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Jonas Smith plans to run as independent in upcoming election

The former Conservative candidate was removed from his position by the party.
Jonas Smith announces to media Sept. 6 that he will be seeking the Conservative nomination for the Yukon in the 2019 federal election. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)

Former Conservative Party candidate Jonas Smith declared Tuesday that he will run as an independent after being removed from the party slate.

“There was a pretty big effort to try to reinstate me,” he said. “They didn’t bother to even talk to the people who are part of the riding association here. So people were pretty upset.”

“At the end of the day I pursued this as far as I felt was productive. If people in the central campaign don’t want to be on the team, then all the process in the world isn’t going to change that,” he said on Aug. 17. “But the overwhelming response I got from Yukoners, and that’s what matters at the end of the day, is they wanted me to run as an independent.”

Smith’s announcement followed an ousting from the party over a disagreement on the COVID-19 vaccine.

Party officials have not returned a request for more information, but Smith said that his opposition to mandatory vaccines or daily tests for federal employees is what lost him his candidacy.

“I’m sure there are many Conservative Party candidates as well as members and voters that share that belief,” he said. “I’m quite firm on my position. I appreciate that vaccination, particularly mandatory vaccination, is a polarizing issue.”

“I do think it’s wrong to have to take medical treatments to keep my job,” he said.

Smith said he thinks vaccinations, in general, are a good thing but said he is concerned about a “two-tier society” developing where unvaccinated Canadians are disadvantaged.

Meanwhile, Brendan Hanley hit the campaign trail early this weekend, promoting the Liberal platform in Dawson City during the Discovery Day long weekend.

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