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Yvonne Clarke

Winner rejoices at creating history

Clarke – a first-time Yukon Party candidate – won Porter Creek Centre on Monday

By Tim Giilck on April 14, 2021

Clarke – a first-time Yukon Party candidate – won Porter Creek Centre on Monday.

She’s the first Filipina MLA for the Yukon... breaking both race and gender barriers in the process.

For half the evening, her victory looked unlikely as single-term incumbent Paolo Gallina led the polls and was inching toward retaining the seat for the Liberals.

However, Clarke steadily and inexorably gained ground on him, seizing the lead for good by approximately 10 p.m.

By that time, Clarke had come and gone at her party’s election night headquarters.

“I suddenly realized I didn’t have my husband with me and I wanted to share the moment with him,” a somewhat-sheepish Clarke told the Star Tuesday morning.

Despite the initial numbers, she said she remained certain she would triumph.

“I’m really happy about the win,” said Clarke, best known for her lengthy presidency of the territory’s Filipino association.

“I had a feeling I would win. It’s time, and it’s historical.”

Clarke said she believed the advance polls and special ballots went in her favour, and that was the reason for the disparity in numbers early in the count.

“I’m really honoured,” she said. “I’ve had congratulations from many Filipinos and people in the neighbourhood. I feel like I’ve inspired people. It’s as if I can do it, so anybody can do it.”

Filipinos make up approximately 10 to 15 per cent of the Yukon’s population,” Clarke said.

“It’s past time they had a representative to lead the way and be a role model for those people,” she added.

Clarke said she’s lived in Whitehorse for 26 years, and has always played as large a role as possible during that time.

“I have so much to offer,” she said. “I have a lot of experience at many things, including a non-government organization.”

As for her priorities, Clarke said, as with her party, she’s stuck in a wait-and-see mode as the dust settles over the Vuntut Gwitchen riding where the Liberal and NDP candidates are currently tied.

Settling the issue will require a recount and possibly more, and the outcome will affect the makeup of the legislature.

Until that situation is sorted out, all of the parties are trapped in limbo, as the composition of the legislature can’t be finalized.

“We just have to wait and see,” she said.

In the November 2016 election, city councillor Jocelyn Curteanu – also of Filipino ancestry – contested Copperbelt South for the Liberals, taking 425 votes compared to Yukon Party victor Scott Kent’s 449.

Comments (23)

Up 2 Down 4

The true Apex Parasites on Apr 20, 2021 at 12:45 pm

Apex Parasite - I agree that people are mean... However, we likely disagree on who the “mean” people actually are. I think that the mean people are those who bully people with their “feelings” while forcing others to bend to their subjectivities. It’s disgusting - get your Schmidt together and grow up!

Up 7 Down 5

What? on Apr 19, 2021 at 7:03 pm

@fav
A strong MLA?
I’ve not seen one concrete example of her actual work history. Zero government experience. Murky NGO role(s). Sitting in opposition.
Yeah, she will serve us well. Not.

Up 9 Down 10

Apex Parasite on Apr 19, 2021 at 10:10 am

Wow, people are mean...

Up 14 Down 4

I’m not sure if I am laughing with or laughing at... on Apr 16, 2021 at 5:13 pm

Great... The revolving door of Yukon politics... Very much like the forever hiring at the Whitehorse Correctional Centre. Everyone gets a turn at the shytshow! Welcome to the jungle...

Up 8 Down 27

Snow Plow on Apr 16, 2021 at 9:56 am

Ha -ha this so makes me laugh. All the right wing cons are in a tizzy now!! Never once raised a peep when the shoe was on the other foot, but now, the sky is falling!!
I wonder if this lady understands what she is walking into when she has her first caucus meeting?

Up 12 Down 4

TheHammer on Apr 15, 2021 at 7:59 pm

JSM@ Your positive comment ends with a negative and incriminating phrase; 'stolen election'. Sounds familiar.

Up 25 Down 7

TheHammer on Apr 15, 2021 at 7:56 pm

It's a good thing the Filipino community have one of their own in the assembly. They represent a significant and essential part of the work force. And a good thing for the Filipino children in the schools. Filipinos are an asset to the society of Yukon.

Up 36 Down 4

Charlie's Aunt on Apr 15, 2021 at 4:35 pm

I live in PC Centre and pleased that Yvonne was elected, but please let's not make this about race and gender. Although they are both part of who a person is, the role of an MLA should be about their ability to serve everyone in their riding, not favor a select group. Yvonne's comment: “It’s past time they had a representative to lead the way and be a role model for those people,” would have been enough to lose her my vote. Don't go there Yvonne, because you will lose credibility fast.

Up 14 Down 13

Kim Dolhan on Apr 15, 2021 at 3:27 pm

Yvonne Clarke is a positive force of energy with experience supporting senior staff including the Commissioners office. Her family are so supportive and professional it was a pleasure working with them. A couple senior ladies on the street were happy with her interviews, commenting she was keeping up with the big boys. She was determined to earn the ridings vote and they couldn't have aced their trust in a more kind and caring person.

Up 16 Down 11

JSM on Apr 15, 2021 at 12:35 pm

@Diversity is our Strength woah, woah, woah, do not lump me in with the communists. I have long said that diversity to the conservative voice is a good thing, not for our lieberal elites who can't get there head screwed on right as it is. I used to fight against people like the Lieberals. Do not lump me in with them.

Up 31 Down 10

J Willie on Apr 15, 2021 at 11:30 am

Agree Juniper.... I live in PC C and Clarke made the election about being Filipino, rather than representing the residents. She doesn't live here, doesn't understand the issues and was arrogant when I met her and her team. I can't wait for a real candidate to vote for.

Up 30 Down 7

Social Credit Score on Apr 15, 2021 at 8:57 am

Dear Juniper - I agree with you. However, we live in a Bizarro World where racism is not racism, and one’s power, ironically, is derived from “what” they are and not “who” they are.

The doublespeak is meant to confuse, bewilder, and disempower you. It is the ultimate Leftist Liberal weapon against a factual reality that may prove difficult for the Liberal Overlords to reconcile with.

This way they can keep telling you that nothing is what it seems and that things are just too difficult and complex for the ordinary person to understand... Thus, in the war between the powerful and the powerless the means of communication have been have been controlled... Therefore, the “first of her kind” is not racist, rather, it is anti racist, notwithstanding that racism is a social construct based on outward appearances... And this is an intended substitute for character...

A further complexity to this is that Yvonne Clarke may have a wonderful and inspiring character but this will be intentionally bound up with the collective identity assumed by the colour of her skin...

In other circumstances this may be the weaponization of race... In the particular circumstances... We shall see but it is rather unfortunate that this will remain a question by virtue of the virtue signalling inherent within identity politics...

Good luck to Yvonne and “all” of her constituents.

Up 18 Down 8

SH on Apr 15, 2021 at 8:47 am

Congrats, Yvonne. You'll do great in this new role!

Up 39 Down 10

Josey Wales on Apr 15, 2021 at 5:46 am

Hey team blue...wanna know one reason I "chose" to NOT support your team, as I have since day one?
"She’s the first Filipino MLA for the Yukon... breaking both race and gender barriers in the process."

I have effin HAD it with identity politics, it is an absolute CANCER in our society.
When factoring team Reds fetish with it (epic pandering...off the scale), really seems like two cheeks of the same arse really.
The nobles wished for polarization of our populace, congratulations it has been achieved.

Up 8 Down 19

Diversity is our Strength on Apr 14, 2021 at 7:19 pm

@JSM yes that's exactly right. "Diversity is our strength" is a good slogan which Trudeau uses all the time as well. Great minds think alike.

Up 16 Down 34

Anita on Apr 14, 2021 at 7:09 pm

It's always disappointing when a POC runs for a party that literally hates them and what they represent. I wish her the very best, but the Yukon Party doesn't care about minorities and will keep her off the radar. Right wing parties love having a token POC to make them appear accepting and progressive. The ol' "I have a black friend" defence.

BTW @Juniper Jackson...The journalist is highlighting a first in Yukon history. Not a single person nor the article has stated Yvonne Clarke would solely serve the Filipino community. Special benefits and attention? What are you even talking about?
This is a proud moment for all Yukoners regardless of race or party preference.

Up 5 Down 35

Nathan Living on Apr 14, 2021 at 6:52 pm

Note to Sandy Silver.

If your party wins Vuntut, ask Yvonne to cross the floor and establish a real majority.

Up 18 Down 7

Snowball II on Apr 14, 2021 at 5:10 pm

J Jackson you're right.

Up 37 Down 26

fav on Apr 14, 2021 at 4:39 pm

Clarke was my favourite candidate in this election. I felt she would win too. Paolo is great too. I think Clarke will be a strong MLA.

Up 45 Down 29

Sarah M on Apr 14, 2021 at 2:33 pm

Congrats Yvonne! Your energy is inspiring and your dedication shines. Looking forward to seeing great things from you! Congrats to the whole YP team!

Up 30 Down 40

JSM on Apr 14, 2021 at 2:33 pm

I have long said that diversity is strength and could not be happier to see this in our local government. Representing the true winners of this stolen election.

Up 51 Down 22

No thanks on Apr 14, 2021 at 2:27 pm

She's got a lot of work to do.

Unlike Yvonne, I actually live in PC Centre, she lives out of town. Not so sure she can fathom the issues we face in PC Centre and won't be effective in opposition anyway.

I got her 'leaflet' and it was incredibly light on experience, no actual job history just a couple vague mentions of Boards she was involved with and how she identifies as a POC. I suspect she is a one shot wonder.

Paolo did an 'okay' job from the backbenches and seemed to engage with people in the 'hod on social media which was refreshing. Sandy not giving him a portfolio helped to sink him.

Up 87 Down 32

Juniper Jackson on Apr 14, 2021 at 2:10 pm

"First of her kind"? Maybe someone should mention that an elected official should not have a 'kind'. The House is there to represent everyone. If Ms. Clarke starts singling out "her kind" for special benefits, attention. She will be a one shot wonder for "her kind". You, and the rest of the House, better be in it for everyone.

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