At first I applauded Darrell Pasloski’s rapid rise to lead the Yukon Party, anticipating welcome changes to government under his leadership.
At first blush he appeared to be a sincere person who believed in fair play and good government.
However, he is not an elected MLA so is unable to sit in the legislature and, except at election time, he is unable to be fully accountable to the people for his administration.
It is interesting he has now retained the existing cabinet with no additions or changes.
With a solid reputation as a “good guy” aside, it’s becoming more and more apparent that our new premier has just blended into the old establishment and will be expected to do as he is told. Unless someone can prove otherwise, there is presently no other explanation.
Yukon electors will recall that back in 2006 it was Archie and Dan Lang who introduced and promoted his predecessor, Dennis Fentie, to the Yukon Party leadership and thus premier.
Premier Pasloski’s principal promoter, Craig Tuton, was appointed by the cabinet as chairman of the Yukon Hospital Corporation and he is also closely associated with Archie Lang. It’s somewhat like an old boys’ club, where patronage is just second nature. It will be interesting to see if Pasloski follows suit, and who rates his future appointments and political favours.
Unfortunately, there is now little hope that the Yukon legislative assembly will be returned to the people under his leadership. It is of paramount importance that someday in the future, our legislature will once again be able to function independent of external influences.
For example, it is now unlikely that Pasloski would be willing to separate the office of the Speaker from his caucus.
In the interest of impartiality, the Speaker should not participate in any public political activities, other than those related to his own constituency.
Further, it is unlikely that Pasloski would instruct his majority to ensure reactivation of all standing committees of the legislative assembly. This presently denied function is an essential parliamentary component practised everywhere throughout the Commonwealth.
If the voices of all the people are ever to be heard, opposition members must be given every possible opportunity to present and debate issues on behalf of their constituents, regardless of political persuasion. Until then, there is little possibility for change on the horizon.
Donald E. Taylor