Whitehorse Daily Star

Liberals set date for leadership vote as Pillai lures support

The governing Yukon Liberal Party will hold its leadership convention in Whitehorse exactly two months from today – Saturday, Jan. 28.

By Whitehorse Star on November 28, 2022

The governing Yukon Liberal Party will hold its leadership convention in Whitehorse exactly two months from today – Saturday, Jan. 28.

The party announced the details of the convention to a crowded house at Friday evening’s annual leader’s dinner at the Kwanlin Dun Cultural centre.

Candidate packages are available through the party and rules for candidates are posted on https://www.ylp.ca

The deadline for candidates to submit their application package is Jan. 7. The only declared candidate is Economic Development Minister Ranj Pillai, who announced his intention Friday morning.

The convention will offer party members the opportunity to vote in person. Those unable to attend have the option to vote by proxy. Each member can cast one proxy vote.

Voting will be conducted using a ranked preferential ballot process. Multiple rounds of voting may be required, depending on the number of candidates.

“Securing the date for the convention and releasing the rules for candidates gives people all the information they need to make the decision to run,” said party spokesperson Paolo Gallina.

“With one candidate already declared, the excitement around this race is building.”

Premier Sandy Silver announced in early September he would step down as leader and not seek re-election as the MLA for Klondike.

Tributes were paid to him at Friday’s $250-per-plate dinner, which was closed to media representatives.

Pillai was also full of praise for the man he first knew in their home province of Nova Scotia.

“I would like to thank my friend and colleague Sandy Silver for serving the Yukon so well as premier and the Yukon Liberal Party as its leader,” Pillai said earlier Friday.

“He began his first term in the legislative assembly as the sole representative of the Yukon Liberals and went on to build an incredible team that formed a majority government in 2016.

“I have felt privileged to be part of that team and am honoured to continue to work with Sandy as he makes way for the Yukon’s next premier,” Pillai added.

He said more details about his leadership priorities will be released “in the coming weeks.”

He has attracted testimonials from two prominent Yukon Liberas.

“I have on a number of occasions in different situations worked with Ranj,” said former Yukon MP Larry Bagnell.

“In each case, he was very responsive, open, honest, thoughtful, and productive.

“With his knowledge and success in managing the economy, his experience with First Nations and with municipal government, and being minister responsible for many portfolios, I personally feel that Ranj is very well qualified to be an excellent Liberal leader and premier.”

Pillai has also earned the endorsement of Ione Christensen, a former Whitehorse mayor and former Yukon commissioner and senator.

“It is my pleasure to support the nomination of Ranj Pillai as premier of the Yukon and to accept the position as honourary vice-chair of his campaign,” Christensen said.

“I have known Ranj for almost 20 years. We first had the opportunity to work together on the board of the Fetal Alcohol Society (FASSY) at a challenging time for the association.

“In later years, I was honoured to officiate as the marriage commissioner at Ranj and Delilah’s wedding in Haines Junction.” The couple has two sons.

The candidate’s experience with both the municipal and territorial levels of government “are extremely valuable in understanding all the needs of Yukon citizens,” Christensen added.

“Ranj, I have supported you through all of these elections and you have my support in this one. But you also know that I am not bashful in telling you when I disagree with something – this is the way democracies should work.

“None of us have all the answers, and it is only by working together that good policies are made,” Christensen said.

“Thank you for putting your name forward for this position. Being a politician is demanding and it asks so much of a family and the individual, but you know all of this, which is another plus in your qualifications.”

Comments (8)

Up 8 Down 2

Nope on Dec 2, 2022 at 9:19 am

I’m live in the riding and Paolo was about as effective as an MLA as a hollowed out tree. He’s marginally better than the current twit, Yvonne who doesn’t even live in the riding and just makes ill informed embarrassing comments on Facebook.

Up 10 Down 20

Blue line on Nov 30, 2022 at 10:32 am

It’s hilarious that YPers cried for Sandy to resign and when he did they cried about the YLP leadership race rules and now they cry about the candidate.

I’ve worked with Ranj before in an NGO capacity. He’s bright and articulate. I’d be surprised if anyone challenged him as leader. He’s certainly light years ahead of the frat boys across the aisle.

Up 14 Down 6

NDP and questioning on Nov 29, 2022 at 12:10 pm

Come on, Kate. Swap your orange T-shirt for a red one. Taste a rainbow!

Up 14 Down 8

Obvious on Nov 29, 2022 at 11:39 am

I presume Kate White will throw her hat in too.

Up 16 Down 18

I hope more people put their names forward on Nov 29, 2022 at 10:13 am

but honestly, people have to think twice, based on the vile and ugly comments that people in the public eye get these days. I've known Ranj for a long time, and he's a decent guy, as is Paulo. And I'm not sure what 'lipstick on a sow' has to do with anything (It's actually lipstick on a pig) but whatever.

Up 16 Down 14

Joe on Nov 28, 2022 at 4:41 pm

What a choice, anybody but Ranj.

Up 48 Down 14

John on Nov 28, 2022 at 2:22 pm

Interesting, with all the big shot Liberals backing Pillai my guess will be that we are likely to see a coronation rather than a race. It also tells me that whoever else is "thinking" of running "does not/will not" have the "Party" big shots endorsement even before they might announce (that has been made very clear). They would be your second-class candidates. Of course this is to also scare off blood letting in public and finger pointing. Gotta have a "clean" race, sure as hell don't want a messy one where the open scars and inside drama is played out for all 3rd class citizens of the Yukon can view.

I do wonder - can he chew gum at the same as being another JT in sheep's clothing. Hm, gotta wonder?

NVD money talks big I guess. Can't afford to let a donor get away that has deep pockets can we? Anyway no matter - that old saying may have some truth, "you can put lipstick on a sow BUT it is still a sow."

Up 55 Down 11

Oh Paolo on Nov 28, 2022 at 2:04 pm

“With one candidate already declared, the excitement around this race is building.”
Poor Paolo was never that bright, but someone needs to tell him that a race needs more than one person.

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