John Thompson’s article this past Wednesday titled Liberals to Soften Stance on Peel deserves a response, due to a number of inconsistencies that exist between the story and what was actually discussed in the interview.
1) I did not tell John Thompson that we would be “softening our stance” on the Peel. I said that we would be reviewing it. I explained that the results of the last election were a good indication that our party needs to review all of our past policies to determine if they are in keeping with what Yukoners really want.
2) I did not say anything about “wooing” anyone to the party. We plan to take a more right-of-centre approach because it just makes sense. I said that the current political landscape allows for a lot of room in the middle. Those who made the decision to change teams made their choice; I have no interest in trying to court them. We’re looking forward, not backward. Twenty-five per cent of Yukoners decided to vote for us in the last election: we think that even more people will support us when they see the new ideas and energy that the Yukon Liberal Party brings forward over the next few years.
In his article, John said that I trust the premier. I corrected him in the interview by telling him that “I trust his judgment on this issue (Federal Health Transfer) as it stands right now.” This quote was taken out of context to make me sound as though I agree with the premier all of the time, which I most certainly don’t.
I wanted to make sure that the record was corrected because when conjecture is presented as fact people tend to get confused. A member of my staff and I both sat in the room while I was being interviewed and when we saw the finished story the following day, we were definitely puzzled by the parts I’ve highlighted.
MLA Vuntut Gwitchin
Interim leader, Yukon Liberal Party