There is no downtown Mount Lorne and residents are fine with that, thanks.
The riding swallows country-residential housing and about 400 residents in Wolf Creek, Mary Lake and Cowley Creek, and contains a mishmash of incomes and perspectives.
But the self-declared “mini-mayor” of Mount Lorne says land development is the issue in the riding.
“We wouldn’t say we’re NIMBY — I think we just need to have a land-based scenario where we’re working as partners, not as adversaries, of the Yukon government,” said Mark Stephenson, chair of the Mount Lorne advisory council.
A large segment of Mount Lorne residents are affluent, middle-aged bureaucrats, but there are plenty of lower income families living in the riding, too, he explained.
What does the riding think of its incumbent MLA?
Steve Cardiff has done a “really good job” as a constituent worker, said Stephens.
“He’s an old sheet metal worker. When he goes to the door he’ll say, ‘I seem to recall putting a furnace in here about 10 years ago.’ People like that.”
Valerie Boxall is a first-time candidate for the Yukon Party.
“Some residents would like spot land approvals, which would allow their children to get a piece of land and start building a future for themselves,” said Boxall.
“Others would like an outright ban on spot land approvals or larger subdivision-style developments until a better system is in place.”
Colleen Wirth is an experienced health and education official, yet a first-time candidate running for the Liberals in the riding.
“It still seems to be land development and an interest that land development is carefully thought out and planned,” said Wirth of Mount Lorne’s concerns.
The riding votes for the person and not the party, added Wirth.
A federal moratorium on spot land applications on Whitehorse’s periphery was quietly removed by the Yukon government following devolution, explained Cardiff.
Though subsequent spot applications were turned down in the Fish Lake area, many in Mount Lorne were approved, he said.
“The community had identified areas for development. They wanted to work with the government through a planning process to make land available,” said Cardiff.
“Instead what happened is they allowed these spot land applications to take place. It was an ad-hoc process.”
That experience, it seems, has united the riding behind one issue.
Steve Cardiff, NDP, incumbent.
Former: sheet metal journeyperson, union president, chair of Yukon College.
Valerie Boxall, Yukon Party, Air North employee.
Former: executive assistant to Jim Kenyon, bureaucrat, placer miner in Dawson.
Colleen Wirth, Liberal.
Former: chair of Yukon Health and Social Services advisory council, chair of No Fixed Address outreach van, president of Yukon Registered Nurses Association.
How Mount Lorne voted in 2002:
Steve Cardiff, NDP, 334 votes.
Darcy Tkachuk, Yukon Party, 271 votes.
Cynthia Tucker, Liberals, 236 votes.
Percentage of voters who voted in 2002: