The Yukon Party’s chief of staff has been acclaimed to the Conservative Party of Canada’s national council.
Danny Macdonald has an official position with Pierre Poilievre’s federal party.
That connection is one of a few key reasons the Yukon Liberal Party has been questioning the Official Opposition party’s ties to Poilievre’s Conservatives, despite the territorial party’s claims it has “no formal” relationship with the federal party.
There are other reasons: Yukon Party MLA Yvonne Clarke’s promotion of Poilievre’s visit, Yukon Party MLA Brad Cathers’ donations to the party since Poilievre became party leader, including to Poilievre’s leadership campaign, and the Yukon Party’s calls to end carbon pricing.
Poilievre, who is the leader of the Official Opposition to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party of Canada at the federal level, will be holding an event primarily promoted as an “axe the tax” rally in Whitehorse on the evening of Sept. 15.
“This rally is part of his tour to Yukon where he is speaking with residents and workers about his common-sense plan to bring home bigger paycheques, lower taxes, homes Canadians can afford and safer streets,” reads a Sept. 14 email from Sebastian Skamski, the Conservative’s media relations director.
Poilievre’s party announced several resolutions at its national policy convention last week. That includes “prohibiting life altering medicinal or surgical interventions on minors under 18 to treat gender confusion or dysphoria.”
“We saw some extremely troubling resolutions passed at the Conservative party policy convention last week, especially when it comes to limiting trans rights and blocking access to health care for trans people. We are deeply concerned by this and believe the majority of Yukoners are, too,” the Yukon Liberal Party executive said in an email statement late on Sept. 14.
The party executive said the Yukon Party can choose to welcome Poilievre with “open arms” or “avoid the event and not further align themselves with someone who would bring in harmful policies and use hateful language about their fellow Yukoners.”
“We want the Yukon Party to finally be honest with Yukoners that there’s a close relationship between them and the federal Conservatives, rather than being too ashamed to admit there’s a relationship, or thinking Yukoners won’t catch on if they use different party names,” reads the statement.
The party executive clarified what they meant when they said that the Yukon Party should stand up to Poilievre when he visits.
“The Yukon Liberal Party has been clear that we value diversity, inclusion and multiculturalism. We proudly support 2SLGBTQIA+ rights. We believe workers deserve fair wages and safe workplaces. We believe that vaccines saved lives during the COVID-19 pandemic because the evidence says so,” the statement said.
“There’s no question where we stand on these issues. The Yukon Party, like its federal counterparts, has not been clear. We will continue to call them out.”
In an email statement on Sept. 13, Yukon Party Leader Currie Dixon said the Yukon should be a “welcoming place for all people, regardless of their gender or sexuality.”
“Despite progress towards inclusivity and equality, we recognize that many transgender and non-binary people continue to face discrimination,” reads Dixon’s statement.
“Each and every transgender person is deserving of respect, dignity and equality, and we’ll continue to fight to ensure those rights are respected and protected.”
Contact Dana Hatherly at email@example.com