Whitehorse Daily Star

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Richard Mostyn

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Kate White

Liberal, NDP leader share heated words

The intensity of the election campaign ratcheted up several notches last Thursday morning as Liberal candidate Richard Mostyn sparred with NDP Leader Kate White at a forum sponsored by two union groups.

By Tim Giilck on April 5, 2021

The intensity of the election campaign ratcheted up several notches last Thursday morning as Liberal candidate Richard Mostyn sparred with NDP Leader Kate White at a forum sponsored by two union groups.

The Yukon Party did not participate in the forum.

The discussion grew particularly heated around health care issues. Mostyn made several pointed criticisms of the NDP’s election promises during the exchange. One in particular was particularly tough on White.

“Your inexperience in this realm is starting to show,” Mostyn told White as they debated on how to introduce a phamacare program for Yukoners.

White said she is in favour of a Yukon-first approach, while Mostyn said any such plan had to be done in concert with the federal government.

“You have no idea of how to pay for it or how it’s going to work,” Mostyn told White. “We support a national program, but you’re making a lot of promises that haven’t been costed. It’s irresponsible.”

His premise was the population of the Yukon is simply too small to make it feasible to go it alone on any kind of pharmacare program.

“The buying power of the Yukon is infinitesimal,” he said. “We have to work with the federal government.”

The Yukon has to partner with another jurisdiction with a greater population which would provide some economies of scale to make it work, he continued.

He also favoured a national approach to provide all Canadians with a chance at a uniform program instead of the “patchworks” that exist now.

White said she is absolutely supportive of introducing pharmacare, but doesn’t necessarily want to wait to form a partnership with the government.

“It’s a travesty (that no program exists), she said. “But it’s better when we do things together.”

The two also clashed on rent controls. The NDP has promised to introduce a rent freeze if it’s elected next Monday. Mostyn said he’s seriously concerned about that concept.

“The best way to tackle the housing issue is by addressing the supply problem,” he said.

Landlords, he added, would be quick to sell off their rental properties under a rent control regime, creating a more serious housing shortage.

“In two years, we will be in a crisis,” he said.

White scoffed at that, telling Mostyn she had “talked to landlords about the issue who supported rent controls.”

“Markets,” she said bluntly, “don’t sort themselves out.”

At the end of the forum, she also scoffed at the notion Mostyn proffered that the Liberals and NDP are more similar than different.

“The similarities are far less than the differences between us,” White said, very nearly rolling her eyes at the notion.

After the event, White issued a further comment.

“I think what came out clear in this forum is that the Liberals are never going to deliver what workers need – and the Yukon Party won’t even come to the table.

“They said no to paid sick days. They said no to prescription medication coverage. They said no to raising the minimum wage to what they promised.

“A lot of workers are struggling with costs right now,” White added. “I’m going to deliver for them.”

The Yukon Party issued a statement explaining its absence from the forum.

“It was originally described to us that this was a webinar Q&A with our leader directly answering questions of their members which we agreed to,” the party said.

“Last (Wednesday) night, we were notified that the format was actually a debate. We indicated that this was not what we had agreed to and unfortunately our leader is already participating in another debate on the same day so that we would not be able to participate today.

“However, if they would like to host a debate, then please give us notice about the format in advance so that we are able to prepare and participate,” the Yukon Party added.

“We regret the circumstances and wish we could have participated.”

Comments (22)

Up 42 Down 10

Natalie on Apr 7, 2021 at 2:06 pm

The BC NDP government started taxing a restaurant an additional $6,000 annually for the empty air that exists above the single story restaurant because the empty space ‘could be’ utilized for imaginary apartments. That’s one example of the crazy factor you get from an NDP government, beware Yukon.

Up 27 Down 9

joe on Apr 7, 2021 at 12:08 pm

Moystum lacks political accumen. He is a better reporter.

Up 31 Down 6

Kate's raises on Apr 7, 2021 at 3:05 am

While Kate talks about raising the minimum wage and paying a minimum living wage out she should keep in mind that the base of her constituents is changing somewhat. More seniors are moving into Takhini-Kopper King all the time and they are all on a fixed income and have only inflation to look forward to. But they vote.

Up 62 Down 11

NDP's irresponsible ideas on Apr 6, 2021 at 3:53 pm

As a landlord, I have seen disingenuous comments from the NDP, or maybe they really do think their ideas hold water. I don't know which is worse.

For instance, the NDP wanted a 'rent freeze' for the duration of the COVID pandemic. Not a rental increase freeze, but they wanted people to be able to NOT PAY THEIR RENT until Covid was over. Here we are going into year two. They did not recommend a 'do not pay for your groceries' so called 'freeze', just targeting landlords, as usual.

The Liberals meanwhile constructed a workable plan where people who could prove that they had lost a certain portion of their income were eligible to receive money to cover a portion of their rent.

I am sick of the pie in the sky promises from the NDP. My impression is that many of their candidates are far below the level of knowledge and experience that they should be, and that the leader herself is often quite ignorant of the facts and realities of the things she tilts her sword at.

I do not know how it would work out if this crew were elected. I suppose the bureaucracy would continue on running the show as best they could, but I don't know.

Up 35 Down 4

the worst election promising to date on Apr 6, 2021 at 3:53 pm

It doesn't matter who gets in power...as a tax payer, we're all going to be broke. I'm not sure where any of these parties expect to get this imaginary money they are promising to everyone. They do know that saying "money doesn't grow on trees", right? It's true. Honestly!

Up 35 Down 16

TheHammer on Apr 6, 2021 at 2:36 pm

As far as workers and costs are concerned Richard's former employ with WCB is not exactly a shining example. His rise in status to WCB PR from Yukon News reporter is a trail marked with red flags for workers, he is not on the side of workers. Yukon Injured Workers Alliance is a witness to that fact. Individuals on the side of workers do not get employed by WCB.

Up 50 Down 5

Grateful Tenant on Apr 6, 2021 at 2:25 pm

As long time tenants of a house in Whitehorse I am very thankful to landlords that don’t sell in this hot market and continue to rent to those of us that can’t just jump into buying here. We are also aware that there are many reasons why costs of owning could go up for a landlord and they should be able to increase to cover those. Landlords shouldn’t be in a position of subsidizing their tenants and we no issues with rent increases to cover increased costs. A possible cap on rental increases will also discourage people from buying current rentals as an investment and keeping them in the rental market. Why would anyone keep a financial asset they have little control over when they can easily sell?

Up 48 Down 32

Mike on Apr 6, 2021 at 2:01 pm

The Yukon Party never showed up because they were out gathering votes and campaigning, not arguing the same old same old we care, we promise, we, we, we. NDP and Liberals both fear the Yukon residents, Liberals look at your feet while promising, NDP look at the clouds while promising while the conservatives look you in the eye while conversing and sharing their vision of how to move the Yukon out of a pandemic and how to create less government jobs and more private sector jobs from within the territory. Something the Liberals no nothing about and the NDP only wish they had a plan. TOGETHER WE CAN IS THE CONSERVATIVE motto BECAUSE I SAID SO is LIBERAL and I THINK WE CAN is NDP. I trust the team player. Let's go CURRIE and the Yukon Party.

Up 26 Down 61

Policy? on Apr 6, 2021 at 11:32 am

The so called Yukon Party is MIA once again on an important debate. They missed out on all the discussion about BVRs and procurement.
Is the only thing the so called Yukon Party wants to debate is how they can get easy cheques for their membership," friends of the government"?
The partial party.

Up 46 Down 20

Dave on Apr 6, 2021 at 11:20 am

The lefty socialist parties were trying to out do each other in giving other people’s confiscated money away and they started squabbling, what a surprise.

Up 42 Down 15

Wilf Carter on Apr 6, 2021 at 11:15 am

Reading through the liberal platform:

Electric autos Yukon
6000 electric autos where the energy going to come from because we are maxed out now?
The charging system for electric autos at your house require a whole different system. If we started building charging systems at our homes our electric lines could not handle the energy demand on the system.

In the winter months Yukon uses fossil fuels to add charging capacity to our energy grid, it does not help our environment at all.

Liberals did not give Yukoners the straight goods on this subject or do not know what they are doing giving away millions of our tax dollars for electric autos which is no social economic help for Yukoners.

Up 55 Down 12

Yukoner on Apr 6, 2021 at 10:16 am

I love how Kate will say there should be no corporate contributions but will happily cozy up to unions...

Up 60 Down 12

Landlord on Apr 6, 2021 at 9:49 am

I have been a Landlord for over 20 years. I currently have 1 vacant executive suite. I no longer will be allowing renters. With all the attacks on Landlords, and some wanting rent controls, It is just too much hassles.

Up 49 Down 9

KC on Apr 6, 2021 at 9:38 am

The problem with the NDP/the Left is that they see all relationships in terms of binary power dynamics -- employer/employee, landlord/tenant, etc. -- and devise policies with no appreciation for the nuances. Many Yukon rental properties are the largest or sole savings vehicle of the owner. Many of the owners work in the private sector and don't have pensions. Often the tenants themselves are public sector workers with decent salaries. Further restricting their ability to contract freely isn't right.

Up 31 Down 13

bonanzajoe on Apr 5, 2021 at 8:43 pm

So far, all I have heard is how the Libs and NDP are going to help out FN, welfare, farmers, builders etc., but not one thing about seniors. Now, let's talk about the pharmacare program for seniors. My Dentist told me that over the last few years dental work increased substantially and was disappointed that the government hadn't increased the dental allowance for seniors to make up for the cost. My hygienist told me she heard a rumour that the Liberal government was contemplating either reducing the fourteen hundred dollar dental plan for seniors or eliminating it altogether. Now, that didn't surprise me since the Liberal government racked up so much debt and deficit, they need to pay it down somehow. So, it would seem seniors may have to suffer for it. Well, there are a lot of seniors out here that haven't got the funds for dental and need the allowance. So, seniors both Liberals and NDP like spending so much, we seniors may have to suffer. So, do a little thinking before you vote. Let's hear about what they will do for seniors, especially about our dental allowance that so many seniors depend on. Why wait till after the election and find out we lost it.

Up 46 Down 12

Rent control on Apr 5, 2021 at 8:17 pm

The NDP is the party of low-information voters. Rent control will do the exact opposite of what White intends. If there is no money to be made in housing, supply will drop, and the squeeze will get even tighter, with those who are benefitting from rent control never wanting to move.

Mostyn certainly hasn't been perfect, but at least he bases his policies in reality. White and the NDP are purely wishful thinking and "this sounds nice" policy making. They rely on people who don't understand finance, markets, economics or nuance.

Up 30 Down 8

Markets don't sort themselves out on Apr 5, 2021 at 7:21 pm

Actually they do.
The problem is the government trying to control it or to make record profits off of it.

Up 128 Down 19

Matthew on Apr 5, 2021 at 5:09 pm

The root problem of the NDP

Promise First Nations right of veto on development
Promise Unions plenty of jobs in development
Promise everybody else free everything including Pharmacare.

Meantime....zero income to pay for it all.

Up 136 Down 30

Yukoner32 on Apr 5, 2021 at 4:42 pm

I certainly don't always agree with Mostyn and the Liberals. But he is bang on, in this case. The NDP have no clue how to implement or pay for any of their promises. If Kate White wins the election, I'll sell my house and rental suite and move before she crashes the market and I lose all my equity. I'm only half joking. I'm legitimately scared of an NDP government.

Up 101 Down 23

Doug on Apr 5, 2021 at 4:36 pm

This was absolutely a debate. Of the worst sorts. The unions should not be hosting debates. No party should have attended this.

Up 47 Down 78

Johnson on Apr 5, 2021 at 4:31 pm

I wonder what debate Currie was at all by himself while the other parties were debating about supports for workers?

Up 98 Down 47

JSM on Apr 5, 2021 at 2:19 pm

It is incredibly clear that the Liberals and NDP want to regulate your life to the max potential. If Market's do not sort themselves out what is the point of capitalist free trade and free market? The express purpose of the philosophy is to let the market sort itself out. If some place is desirable to live, like the Yukon, it is going to be more expensive to live there. With the cost of housing rising due to the covid 19 pandemic it is even more expensive to rent because that is what it takes to make a profit. Sounds to me like the socialist big government wants to rob us of the free market, policies that may go down well in Russia but won't be stood for here.

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