Whitehorse Daily Star

Premier is nearing retirement, YP speculates

It appears the summer silly season for news is upon us – and earlier than expected.

By Tim Giilck on May 12, 2022

It appears the summer silly season for news is upon us – and earlier than expected.

The official Opposition Yukon Party and the governing Liberals are sniping at each other after the Yukon Party issued a news release Wednesday afternoon suggesting Premier Sandy Silver is preparing to retire this year.

The evidence provided by the party as to that reasoning is a bit dubious – but has provoked a snarky response from the Liberals.

“As Liberal cabinet ministers appear to be ramping up their respective campaigns to replace Sandy Silver as leader of the territory’s Liberal party, it is important that he publicly set out rules for ministers who are seeking the leadership,” the Yukon Party wrote.

“There is a long-standing convention in Canadian politics that cabinet ministers who are running for the leadership of a party step away from cabinet duties during the leadership campaign.

“This is to ensure ministers cannot use public resources or their position to assist with their campaigns.”

When the Star pressed the Yukon Party for evidence of its claims, officials provided this response.

“The minister of Community Services has been writing letters to the editor critical of the official Opposition, and addressing Yukoners about the merits of this year’s budget. Not the premier/Finance minister,” the party said.

“The minister of Economic Development (Ranj Pillai) flew to Vancouver and signed an MOU with another country (the Philippines). Why not the premier or deputy premier?” the Yukon Party asked.

“The Housing minister (Pillai) also attended a housing announcement in Watson Lake (last Friday), then zipped back to Whitehorse the same day to attend a Chamber Business After Hours,” the official Opposition noted.

“The premier has been noticeably absent at a number of high-profile community events around the territory – including those in his own riding (Klondike).

“Actions inside and outside the legislative assembly – including social media – seem to indicate some jockeying is going on.”

Yukon Party MLA Brad Cathers added, “Any ministers who are seeking the leadership of the Liberal party should not be allowed to misuse their roles in cabinet, or use government resources to campaign.”

Cathers is the official Opposition critic for democratic institutions.

“Yukon taxpayers need to know government resources will not be used to help pay for campaign costs of anyone seeking the leadership of the territorial Liberals,” he added.

Recent examples of ministers stepping away from cabinet during a leadership campaign include Manitoba Premier Heather Stefanson, the Yukon Party noted.

She resigned from the cabinet in August 2021 to seek the leadership of the Manitoba Progressive Conservatives.

As well, Iain Rankin resigned from the cabinet in October 2020 to seek the leadership of the Nova Scotia Liberal Party.

“Here in the Yukon, the last time a party in government held a leadership election was in 2011,” the Yukon Party recalled.

“During that election, the only minister who entered the campaign, Jim Kenyon, was not allowed to continue to serve in cabinet.”

Darrell Pasloski won that leadership convention and became the premier.

“With Premier Silver widely expected to announce his retirement later this year, it is important that he be open and transparent with the public,” added Cathers.

“Premier Silver needs to lay out the ground rules for cabinet ministers who are seeking to replace him, to ensure that government resources are not used in the Liberal leadership election.”

Silver himself did not respond directly to the Yukon Party’s remarks.

However, the cabinet communications office stated, “The member for Lake Laberge obviously has too much time on his hands, and we will not be taking career advice from this failed Yukon Party leader.”

(Cathers ran for the party’s leadership, but lost to current leader Currie Dixon in the spring of 2020.)

“Obviously, the Yukon Party is projecting their own leadership struggles and trying to distract from the division within their party,” the cabinet communications office added.

“The entire Yukon Liberal government remains committed to serving Yukoners for the duration of its mandate.”

The agreement the Liberals have with the NDP to sustain the minority regime is slated to expire in January 2023, but could be extended for an undetermined period.

Comments (32)

Up 0 Down 0

Mitch Holder on May 19, 2022 at 4:27 pm

@ Anie - you should carefully consider why people are not organically having productive conversations and opting instead to contribute with the limited options of like or dislike, as if that covers the gamut. In real life, we don't get thumbs up or thumbs down, so the problem isn't the conversations (or lack thereof) it is the corrupt platforms upon which we are failing to engage in those conversations. Happy to converse with you at your leisure, provided you can accept I may consider some contrary opinions to your own and vice versa.

Up 9 Down 2

Salt on May 18, 2022 at 8:10 am

I believe you did it for the people you love. The sad part is that you were mislead. Everything pharma and government pushed as 'helping' has been harmful, physically and socially. The unforgivable part, as Northern Light rightly pointed out, is that now that the initial hysteria has worn off and we have real world experience of vaccine failure/harms and the devastating social impact of masking/lock-downs/discrimination, people like you refuse to reconcile yourself to the truth. Have you ever wondered why they say the path to hell is paved with good intentions?

Up 5 Down 2

Yukoner61 on May 17, 2022 at 11:10 pm

@"are you surprised"

I don't think you are right about the pensions. The Liberals have all been for 2 terms I think, so their pensions are probably small. The biggest pensions would be for the MLAs who have been there forever and basically always worked for government in one way or another. Brad Cathers would have the most massive pension since he has made a career out of being a politician. Scott Kent and Currie Dixon are right behind him, barely if ever having worked a day in the private sector. They are professional government workers or MLAs and have made an absolute killing as such.

Guaranteed that those 3 will still be sucking on the teat of government long after the Liberals are gone.

Up 4 Down 4

Are you surprised? I'm not on May 17, 2022 at 4:26 pm

I would lay a bet that a few of the current Liberal MLA's won't be running next election. Some got in by a very slim margin, some are getting older and might be looking forward to spending their generous pensions including double dipping from previous government jobs. Life is short, and they very well might not even win next time around, or if they do, they might find themselves in opposition putting in time.

I have heard that Dendy-McLean and Ranj are in fact jockeying for the premier job. And that Jeanie has a lot of financing behind her.

Up 5 Down 6

Anie on May 16, 2022 at 4:09 pm

Sheepchaser, your comment is factual, your conclusion reflects common sense. But facts and common sense too often result in thumbs down and name calling instead of rational conversation. To those who think the world is a lot different elsewhere in Canada, in Alberta many people still wear masks, because in some situations it's simply polite, and like most good manners, it costs nothing.

Up 11 Down 14

Sheepchaser on May 16, 2022 at 8:07 am

@Northern Light,

We have neither constitutional rights nor absolute rights of any kind in Canadian law. The rights and freedoms of individual Canadians do not supersede the rights and freedoms of the whole of Canadians. The Charter is about balance, not absolutism.

No one wanted the pandemic or to be jabbed with a new kind of drug. We didn’t do it because the government said we should. We did it for the people we love.

Up 24 Down 13

Northern Light on May 15, 2022 at 3:58 am

It makes me profoundly sad to see so many downvotes on my comment about forgiveness and understanding, and putting an end to divisiveness by lifting the mandates. I honestly don't understand the issue with myself and others who are unvaccinated getting on a small float plane with a couple of passengers while there are stadiums down south filled with tens of thousands of people who have moved on from covid. I can't move on, my career has been taken from me and yet I'm still willing to forgive because I can see how powerful the effects of fear mongering are. We've become a nation of hypochondriacs. If you have an issue with lifting the mandates and restoring our constitutional freedoms you are a tyrant and you are evil, plain and simple. History will not look fondly on you.

Up 28 Down 9

Groucho d'North on May 14, 2022 at 9:12 am

Pension secured, time to bolt.

Up 15 Down 9

I’m a genie in a bottle… on May 14, 2022 at 8:51 am

To YD on May 13, 2022 at 1:10 pm:

I get your point. But what some people miss about democracy is that your vote does not mean that they are representing your interests but rather their own as they conjure up a “will of the people” through politicking.

I fail to see the dissimilarity between elections and the general lessons taught in the story of John/Jane or rubbing a lamp to loosen a mischievous genie… Every granted wish a perversion of your intent and meaning such that the act of wishing becomes a trial or tribulation to be endured… When you complain or raise an objection the genie merely states you got what you wished for… It’s your fault!

If you stop rubbing the lamp (voting) then the genie stays in its bottle. If you rub the lamp (vote) thinking something wonderfully magical will happen and your wishes come true you have invited your own pain… And you will pay for the delusion… Taxes, confusion, disillusion, stress, chaos, mandates, political interference into your bodily integrity etc…

You will own nothing, not even your mind or body, and you will be happy! Vote Liberal, get probed, and pay for it… If you just relax it will hurt less!

Up 4 Down 14

Frank Vullings on May 14, 2022 at 12:17 am

I Bet they wished that Kenyan won, way back in the day.

Up 7 Down 15

Hobo on May 13, 2022 at 9:59 pm

I hope it is not true. Tracy-Anne McPhee might be elected leader.

Up 18 Down 11

Jamie on May 13, 2022 at 6:58 pm

Is Brad finally retiring? He's the petrified wood of the legislature with no real contributing legacy similar to Don Hutton.

Up 20 Down 9

PaulaT on May 13, 2022 at 6:06 pm

A new low Whitehorse Star. There are so many important issues and things going in our community, and your staff just laps up this ridiculous and incredibly childish drivel released from the opposition. I wish they wouldn’t stoop to such childishness and instead work to identify solutions to big issues we have, and then hold the government to account and implement those solutions. I remember when that used to happen! I wish they would stop the American style politics and work for Yukoners (you are my MLA!) And I wish the Whitehorse Star would stop giving this childishness air time and actually do some real reporting. Sigh

Up 15 Down 23

HogWash on May 13, 2022 at 2:04 pm

Small town politics for pretender opposition party. Slick trying to do what exactly?! My, my, my, is this really what the opposition is stooping to? No original thought.

Up 22 Down 21

Northern Light on May 13, 2022 at 1:56 pm

Premier Silver meets with the Prime Minister

CPAC link on YouTube:

I really don't envy Premier Silver having to go down to Ottawa to meet with the Prime Minister. It seems he was choosing his words very carefully but the general sentiment seemed to be that of a desire to lift the mandates and return back to normalcy, he just couldn't address it directly so used 'the economy' as the red herring. I think deep down our Premier wants this to end, but he can't lift the travel mandates without federal approval. Please Sandy, please tell him to end the mandates.

We need to stop being divisive and begin working towards forgiveness, that goes for both the 'freedom' crowd and the 'sacrifice for the greater good' crowd, but the onus is on the latter to facilitate the process. In order for healing to truly begin, the mandates must all be lifted. The people imposing the tyranny are making it extremely difficult for us to forgive the ones who labelled us outcasts and told us we can't come home to visit for Christmas, we cannot attend College, we cannot even work in many cases. This almost invariably leads to ruin.

Unvaccinated temporary foreign workers are being flown into the country for seasonal work, meanwhile myself, and many others like me cannot board a flight in Whitehorse. This blockade effectively ends our careers in the mining industry, at a time when we would normally be out seeking jobs. Meanwhile the vaccinated are complaining that they may have to endure the torture of returning to work in the office, worse yet, they may even need to share the same office with an unvaccinated person (extreme levels of danger). I don't blame people who think this way, I want to forgive them. They were lied to by corrupt pharmaceutical corporations, and then forced into getting injected or they lose their livelihood. So in closing I just want to remind people that while you may be able to move on from the pandemic, there are still millions of Canadians who cannot until the federal mandated are lifted. Please support us in our efforts, we just want to be accepted as normal people again. I promise your kids won't die if they go near us.

Up 9 Down 9

YD on May 13, 2022 at 1:10 pm

Hello Sanity, is such a lonely word… on May 13, 2022 at 7:31 am

I voted for one of the party members, but I did not vote for them to act like children.

Up 23 Down 6

House on May 13, 2022 at 12:07 pm

Silver's house was up for sale in Dawson, can't see if it has been sold or removed from the market.

Up 43 Down 16

Hope is on the horizon… We must endure this shyt-storm for a little while longer… on May 13, 2022 at 9:06 am

This is good news… These days there is so little hope under the Liberal Regime… Silver’s reported departure is hopeful and we should encourage him/her/they to make haste and take with him the other Liberal waste.

Up 15 Down 12

Dogman Jones on May 13, 2022 at 8:16 am

Fun read! Interesting tactic from the Yukon Party, I assume trying to push the conflict of interest angle they started with ex-Minister Frost (vis a vis her current involvement with the new Old Crow facility).

With Leg being out for the summer, this must be their attempt and keeping the pressure on.

Up 19 Down 6

Sanity, is such a lonely word… on May 13, 2022 at 7:31 am

Hello YD on May 12, 2022 at 4:20 pm:

Our politicians are said to represent the will of the people so I see it more as a problem with the electorate - Reinforcing the notion that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results. It is the reason why many people do not vote.

Up 25 Down 16

Will on May 12, 2022 at 8:07 pm

I thought he already picked Kate White to take over???

Up 24 Down 14

Guncache on May 12, 2022 at 8:00 pm

And this is good news for Kate who is waiting to take over. We're all doomed.

Up 29 Down 20

Nathan Living on May 12, 2022 at 7:28 pm

If the YP wants to demonstrate it's the best governing alternative it's narrative should be at the level of a governing party.

The incessant low level cat fighting does not fit well.

Up 53 Down 18

KP on May 12, 2022 at 4:41 pm

The Liberal response is basically "I know you are but what am I?"

Up 69 Down 11

YD on May 12, 2022 at 4:20 pm

The Liberals, NDP, and Conservatives remind me of little kids squabbling at daycare...

Up 56 Down 29

Juniper Jackson on May 12, 2022 at 4:07 pm

I wish! We will not be that lucky..Silver..like the rest of them that get elected will hang in there until the last dirty dog has kicked the bucket..they never, ever quit. Power, or imagined power.. is a drug politician's can not quit.

Up 40 Down 26

bonanzajoe on May 12, 2022 at 3:54 pm

Well, smiley must have made his millions on stock inside trading, like most of the others and ready to take his seat on the committee for buying up of real estate building land. So, time to retire from politics.

Up 19 Down 80

BonfireJim on May 12, 2022 at 3:38 pm

What a career it has been if that's the case! There is some obviously great replacement choices possible too, Ranj, Nils and Tracey are all incredible in their own right and would make awesome leaders if this truly is the end.

Up 27 Down 13

Mitch Holder on May 12, 2022 at 3:32 pm

No fan of the so called "honourable" Mr. Silver, but speculation is speculation and we do not have time for that in such a compromised media environment as Canada. Tired of speculation? polls? Public opinion? Write Mr. Silver and demand the abolishment of Bill c-10!

Up 44 Down 16

JustSayin' on May 12, 2022 at 2:15 pm

@ Tim Giilck

Are reporters/writers not supposed to report facts and allow readers to determine what is silly?

Up 37 Down 38

Joe Who? on May 12, 2022 at 2:05 pm

The YP sounds rather paranoid. Maybe they should lighten up on their support for the local cannabis store.

Up 59 Down 9

Matthew on May 12, 2022 at 1:47 pm

Curious to why this is news worthy? It's click bait at its finest..

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