happy anniversary

It's been exactly a year since the federal Conservatives won their first majority government. Even the Yukon was swept up in the blue tide.

It’s been exactly a year since the federal Conservatives won their first majority government.

Even the Yukon was swept up in the blue tide.

When the Conservative candidate, Ryan Leef, came out of political nowhere and knocked off Liberal incumbent and Mr. Nice Guy Larry Bagnell on May 2, 2011, nobody seemed more surprised than Leef himself.

He didn’t win by much – just 132 votes – but it was enough for the long-distance runner and cage fighter to pack up his mini-gym and head to Parliament Hill.

Even the most diehard liberal had to admit there was something heartwarming about sending a new face – a guy who’d been raised in the territory to boot – to the federal front to fight on our behalf.

The fact the Yukon was back on the winning team – the team with all the money and power – didn’t hurt either.

Especially since Leef vowed to put the people of the territory before his party.

Of course, Prime Minister Stephen Harper had his own plans once he had his long-awaited majority in hand.

He promptly signalled that cuts to federal spending were on the way in the order of five to 10 per cent.

He put a big red circle around all things environmental, such as the next climate change deal and the assessment process for development projects.

And lest the influential boomers became alarmed at these trends, he also upped the eligibility for Old Age Security from 65 to 67 to keep them on their toes.

Nor did he spare the North.

The Fisheries Act that protects the Yukon’s salmon-bearing rivers is being “refocused” and it’s not good news for the fish. CBC North has to figure out how to do more with less. Federal land surveyors have been cut back.

And this week Parks Canada finally learned its fate – it’s losing about a third of its Yukon workers.

So devastating was the news, the Whitehorse office closed its doors for the day.

And this is just year one.

The government has another three and a half years or so to go before it has to call the next general election, provided the robocall scandal doesn’t send voters in some ridings back to the polls sooner than that.

So today may be the majority government’s first anniversary, but there doesn’t seem to be much reason to celebrate.

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