Parties start rolling out promises as Yukon election campaign ramps up

The Yukon legislative building. The three major parties in the territory kicked off the first full campaign week with announcements. (Steve Silva/CBC)
After a weekend mostly spent putting up signs, Yukon’s three main political parties started the campaign’s first full week with announcements. Here, in random order, is what the parties were up to Monday.

Leader Kate White called on the Liberals and Conservatives to turn down corporate and union donations and urge their would-be donors to give that money to the Whitehorse Food Bank instead.

“I think almost every Yukoner would agree that this money is better spent feeding hungry folks than influencing political leadership,” she said.

NDP Leader Kate White speaks to reporters in Whitehorse March 11. (Chris Windeyer/CBC)

White said the NDP recently turned down several donations from businesses, including one from a mining company that ended up sending the money to the Canadian Mental Health Association. She would not say which businesses offered her party donations or how much money was involved.

White said an NDP government would ban corporate and union donations and put a cap on individual donations.

Yukon Party

The Yukon Party rolled out a suite of proposals aimed at helping businesses get through the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Among the promises: clear benchmarks for easing pandemic restrictions, simplifying and expanding relief programs for business and extending the existing 25 per cent wholesale discount on alcohol for one year.

Leader Currie Dixon also announced a Yukon Party government would issue a bid for Whitehorse to host the 2027 Canada Winter Games as a way to boost tourism.

Yukon Party Leader Currie Dixon speaks to reporters in Whitehorse March 11. (Chris Windeyer/CBC)

“While this may seem a way off, it is planning like this that will give Yukoners certainty that a Yukon Party government is not only looking at today, but we were looking at the future,” Dixon said.

Liberal Party

The Liberals issued reminders of sorts, touting policies their government has adopted in support of LGBTQ people.

That includes more health care services for Transgender people, changes to make it easier for Trans people to have their true gender on government documents and expanded legal protections for LGBTQ people.

“We’re told that over the past four years, our substantial changes have not only changed lives, they have saved lives,” said Tracy-Anne McPhee, the Liberal candidate in Riverdale South.

Liberal candidate in Riverdale South Tracy-Anne McPhee pictured in November 2020. (Philippe Morin/CBC)

McPhee, who served as justice minister in the Liberal government, said with a second term the party would fund a Yukon Pride Centre and update the Vital Statistics Act so it doesn’t discriminate on the basis of gender identity or marital status.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: N.W.T. embarks on constitutional reform amid lingering questions about representation, CBC News

Denmark/Greenland: Greenland calls election after government breaks up, Thomson Reuters

Finland: Sami Parliament in Finland agrees more time needed for Truth and Reconciliation Commission preparation, Eye on the Arctic

Norway: Political earthquake shakes up Northern Norway, The Independent Barents Observer

Russia: How Murmansk government plans to attract newcomers and reverse regional decline, The Independent Barents Observer

Sweden: Swedish gov’s budget raises fears over inequality, Radio Sweden

United States: Alaska bill would protect graves of relocated Indigenous people, The Associated Press

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