Whitehorse Daily Star

Image title

Photo by Whitehorse Star

Yukon Party Leader Currie Dixon and NDP Leader Kate White

You’re offside with hockey trip, Liberals told

The Yukon Party couldn’t stop itself from sniping at Premier Sandy Silver last Thursday as the fall legislative session came to an end.

By Tim Giilck on December 6, 2021

The Yukon Party couldn’t stop itself from sniping at Premier Sandy Silver last Thursday as the fall legislative session came to an end.

“More than half of the Liberal cabinet is heading to Vancouver in two weeks to party it up at a crowded corporate box at the Canucks game,” Yukon Party Leader Currie Dixon noted during question period.

“This event is happening in the midst of strict public health restrictions on gathering sizes and limits on the capacities of bars and restaurants here in Yukon.

“It is not lost on Yukoners that the event the Liberals are hosting in Vancouver would not be allowed here in Yukon under the regulations put in place by the Liberals themselves,” Dixon added.

“Meanwhile, the federal government has advised Canadians to reconsider large holiday gatherings due to the Omicron variant, and the message from Dr. Bonnie Henry, the chief medical officer of B.C., to the province regarding Christmas parties is to keep your indoor groups small.

“So, can the premier tell us why there is one standard for the Liberals and another for everyone else?”

It was at least the third day the subject had arisen in the legislature. Earlier in the week, it had been Yukon NDP Leader Kate White bodychecking Silver on the issue.

The repetition of the question wasn’t lost on Silver.

“I believe that this is the same question that I answered (Wednesday),” he said.

“We will be following all of the recommendations and guidelines in the jurisdiction in which we are travelling. We will be making sure that this happens.

“We have committed to openness and transparency, as well, in following the rules established around fundraising,” Silver added.

“I don’t recall the Yukon Party having an issue with party fundraising when they were raising the most money, involving the mining industry.”

The Yukon Party had 14 years in power to change rules as well, Silver pointed out.

“Now they are pivoting to making this an issue about COVID, and I will make sure that Yukoners can rest assured that we are following all of the guidelines as we travel respectfully to another jurisdiction.”

Dixon came loaded with another question in his clip.

“Over the past several weeks, we have seen multiple major events cancelled. The Geoscience Forum, which is normally a boon to the Whitehorse hospitality sector, was cancelled.

“Major Christmas events and parties have been cancelled, all because of the health restrictions imposed by the Liberals,” Dixon said.

“Meanwhile, the Liberals have decided that the biggest event they have hosted in years is going to be held not in a local restaurant or an event space, but down south in Vancouver.”

A week earlier, Dixon recalled, “the premier urged Yukoners to pay special attention to supporting local businesses this holiday season, yet he won’t even support local businesses by hosting his event locally.

“The Liberals are saying that it is ‘rules for thee, but not for me’ as they restrict gatherings in Yukon but head south to crowded parties.”

“We will continue to fundraise, as the other parties will do, and we will do it respectfully and we will do it openly and with full transparency,” Silver responded, sticking to his speaking notes.

“A vast array of local businesses will be there, and they also will be travelling very respectfully, but I will let them know that the Yukon Party does not think that they should be travelling either,” Silver added.

Last Tuesday, White made it perfectly clear she thought it was a political offside in the current political and pandemic climate.

“I guess it’s OK if it’s the Liberals and it’s a hockey game,” she said.

She made the statement after noting that Silver had complained about a Yukon Party fundraiser back in 2014 while the Liberals were in opposition.

While then-premier Darrell Pasloski and several ministers were in Vancouver for a major mining conference, the party chartered a yacht for a waterfront excursion.

In 2017, the Yukon Liberals held a fundraiser in Vancouver, again at a Canucks game, that caused some controversy.

Since then, the party has been questioned frequently on its fundraising practices and alleged lack of proper documentation and reporting.

“It’s a classic case of ‘do as I say and not as I do,’” White said.

She hammered Silver on how inconsistent the Liberals’ latest trip is with current health regulations and the state of emergency the government declared last month.

“Does the premier think this is a good reason to travel right now?” White asked.

She told Silver that as far as she knew and could track documentation, none of the government ministers had travelled on business since the pandemic began in early 2020.

Silver immediately disputed that.

“There has been travel,” he said, without offering specifics.

White also demanded the Liberal party check the attendees to see if they had all registered on the territorial lobbyists list.

Silver dismissed that idea, saying the onus is on individuals to register on the list. The government simply created the list, he told White.

It’s not its job to chase down people.

White also wanted to know how many “off the record” meetings had occurred, but Silver ignored the question.

Comments (52)

Up 0 Down 0

Nathan T on Dec 29, 2021 at 11:42 pm

Wow I am really heartened to see so many people upset by these tyrants actions! I hope this translates into action...A lot of people are in a really tough spot over these mandates.

Up 3 Down 0

Pjt1959 on Dec 17, 2021 at 6:35 pm

Well, what can one say other than another example of liberal privilege. Do as I say not as I do. Called a useless election trying to get total power over which they have cause the NDP are giving it to them.
I guess Kate will be a special guest. Time for politicians to be accountable and work instead of always on recess.

Up 20 Down 5

Roids51 on Dec 10, 2021 at 10:01 pm

Could we expect anything better out of a premier who patterns himself after our glorious Prime Minister?

Up 41 Down 8

Josie on Dec 10, 2021 at 9:45 am

I don't mind if Sandy Silver and the Liberals go to Vancouver. As long as they never come back.
I'm so tired of their gaslighting and psychological abuse.

Up 25 Down 7

yukoner72 on Dec 9, 2021 at 3:07 pm

It would be hilarious if the "kiss-cam" were to zoom in on the liberal's private box at the hockey game!

Up 29 Down 7

Josey Wales on Dec 9, 2021 at 2:33 pm

Yeah...what Ross just said!
Careful though Ross, talking like one of those free people...

Up 114 Down 8

Ross Mercer on Dec 8, 2021 at 7:03 pm

I am not a covid denier, anti vaxxer or conspiracy theorist. I have never told anyone that they shouldn’t get vaccinated and I have always been in favour of reasonable actions to protect the vulnerable. The lawsuit itself against YG is about government accountability. It is about transparency and ensuring that restrictions, mandates, etc., that affect people’s basic civil liberties, right to earn a living, free speech. etc., are put into place only when necessary for the greater good of society.

It is also important to objectively and rationally compare negative consequences of government intervention with whatever positive effect they claim it will produce. For example, to justify firing and putting hundreds of Yukoners out of work right before Christmas, there damn well better be a huge positive effect on our societies overall well-being by forcing a few percent of unwilling people to get vaccinated. This remains to be seen.

Basic rights should never be treated by politicians as privileges to be given or taken away for political reasons. Those in positions of trust and power such as the CMOH, should never view a societal health situation as an opportunity to grandstand and launch their political careers.

The vax itself is hardly the issue. The fact is that there has been 2 years of deliberate fear mongering, moving goalposts, hypocritical leadership, censorship, out of control federal spending, destruction of private industry, blatant dishonesty and corruption on various levels. Skepticism is a very reasonable and very human response to an injection made by pharmaceutical companies that have paid billions in lawsuits and that is being effectively forced upon people by politicians with potentially self serving agendas.

It is quite reasonable to believe in medical science, believe that vaccination offers some form of protection to those that get it and also likely helps control spread to some degree, but also be extremely concerned and disappointed with how elected leadership has conducted themselves throughout the last 2 years.

At any rate, I live here, work here and I’m not hard to track down if anyone has any comments or questions about the lawsuit. Open respectful discussion of information and opposing viewpoints needs to happen, between citizens, between leaders and between medical professionals on public forums.

I think we need to remember that we are all the same friends, neighbors and Yukoners that we were 2 years ago. We’re all trying to do the right thing, we just have different aspects of a complicated situation that trouble each of us differently. I have actually found that when I discuss the situation with those who have completely opposite opinions on mandates etc, there are still a great many things upon which we agree.

Up 7 Down 25

Olav on Dec 8, 2021 at 6:15 pm

@Hanna A
Un-vaccinated can still travel, just not via air.
I heard that they suspect the virus entered The Yukon via un-vaccinated Americans driving enroute to Alaska.

Up 17 Down 50

TheClickersAreHere on Dec 8, 2021 at 4:28 pm

The Clickers are out in full force lately.
Momma musta let'em outta da basement.

Up 59 Down 11

hehehe on Dec 8, 2021 at 2:48 pm

Someone should take an advertisement out and place it on big screen at the game. Hope the Yukon Government is having fun, while they mandate the rest of us to stay home. I wonder if the box will contain vaccinated people from only two households.

Up 54 Down 7

Hannah A on Dec 8, 2021 at 1:26 pm

Furthermore, the CMOH stated today that "people should be 'prudent and cautious' as holidays approach."
Please explain to me how a group party at a hockey game is "prudent and cautious".

The Omicron variant is now in the territory - however, the unvaccinated have been barred from travelling. Please explain how this variant arrived in the territory? The CMOH told us that only the unvaccinated were spreading disease: "Unvaccinated individuals are highly integrated into the Yukon and therefore sharing disease throughout vaccinated networks."

Up 49 Down 5

Hannah A on Dec 8, 2021 at 1:01 pm

"The acting Chief Medical Officer continues to recommend that:
-indoor personal gatherings be limited to two households as a best practice; and
-travel between communities, and between communities and Whitehorse, be avoided until further notice."

The above is from their own guidelines. Why do they get to break the rules?

While children continue to be masked and have their events cancelled. Why so much disdain and punitive measures for children from them? As one good doctor wrote, "adults are supposed to take care of children, never the other way around. These are called normal human relationships. You don’t need to be a doctor or epidemiologist to understand, and covid19 hasn’t changed this."

Up 11 Down 3

Patti Eyre on Dec 8, 2021 at 12:48 pm

Isn't this more of a delayed icing, than off-side?

Up 36 Down 9

TMYK on Dec 8, 2021 at 12:10 pm

@Checkyourfacts the Liberals don’t have to report donations received out of the Yukon. That is why they are putting on these fundraisers in Vancouver and not here. Yes the YP also had fundraising events during Roundup but the difference is they reported the donations and the Liberals purposefully don’t so they can shield their donors so when they hand out source contracts there is less scrutiny.

Up 80 Down 9

Bandit on Dec 8, 2021 at 11:29 am

Sandy Silver, To leave The Yukon to go on a Hockey trip in a Private box while the people you are supposed to be representing are still under a State of Emergency, cancelling events, being restricted on gatherings, "LOSING their JOBS"!!! I surely hope you are using Air North to at least support "ONE" Local Business. Holy F@#K Give your head a shake.

Up 45 Down 9

Groucho d'North on Dec 8, 2021 at 9:25 am

So the Silver Liberals are out soliciting for campaign money already? This may indicate they are anticipating another election in the near term, OR they realize they are going to have to buy the next popular vote following their recent performance.

Up 50 Down 7

@T on Dec 8, 2021 at 6:17 am

Don't forget the acting CMOH took a vacation after calling a circuit breaker.

Up 46 Down 9

jack on Dec 7, 2021 at 10:49 pm

Why do they have to go to Vancouver to celebrate? Isn't the Yukon good enough for them?

Up 7 Down 20

Check Your Facts on Dec 7, 2021 at 9:52 pm

@TMYK
If you check the political donation list, you will see that NVD donated nothing to the Liberals but donated straight cash as well as fundraising items to the Yukon Party.

If the Liberals now turn around and give them sole sourced contracts or any special perks, they are complete idiots. Doing so, means funding the forces who are lining up against them (same for the other businesses bankrolling the YP like Pelly Construction, Tintina Air, Cobalt, PNW Transport, Nuway Crushing, Midnight Sun Drilling and others). I hope the Liberals are a bit smarter than that, but who knows I guess.

Up 14 Down 3

DMZ on Dec 7, 2021 at 7:08 pm

@Jackman, hasn't just about every province and territory had a go at having "the highest rates in the country"? It's hardly a distinction anymore.

Up 52 Down 6

Yukong on Dec 7, 2021 at 6:09 pm

300 workers on leave, let's call it what it is. They're fired. The omicron variant spreading everywhere, and the Liberals (with their footservants, on the taxpayers dime) decide to go to Vancouver party it up and go Christmas shopping. All the while, the subjects are locked down at home. This is leadership, folks.

Up 10 Down 37

Mick on Dec 7, 2021 at 5:17 pm

Haha crying Currie has been on this exact trip a couple times. He knows what he’s missing. A colleague of mine was on one of those harbour cruises with the YP and ‘many things’ were flowing freely as industry danced with government trying to get a leg up on one another.

Up 60 Down 6

Dave on Dec 7, 2021 at 5:02 pm

Sandy Silver raising the ultimate middle finger to Yukoners.

Up 38 Down 6

Elephantine memory on Dec 7, 2021 at 4:49 pm

Do the Liberals not remember the righteous indignation Richard Mostyn expressed when the Liard First Nation awarded themselves an all expenses paid junket to Las Vegas, including a chartered jet, because they'd been working so hard? I guess who is and who is not a pig depends on whether you're filling your face at the trough (that's GOOD!) or it's someone else (that's VERY BAD!).

Up 58 Down 5

T on Dec 7, 2021 at 12:46 pm

We're declaring a state of emergency. We're imposing limits on personal gatherings to 10 people from a maximum of two households if all eligible people are vaccinated. By the way, these rules don't apply to me or my cabinet, since we're operating in another jurisdiction.

NOTE: the acting Chief Medical Officer of Health has revoked her recommendation regarding the suspension of high intensity exercise classes. The benefits of allowing high intensity sports and activities were considered to be greater at this time than the benefits of suspending all high intensity activities.

Trust the experts. Trust the science. Don't question the decisions of the Chief Medical Officer of Health who has a background in environmental science and is specialized in the health effects of urban air pollution and wildfire smoke inhalation.

Up 41 Down 4

Ya on Dec 7, 2021 at 11:23 am

@EJ
You actually have to pay for those tickets. Also, there is this thing called Roundup that Yukon Governments support. You know to illustrate to the rest of Canada they should support the Yukon even though the Yukon's only real business is Government.

As for what companies want to do with their monies; that is the freedom of the country, you can support whatever you want. Same goes for the Liberals and so forth. You bring up Mercer and MSD, the choice they made not to take YG to court. However, you do not bring up the vast donations they make every year to important organizations such as Yukon Hospital Foundation, various sports teams etc.

Up 65 Down 4

JustSayin' on Dec 7, 2021 at 10:44 am

They could have donated the money from this trip to various Yukon organizations to help those in need. With inflation increasing across the country, how is this trip to Vancouver helping Yukoners? Do you know there are Yukoners who love hockey, but can't afford to see a game? We know everyone going will be expensing anything they can. If they needed a team building trip, they could have supported numerous Yukon businesses who are suffering.

Thanks Liberals for caring for Yukoners and bless your heart.

Up 11 Down 43

unReal on Dec 7, 2021 at 10:25 am

The Liberals and NDP should research the retorts from the Paz's Yuk Party in 2004 and fire them right back at the Cons (in quotation marks, of course).

Up 74 Down 4

DMZ on Dec 7, 2021 at 9:33 am

Normally I don't pay attention to this kind of thing, but it is a little weird in the face of putting the emergency measures act back in place. Insensitive, at best.

Up 73 Down 8

MO on Dec 7, 2021 at 9:28 am

This is who the Yukon Liberal Party is, and it's not just the elected politicians, but the staff too. They think they're better than regular people, and it's why they don't see the hypocrisy in their own actions.

Up 56 Down 8

Groucho d'North on Dec 7, 2021 at 9:25 am

Another Liberal attribute:

ar·​ro·​gance | \ ˈer-ə-gən(t)s Noun
Essential Meaning of arrogance
: an insulting way of thinking or behaving that comes from believing that you are better, smarter, or more important than other people.

Up 52 Down 8

Wilf Carter on Dec 6, 2021 at 8:04 pm

Yukon liberals received $50,000 from a mining president but kept his name from being known to Yukoners and now Sandy and Ranj are making the rounds to mining companies promising them the Yukon moon.

Up 17 Down 44

EJ on Dec 6, 2021 at 7:57 pm

Interesting that the Yukon Party was hosting exclusive yacht cruises in the Vancouver harbour when they were flown down there on public funding but now that the Liberals are doing something similar, but using their own money to fly down, it's somehow a big deal. Also, the Yukon Party's biggest donors last year - over $15,000 from Trent Jamieson (Midnight Sun Drilling) and Ross Mercer were the same folks who are bringing the Yukon Govt to court over pandemic travel and health restrictions. Why is the Yukon Party accepting big money from anti-vaxxers? It's easy to see why they opposed the vaccine mandate and passport now; they had no choice but to do the bidding of those who are funding them.

As for the NDP, someone should ask Kate White why she emailed BC Unions asking for donations and explaining how they needed to do it individually since the NDP was pretending it no longer accepted big union donations. Also, why did the NDP hold a fundraiser in Alberta a few years ago? I thought they were the party of morals and virtue who didn't fundraise outside? I guess it's one set of rules for her political party and another for the Liberals, Yukon Party and Freedom Party.

Up 75 Down 4

Local business owner trying to get through.. on Dec 6, 2021 at 7:27 pm

This is just freaking sad. I own and operate a restaurant and would have loved some of this business. Imagine a fundraiser helping out a local business instead of the Canucks. I know at least one of the other parties have held their fundraisers here and supported local. In fact, given a business mega support on their fundraiser night.

To say restaurants have to operate at half capacity and get the chairs away from the bar, then to fly off and spend money in Vancouver when we could all use a small leg up. That is very shameful.

I am not political. I am just trying to get by. All we want is some support, but this is bs.

Up 50 Down 5

bonanzajoe on Dec 6, 2021 at 7:18 pm

Nathan Living: Why are you blaming the YP for being petty? It's Silver and his liberals that are going against their own policy.

Up 12 Down 44

Woodcutter on Dec 6, 2021 at 6:47 pm

One moment your denying covid exists and that the economy is suffering and the next moment your crying cause your concerned about the public.
Your really crying cause you are not invited and when your were at the Helm you got to enjoy the perks. So pipe down, you're sniveling and it looks stupid.

Up 42 Down 4

TMYK on Dec 6, 2021 at 6:12 pm

I think everyone is also forgetting that this is also an event where the Liberals can skirt Yukon Election fundraiser rules and take money from their corporate friends (cough NVD cough) and never have to report it. Keep an eye out for some rushed projects and sole source contracts.

Up 63 Down 3

Hannah A on Dec 6, 2021 at 5:28 pm

My preschooler's Christmas concert was cancelled because of their rules but they get to go to Vancouver to a hockey game?
Have a nice vacation and think of the 5 years olds masked all day while you enjoy the game.

Up 36 Down 3

Roy on Dec 6, 2021 at 4:41 pm

Bad move Liberals. The YP and NDP are right to call you out.

And before you upvote me consider this - the YP, if they ever get back into power, will pull the same sort of stunts - the same "rules for thee" BS that's on display here.

They've done it before. So have the Libs.
The Libs will do it again. So will the YP.

If you think I'm wrong you are in denial of the past.
All parties here on guilty. That doesn't make it ok.

Up 10 Down 36

Jackman 2 on Dec 6, 2021 at 4:30 pm

Chuck Farley: Yep, there are idiots across the political spectrum. But when it comes to anti-vaxx and anti-mandate they are concentrated in the right wing. Go look at the YP executive and insiders. They will tell you.
I point out that any Yukoner who is vaccinated can travel to Vancouver to watch a hockey game, go to movie or concert because people in Vancouver were committed to curb the COVID waves. Meanwhile in the Yukon, COViD ran rampant at the highest rate in Canada. We reap what we sow. We need to be responsible and respectful and reasonable. Otherwise, it will be another long year in the Yukon.

Up 112 Down 14

Chuck Farley on Dec 6, 2021 at 3:44 pm

Jackman; news flash sparky not all Yukon Party supporters are anti vaxx; being against vaccinations covers the political spectrum; right, left, center, nice try though

Up 31 Down 117

Nathan Living on Dec 6, 2021 at 3:24 pm

This issue seems like petty politics from the Yukon Party and the NDP.

Up 122 Down 14

bonanzajoe on Dec 6, 2021 at 3:23 pm

“So, can the premier tell us why there is one standard for the Liberals and another for everyone else?” Do you really need to ask that question. But if you must, ask comrade JT.

Up 131 Down 10

iBrian on Dec 6, 2021 at 2:49 pm

I can’t hold a Christmas fund raiser, but this BS excuse of a Premier can go to Vancouver and host a fund raiser.
Yeah going to another jurisdiction because everyone here has had enough of you. I know a few former die hard Liberals. Who now, are saying we have to get rid of these people. I didn’t vote for them, I tried, but a lot of you people wanted a free ride.
Now they go celebrate their pension plan and screwing all of us over.

Up 30 Down 104

Jackman on Dec 6, 2021 at 2:40 pm

Man, everyone looks childish. The YP is the definition of hypocrisy: pacifying their anti-vaxx core. The NDP gang piling on the fundraising criticism; of course, they fund raise as much as any other party. The Liberals flying out to Vancouver to avoid their COVID limitations, such as they are. One session and it is already unbearable.
Of the three, Premier Sandy seems to be the only one speaking with integrity or at least not trying to make cheap political points. The NDP and Yukon Party should skip the fake outrage and be raising concerns about federal and territorial red tape killing new mine projects in the Yukon; the drug epidemic in the Yukon; the influx of offshore investment money in the Yukon; (who bought the theatre properties, the Family Hotel, and others - hint for non-thinkers: not NVD or anyone else local) etc. Maybe in the spring, I guess.

Up 97 Down 11

Jim on Dec 6, 2021 at 2:08 pm

Slippery Shady Sandy. Slipperier (spelling?) and shadier than ever. Keep up the fantastic work Sandy, you’re doing a great job.

Up 85 Down 11

Politico on Dec 6, 2021 at 2:05 pm

In other words, for all the political parties in the Yukon, it's do as I say not as I do. The whole Legislature looks like a bunch of kinder gardeners running around the school yard throwing snow balls at each other. No wonder people have so little respect for politicians.

Up 100 Down 16

JSM on Dec 6, 2021 at 2:04 pm

As always, it's rules for thee and not for me from the Lieberal Party.

Up 22 Down 121

Currie clicker on Dec 6, 2021 at 1:53 pm

Oh come on Curry, it’s only an issue because you’re not invited.

Up 111 Down 6

Sheepchaser on Dec 6, 2021 at 1:46 pm

Just when you want to pat these folks on the back, they go and remind you that their ethics are situational, at best.

Silver, come on, man. You’re really going to do this? Set this terrible an example? As the restrictions become voluntary, your conduct is more important than ever.

Speaking for a household that has cancelled their winter travel plans on the recommendation of the country’s national strategy (without being able to claim back any of the money), let me just say how weak this move really is.

Suck it up, buttercups.

Up 99 Down 9

Matthew on Dec 6, 2021 at 1:45 pm

“More than half of the Liberal cabinet is heading to Vancouver in two weeks to party it up at a crowded corporate box at the Canucks game,” Yukon Party Leader Currie Dixon noted during question period. Ahh yes. Politics at its finest.. rules for thee, but not for me... amazing to me, that in the last 6 years were printed off more money than the last 145 years yet here we are, having a party at the expense of the tax payer while they don't give 2 sh*ts..

Up 109 Down 7

Salt on Dec 6, 2021 at 1:20 pm

Just further proof that we are in an age of self-interest and partisanship. Principle and honesty are dead in our political class.

Add your comments or reply via Twitter @whitehorsestar

In order to encourage thoughtful and responsible discussion, website comments will not be visible until a moderator approves them. Please add comments judiciously and refrain from maligning any individual or institution. Read about our user comment and privacy policies.

Your name and email address are required before your comment is posted. Otherwise, your comment will not be posted.