Whitehorse Daily Star

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Photo by Chuck Tobin

TURNOUT SOLID – David Laxton (plaid shirt), the former Speaker of the legislature who did not seek re-election, was among a solid core of Yukon Party supporters who gathered Monday night at the Best Western Gold Rush Inn to watch the return of election results.

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Photo by Chuck Tobin

SURROUNDED BY SUPPORT – Premier Darrell Pasloski is flanked by his wife, Tammie, and daughters Bronwyn and Erin, left to right, while addressing party supporters after his Yukon Party was defeated in Monday’s territorial election.

Yukon Party’s 14-year reign is finished

Premier Darrell Pasloski announced his resignation as Yukon Party leader after he was forced out of his Mountainview riding Monday.

By Chuck Tobin on November 8, 2016

Premier Darrell Pasloski announced his resignation as Yukon Party leader after he was forced out of his Mountainview riding Monday.

“I want to just start by saying Yukoners have spoken,” Pasloski said in opening remarks shortly after arriving at at the Best Western Gold Rush Inn, where a hearty crowd of the party faithful had gathered for election night.

“It is certainly not the outcome that we wanted, but we all know voters are never wrong.”

The party leader thanked all the candidates for running what he described as a remarkable campaign.

The six Yukon Party MLAs elected to office will serve Yukoners well over the next five years as the official Opposition, Pasloski assured the room.

He said in the wake of the party’s defeat, in the wake of his third-place finish, it was time to leave.

“That’s why tonight I am tendering my resignation as leader of the Yukon Party,” the 55-year-old Pasloski told the gathering.

“In the coming days, I will sit down with caucus and the party executive to sort out the timing and the next steps.

“The Yukon Party is made of remarkable individuals, and I look forward to the next wave of leaders who will come forward to lead our party.”

The race in Mountainview was so tight there will be an automatic recount by a justice of the Yukon Supreme Court because there were 10 or fewer votes separating first and second places. Either way, Pasloski is out.

Liberal candidate Jeanie Dendys won the riding with 439 votes, just six ahead of NDP candidate Shaunagh Stikeman and 40 ahead of the 399 votes cast for the premier.

A sitting Yukon premier hasn’t lost his or her seat since the NDP’s Piers McDonald lost his Whitehorse riding to the Liberals’ Wayne Jim in 1996.

The night at the Gold Rush started slowly, as is typical of election night at what everybody hopes will turn into a festive gala.

More and more Yukon Party supporters kept arriving after the polls closed at 8 p.m. The mood among the crowd never reached the crescendo seen in 2002, 2006, 2011.

Nobody was hanging his or her head. There just wasn’t that same bounce in their step.

Glenn and Kathy Ford were there early, mingling.

“We are friends with Darrell,” said Kathy. “We have known Darrell since he came to the Yukon, and we have faith in him.”

Glenn pointed out the couple helped the premier go door-to door.

“I think they did a good job in this mandate that they just had and I think they will continue to do a good job.”

Grade 8 twins Simon and Joshua Lauer were something of an anomaly amongst the older crowd, but they watched intently as results were being flashed up, having just participated in the Student Vote initiative in Yukon schools.

The right to vote is a privilege that should be exercised, said Simon, noting he had no intention of revealing how he voted at school.

“Our dad (Michael Lauer) is running Mr. Pasloski’s campaign,” he pointed out. “We have known him for a very long time. He is a really close friend ... and we have the same birthday, Nov. 2.”

There wasn’t much for supporters to cheer about as it became more and more evident the Yukon Party would be swept out of office, though the party did still hang on to seven seats.

Each victory was applauded as it was flashed on the screen.

Some 20 minutes before 10:00, a distinct pall washed over the gathering as confirmation circulated about Pasloski’s defeat to the rookie Liberal.

Senator Dan Lang, a longtime Yukon Conservative who served several terms in the legislative assembly beginning in the 1970s, said the Yukon Party acquitted itself well in this election, and hung on to its core vote.

“The NDP support collapsed and it went over the Liberals,” Lang said. “I think it was also the case that there was a bit of a hangover from the federal election, to a certain degree.”

Yukon Party Justice Minister Brad Cathers – returned to his fourth consecutive term in Lake Laberge by a large margin – offered no analysis of his party’s defeat.

He said he had mixed feelings, having been returned to another term but disappointed to see his colleagues lose their seats.

“I’m going to take some time to look at the results before making any statement.”

Similar sentiments were expressed by Energy, Mines and Resources Minister Scott Kent, who was also returned to his fourth term in the legislature – the first two as a Liberal in 2000 and 2002.

“The voters are always right, and obviously they have spoken tonight,” he said.

Asked about the possibility of serving as interim leader to replace Pasloski, both Cathers and Kent quickly shut down any attempt to discuss the matter.

As the party faithful awaited Pasloski’s arrival at the Gold Rush Inn, and even after he tendered his resignation, there were no tears. The premier moved among supporters, shaking hands, hugging, as were others.

It was as though there was a quiet acceptance of the decision by voters to move in a new direction after 14 straight years of Yukon Party rule.

Flanked during his address by his wife, Tammie, on one side and his daughters Bronwyn and Erin on the other, Pasloski praised the efforts of all who ran for a seat, and the efforts of all who gave their time and energy to support the candidates.

“Thanks to every single one of you.”

The premier thanked his family, particularly his wife. There is nothing harder on a family than having a loved one in politics, he said.

“To all of the families of all of the candidates from all of the parties, thank you very much....

“We would have rather been celebrating a victory tonight but that does not mean we can’t be proud of what we accomplished,” Pasloski said.

“In the days and weeks ahead, our party will evaluate the election, what worked, what didn’t and how to ensure we are ready to take over government in five years.

“For tonight, let’s celebrate the wins we got.”

Comments (12)

Up 0 Down 0

Salar on Nov 15, 2016 at 6:56 am

Apprec Aud

Insecurity can lead to this type of behaviour. Anyone can quote or reference for theIr purposes. Response in 3 2.....

Up 0 Down 0

Josey Wales on Nov 14, 2016 at 11:22 pm

Reads like you do not appreciate? Do you desire me to dumb it down for you? I made no self righteousness claims (this time) on self genius.
I did however cite what I feel is genius in another, guess that escaped you?
...genius Aa.

Up 3 Down 4

ProScience Greenie on Nov 13, 2016 at 1:24 pm

Appreciative audience - must have missed the memo banning harmless and totally unimportant side conversations. Will try not to offend our betters like yourself and keep things more lowbrow in the future.

Up 7 Down 2

Appreciative audience on Nov 13, 2016 at 8:02 am

These blogs are becoming more entertaining than ever. We now have PSG and OJW trying to convince one another as to their genius instead of just being babblers without boundaries. lol

Up 5 Down 8

ProScience Greenie on Nov 10, 2016 at 2:41 pm

I had forgotten about Dinesh D. OJW and will revisit his work, tyvm. I recall some of his work that I agreed with and some not so much with myself being both a solid heathen and a skeptic of the near pre-Copernican nonsense that is the anthropic principle (both weak and strong). Still, any opponent of either the alt-left or alt-right is worth the time spent reading and digesting their words. Not that we shouldn't have an alt-right and alt-left it's just that one must be vigilant with both because historically that is often where loss of liberty arises. Always a pleasure to share in the pursuit of more liberty, not less. Do carry on OJW.

Up 25 Down 21

Granger Resident on Nov 10, 2016 at 11:40 am

As a Granger resident and constituent of Darrell Pasloski's I want to send along my appreciation to Darrell for his years representing the riding. As far as I'm concerned he did a good job and I could count on him walking around the riding every summer knocking on doors just to talk to everyone to see what our concerns were.
I hope his successor makes half the effort Darrell did to reach out and stay in contact with his constituents. All the best to you in the future Darrell!

Up 5 Down 5

Josey Wales on Nov 9, 2016 at 3:32 pm

Hello PSG, I'll give you that valid KKK non rejection via the Donald.
That said you read as an intelligent participant, ever view Hillary's America? If the KKK was a real issue with Yankee voters, the democrats own the history of the clan essentially.
Were and am in bed together just as mainstream media those scallywags.
Anyone in office since WWII has not read those cited documents.
Since that day in Dallas Americans have been living the biggest lie ever told in regards to democracy.

Check out Dinesh D. He is a genius and spews a voluminous array of facts everyone referenced.

Up 6 Down 6

ProScience Greenie on Nov 9, 2016 at 2:23 pm

Indeed OJW, DP didn't help the blue team one bit. Well past the best before date is a kind way of putting it. But, we'll survive what we elected. We always do.

As far as the new president-elected goes perhaps a good first step for him would be to finally get around to reading the US Declaration of Independence, the US Constitution and most importantly, the letters and essays of the Founding Fathers. There's good stuff in there that a POTUS should know. I understand why one would not vote for HC and go Orange but I lost all respect after the former grand wizard of the KKK endorsement of him was not immediately and strongly rejected. Sorry but I was raised to swear eternal hostility to those types in whatever form they exist. (please pardon the weak paraphrase of Jefferson and for going off topic)

Up 18 Down 22

Mr M on Nov 9, 2016 at 7:41 am

Sad to see the Yukon Party out. I am not glad that the Liberals got in but I am happy the NDP didn't get in (oh and Liz don't blame the Yukon Party for your loss you did it all on your own). I thought the Yukon and Canada were crazy for voting in the Liberals. Now I know the U.S. is nuts for who they voted in to power. I won't be making any trips into the U.S. anytime soon.

Up 16 Down 14

Josey Wales on Nov 8, 2016 at 10:36 pm

Yup...done, DP I hope you're proud.
You pissed off so many of YP supporters, include me in that herd.
Down south however....ding dong the witch is dead...politically.
Allow me....President Trump it is, whilst at time of this post not official it most certainly will be when I have my morning whizz.
So looking forward to President Trump dealing with what we have in Ottawa, should be better than a 70's series of SNL.
Being able to laugh at the news again will entertain me till he gets punted outta office...
If I may predict? Get used to President Trump or it may be a long torturous EIGHT years!
Bye bye DP, you own this result.

Up 24 Down 9

ProScience Greenie on Nov 8, 2016 at 5:15 pm

Paz was no Fentie, a premier from the communities that knew there was more to the Yukon than just Whitehorse and the needs of the Chamber of Commerce. The ones that won are fine but just say no to Kent for leader.

Up 17 Down 15

joe and Jane on Nov 8, 2016 at 4:31 pm

The fault lies with MH. Had the premier and others been more careful with their choices of staff, outcome would have been different. Yukon is based on grassroots and people talk.

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