please.

Up 16 Down 13

Wilf Carter on Oct 19, 2019 at 8:33 am

Interesting comments but there is no real plan to show how it is going to be done and how it is going to be paid for. House Budget officer stated that the conservatives have the only truly costed platform.

Up 21 Down 18

huh on Oct 19, 2019 at 12:23 am

Seems like the NDP will support the libs if they get any seats... they seem hell bent on destroying the economy. As if Alberta wasn't proof enough. What a joke. Socialism sure isn't the solution to anything. PPC does more for the common folk than anyone else who pretends to. Not sure what the NDP represent anymore, sure isn't Canadians.

Up 17 Down 14

Juniper Jackson on Oct 18, 2019 at 9:45 pm

Personally? I really like Justin Lemphers.. but it's a Federal election, and Jagmeet Singh is not the person I want running the country. He is a revolutionary that will be arrested, should he set foot in India.. and India has filed a formal complaint about him to the Trudeau government. Whoever leads us should be able to go to any country in the world. India is one of our largest trading partners. https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/toronto/ontario-mpp-jagmeet-singh-denied-visa-to-visit-india/article19381180/ and he came out today saying he doesn't respect conservative people.. Trudeau doesn't like me either. LOL.. on a personal level, neither does half of Whitehorse. I sit with a lady sometimes, that tells me all about the god awful June Jackson. I just agree. I like debate..not confrontation.

Up 18 Down 22

JC on Oct 18, 2019 at 6:33 pm

Come on justin, the only thing you or your party are interested in right now is to shut down the country over climate change. Other than that, there's nothing the NDP can do to lead Canada into a prosperous future.

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