Whitehorse Daily Star

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Photo by John Tonin

A POTENTIAL KING-MAKER – NDP Leader Kate White makes her speech at the Guild Hall on Monday evening after the territorial election results became known.

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Photo by Whitehorse Star

Emily Tredger

White sees ‘conversations’ in her near future

“I wish tonight we could all be in a big room because I’m really into hugs and high fives and there are so many hugs and high fives that I’d like to give tonight,” NDP Leader Kate White said late Monday evening.

By John Tonin on April 13, 2021

“I wish tonight we could all be in a big room because I’m really into hugs and high fives and there are so many hugs and high fives that I’d like to give tonight,” NDP Leader Kate White said late Monday evening.

“But, instead I’ll imagine you all in your living rooms across the territory tuning in.”

That was the atmosphere at NDP headquarters at the Guild Hall.

A room that would usually be full in a non-pandemic year only had a smattering of local media, coupled with a few campaign team members.

White was the first orange candidate to secure a seat in the legislature, easily securing the Takhini-Kopper King riding.

As the votes settled, White stepped to the podium shortly before 11 p.m.

The results, White said, were not what the party was hoping for, but she was grateful for all the votes Yukoners had cast for the NDP.

“Even these results are not what we hoped for, so many Yukoners voted for the NDP,” said White. “I want to thank you and tell you that we have your back.”

The election results are still undetermined, since the NDP’s Annie Blake in the Vuntut Gwitchin riding remains tied in votes with Liberal incumbent Pauline Frost.

A recount will be held, and if the votes remain even after that, a draw will be held to determine the winner – as happened in the same riding after the 1996 election, with the NDP’s Robert Bruce winning it.

White said they will look forward to the result coming out of the Vuntut Gwitchin riding.

Based on the election results generally, White said it’s clear Yukoners voted to have the three parties work together.

“They have clearly told us is what we need to do is work together to get things done,” said White. “That is exactly what we are going to do.

“I’d like to congratulate my opponents, Sandy (Silver) and Currie (Dixon); it’s been an honour to run alongside you on this campaign.

“I look forward to working with you in the coming days and weeks to plot out a path, as Yukoners have asked us to.”

What the vote does tell White is that Yukoners are looking for a better deal.

“Tonight, thousands of people voted for a better deal than what they’ve been getting,” said White. “They voted to shake things up, reject the old ways of doing things, and voted to shepherd in a new normal.”

During her speech, White said she is proud of the campaign the NDP ran.

“It was always my intention to run a bold campaign built on a strong vision for what the future could be,” said White. “We put up our hearts and our vision for the future, and so many people responded.

“I’m so grateful and proud of the candidates who joined me on this journey. They are community leaders.”

While speaking to the media afterward, White reiterated how proud she was of the campaign that was run.

“I’m proud of the values we put out there and the vision for Yukon,” said White.

“What we saw was thousands of people voted for it. What people have also said is there no clear majority, and they expect us to work together, and that is what I’ve always been committed to.”

With results still to be determined, White said she wasn’t sure of the role the NDP will play in the house, but she did speak hypothetically.

“Like everybody else, I’m waiting for those final results,” said White.

“There are some conversations in my future I’m sure I’ll be having.

“The one thing I want people to know is they know where I’ve stood. They know my values and they know my track record. It is those values that will guide me in the decisions that are coming. I’ve never stopped working for Yukoners. I’ll keep doing that.”

White said she had received a note Monday that said her campaign helped push the Yukon 10 years forward.

“There is no more conversation about considering safe supply; that is part of the dialogue,” said White.

“A lot of the other issues we pushed forward will be a lot more commonplace and because of that I couldn’t be more proud.”

The housing crisis, White said, was one of the most important issues of her campaign.

“The big concern that I would say that in 2011 when I was knocking on doors, housing was the key issue,” said White. “In 2016, housing was a key issue and in 2021, the issue is still housing.

“Nobody put forward the ideas that we did. There needs to be a deep conversation in Yukon about capping rent increases. We need protection for folks in mobile homes.

“In the next territorial election, if the first issue we talk about is housing, it will be another failure. And, that would be a tragedy.”

Environmental issues, dealing with the opioid abuse crisis, and dental coverage and pharmacare were other key issues the NDP campaigned on.

Whether it’s a majority or minority government, White said, she will continue to push the government to do the right thing.

“The platform was based on the needs of folks in our communities and I’ll keep doing that,” said White.

Emily Tredger took the Whitehorse Centre riding, held by former NDP leader Liz Hanson since December 2010. Whitehorse Centre has been NDP since 2002.

“I was really lucky to have some wonderful people in my bubble at my house with me,” said Tredger, whose father, Jim, served as an NDP MLA from 2011 to 2016.

“They were so enthusiastic that they actually screamed at the first poll; I thought they called it.

“I felt so supported, and it is just really exciting. It’s been a month with lots of hard work, but it is so rewarding to feel that hard work paid off.”

Like White, Tredger said housing was the big issue in her Whitehorse Centre riding, in which she defeated Dan Curtis, on leave from the Whitehorse mayoralty to run as the Liberal candidate.

“Housing was definitely number one,” said Tredger. “Almost every door I knocked on wanted to talk about housing.”

Tredger said people were also excited about the idea of a walk-in mental health clinic and expanded dental and pharmacare coverage for more Yukoners.

Tredger said it was great to campaign against Curtis.

“I have lots of respect for Dan,” said Tredger. “He was a great colleague, opponent. We ran into each other in the field sometimes.”

When Tredger spoke at the Guild Hall, she said her head was still spinning.

“Of course I’ll be ready to dive in and start working and I’m excited to start the work of being an MLA,” said Tredger.

Comments (24)

Up 4 Down 1

Groucho d'North on Apr 18, 2021 at 5:11 pm

Did we get the best government money can buy? Seems like the horse trading may still be going on.

Up 12 Down 2

Nathan Living on Apr 16, 2021 at 6:18 pm

Balanced budgets and low unemployment here.

So luckly we have transfer payments.
Politics here is fantasy really.

Up 14 Down 10

martin on Apr 15, 2021 at 4:56 pm

It was a given. Voters were mostly employees' from one of the 4 existing forms of Gov'ts - ruling this land- that didn't want to change the status quo, hence YP stands little chance and the others mostly remember very well the disaster of the last NDP regime.

Up 26 Down 7

Anie on Apr 15, 2021 at 1:22 pm

Dear Lied, it really is silly to blame sexism for the NDP defeat. And targeting middle age men, with absolutely no substantiation, is not even worth discussing. Check out Yukon's electoral history. There are a lot of reasons NDP are mired in 3rd party status, starting with their policies.

Up 33 Down 5

BB on Apr 15, 2021 at 12:28 pm

"I've got your back." Says Kate White.

And if you are a landlord, there's a knife in it. Such a joke. Kate has no problem whatsoever with playing gang warfare, like a good Marxist. She is not working with partners, she is demonizing one small group of people to rally the mob.

I notice Kate did not recommend price controls on gasoline or home heating - she's all for carbon taxes even though Canada has very little wiggle room, having already switched over from coal and implemented many other pollution controls, and producing only 1.2% of the worlds carbon dioxide emmissions.

I notice that the price of building materials, having gone up 250% in 18 months, was not a problem.
Groceries neither. A-okay when the cost to eat goes up.

Landlords and only landlords are the problem, as usual with the NDP, even though they provide much needed rental housing at a fraction of the cost that the government does. Even the over priced private rentals are a fraction of what the government charges the tax payer to provide the same housing through Yukon Housing.

They are either completely disingenuous, or ridiculously lazy and uninformed. I believe it's a combination of the two, and that they are ideologues - wedded to ideology, not reality.
A televised debate with the landlord's association would likely expose the vacuity of the NDP rental policies. I'd love to be there to watch.

Up 20 Down 6

Dan L. on Apr 15, 2021 at 5:51 am

With their recent success going from one seat to two the NDP should hold a spring policy convention with a camp-out at the abandoned sawmill beside the Alcan Hiway on the way to Watson Lake. (a possible NDP national historic site)
"We got your back!"

Up 19 Down 3

Eric S. on Apr 15, 2021 at 5:37 am

Yah gotta love democracy. We now have a phoney baloney holding the balance of power in the Yukon Legislature. Get your deals in during bankers hours or your outa luck.
"We got your back no matter what." Could we have even one example?

Up 10 Down 15

TheHammer on Apr 14, 2021 at 3:57 pm

Conversation and confrontation are not that far apart. There are YP MLA's that need to be confronted about past misdemeanors that impact negatively on vulnerable citizens like injured workers. The Legislative Assembly is not starting out with a clean slate. Rookie MLAs are walking into the arena of the political Coliseum, it's not the trained gladiators you need to look out for, it's the hungry lions of public opinion.

Up 25 Down 8

Anie on Apr 14, 2021 at 3:09 pm

Orange, I disagree with your conclusions. Neither of the two major parties want an election. They will compromise. Kate will sit outside the door and won't be part of those discussions because the NDP aren't a player in this game. Sorry to burst your bubble.

Up 9 Down 44

Lled on Apr 14, 2021 at 2:37 pm


The hate stems from good old fashioned sexism. There are huge swaths of voters (primarily older white conservative males) that have a serious issue with a woman being in a position of power. Those guys likely grew up in the 'nuclear family model' and simply can't fathom a woman being anywhere but the kitchen let alone having an opinion or career. Regardless, those old dinosaurs are fading fast.

I'm not a Dipper but I hope Kate stays for the long haul and her party remains the voice of reason in the Ledge over the next 4 years because we all know we need some reason in there from time to time.

Up 44 Down 10

Charlie's Aunt on Apr 14, 2021 at 12:53 pm

You did well in your riding Kate & in the other NDP stronghold, but I hope those future conversations are with people who can explain why many of your ideas are poorly thought out and show lack of knowledge.
A while back you rambled about Care Home residents needing to go to WGH for IV medications, did you research why that is necessary?
Rent controls: did you give any thought to fact that both COW & YT raise fees/taxes, cost of labor & maintenance increase? The list of expense increases for landlords goes on. Eventually those landlords will be priced out of the market & either sell or turn properties into condos. Either way it means burden will be on the tenant who will need to buy or pay condo fees.
Included in your recent platform is the jewel in your crown: taxing non resident workers higher because in your brain you think they spend their wages elsewhere. Firstly, you don't know where people spend their income, and have you considered all the YT residents who not only send money out of YT, but also overseas? Nothing wrong or new about that, it was an accepted practice for mine employees decades ago.
The flip side is what plan do you have for YT residents who work out of YT and bring their income to spend here?
Sorry Kate, you need to put more thought into your ideas and ask yourself whether or not they make sense.

Up 14 Down 21

NDP is not fringe on Apr 14, 2021 at 9:01 am

@Fred H re: his claim that the NDP are "some fringe party":

I suggest you look up the definition of "fringe". On what planet is just above 28% of the popular vote "fringe"? Here's some advice, champ: quit the hyperbole and look at the facts.

Up 29 Down 11

John on Apr 14, 2021 at 8:34 am

Translated to- thanks liberals for calling an unnecessary election during difficult times, messing up the govy and giving the party with least support from Yukoners the balance of power. Good, responsible judgement

Up 14 Down 16

whatever on Apr 14, 2021 at 8:21 am

i am with Kate on this, but I don’t understand the hatred for her and the NDP. For instance, it’s the liberals who want to spend on something that only supports maybe 2-3%. Use that money for more working for all people, not your friends. and speaking from experience, liberals, mostly, please don't be stupid and act like the 2 most dumbest liberals in the world.

Up 13 Down 31

Orange is the new whack, yo. on Apr 13, 2021 at 7:23 pm

The dullards in this thread.
While orange didn’t form government Kate holds the most power in the legislature today.

She can leverage her platform, plank by plank in exchange for support of the Liberals. If she doesn’t get action from the Libs, their government collapses and we go back to the polls. This is a perfect situation for Yukoners. Progressive government and the YPers can do what they do best; chirp from the sidelines.

Up 20 Down 19

Josey Wales on Apr 13, 2021 at 6:34 pm

Since our many liberal administrators that warm chairs in our government machine, were too $cared to vote against their $alaries...
seems we now really have a potential problem with, "White Power".

What a complete s**t show this sty is, besides being a village (WH) rife with idiots.
Yes there are many good folks here, they hide now...socialist distancing I suppose.

Up 21 Down 3

Anie on Apr 13, 2021 at 5:29 pm

She certainly has quite the imagination. It's quite a stretch to read what she did into that vote. But congrats to Yukoners, 80% turnout. Excellent.

Up 81 Down 30

Hmm on Apr 13, 2021 at 4:46 pm

That's a very positive way to look at it. But it's not realistic.
What it does mean is that the 40% that voted for YP and the 27% that the NDP took = 67% of people DIDN'T want Liberals.
By the same logic, 60% didn't want YP and 73% didn't want NDP. I'm sad to say that the NDP diluted the numbers. Now we get a haphazard government because of unicorn farts and sparkles that blinded people from the reality we face in the Yukon.

Up 77 Down 31

joe on Apr 13, 2021 at 4:45 pm

What a joke political system we have. The guy who gets 40% of the votes sits idle while the person with the fewest seats wants to influence all decisions. 40% of the vote is clear, only one person should be premier.

Up 37 Down 76

Juniper Jackson on Apr 13, 2021 at 3:05 pm

I did not foresee that Kate would hold all the cards. These cards could not be in better hands. Kate does what is right, not what is easy. I knew that Kate would be re elected.. Blue and Red, better get their *hit together. Grats Kate.

Up 75 Down 36

Crunch on Apr 13, 2021 at 2:48 pm

Just a reminder Kate. The Yukon as a whole rejected your platform and you made no gains. Congratulations on winning your seat and serving the needs of your constituents. However, your campaign fell completely in the --- house you came out smelling like a rose. Make your decisions accordingly.

Up 28 Down 73

Hope on Apr 13, 2021 at 2:37 pm

Let's all pray Pauline wins the runoff, lest NDP pull the Liberals even more left with terrible ideas like rent control.

Up 76 Down 22

Fred H on Apr 13, 2021 at 2:21 pm

Hopefully Kate sees conversations about how to remake the NDP into something people are actually interested in and not some fringe party that just wants to put out unrealistic ideas to move the conversation.

Get a slate of candidates with some economic experience, some business experience, people who could actually hold cabinate positions and not just those who cap out at 3rd party opposition. Yes you can still work for people on the fringes but abandoning and alienating everybody else doesn't work.

Up 70 Down 51

Bingo on Apr 13, 2021 at 2:19 pm

Congrats Kate you will get your 2 minutes in the legislature to ramble about your rent cap and house prices then you can go back to irrelevancy.

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