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n MAYO-TATCHUN Drugs, job creation and infrastructure improvement top the list of concerns in this east Yukon riding of nearly 1,500.

n MAYO-TATCHUN

Drugs, job creation and infrastructure improvement top the list of concerns in this east Yukon riding of nearly 1,500.

Geographically it runs from below Carmacks to just above the Arctic Circle and borders the Northwest Territories on the east.

It includes Carmacks, Pelly Crossing, Stewart Crossing, Mayo and the tiny former mining community of Keno.

Alcohol and drugs have always been a problem in the communities, said incumbent Liberal MLA Eric Fairclough.

Now cheaper hard drugs, like crystal meth and crack cocaine, are making the situation more dangerous.

“They’re cheaper drugs, young people are starting to get involved and they affects people’s behaviour — there’s violence, there are more fights and there’s a lot more theft,” said Fairclough.

He’s seen people in the communities slide downhill because of the lack of addiction care and treatment.

“They seem like they’re stuck in a rut, it’s hard to get out,” he said.

Last year, the Little Salmon/Carmacks First Nation took matters into its own hands, erecting signs along the Alaska Highway telling drug dealers to take a hike.

Although construction is booming with the building of the new Tantalus School in Carmacks and the new rec centre in Mayo, there’s not much more on the horizon, said Fairclough, who has been representing the riding for 10 years.

There has been a lot of placer and hardrock mining exploration in the area, but long-term jobs have been slow in coming.

Although the communities have their eyes on infrastructure overhauls in areas like road repair, sewage treatment and black mould, Mayo has started seeing improvements.

Over the past four years the village had its riverbank reinforced and contaminated soil removed.

And its new rec centre, with curling club, meeting hall and office space, is nearing completion, said Mayo mayor Scott Bolton.

In the future, it will look toward infrastructure improvements like road repair and constructing a new recycling centre to deal with solid waste.

“It’s good but there isn’t enough space,” said Bolton.

“We don’t take beer bottles and we don’t take liquor bottles there because we don’t have the space.”

Candidates:

Karen Gage, NDP, former Carmacks councillor and deputy mayor.

Eric Fairclough, Liberals, incumbent, former chief of the Little Salmon/Carmacks First Nation.

Jeannie Van Bibber, YP, Selkirk First Nation council member currently living in Pelly Crossing.

How Mayo-Tatchun voted in 2002:

Eric Fairclough, NDP, 336

Pat Van Bibber, Liberals, 210

Jerry C. Kruse, YP, 102

Dibs Williams, Independent, 36

Percentage of electors

who voted:

80

Did you know?

Mayo residents must stock spare pairs of shorts and snow pants.

Dubbed the “heart of the Yukon” the community of 250 experiences the greatest range of annual temperatures of any place in North America.

And it’s seen the greatest range of absolute temperatures in Canada, logging 98.3 Celsius between its extreme high and low. (LC)

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