Andre Bourcier seeks NDP nomination in Copperbelt North

The acting director of the Yukon Native Language Centre wants to be the NDP candidate in Copperbelt North during this year’s territorial election.

The acting director of the Yukon Native Language Centre wants to be the NDP candidate in Copperbelt North during this year’s territorial election.

This will mark Andre Bourcier’s second time seeking a spot on an NDP ballot. He made a bid for the Yukon’s federal NDP nomination during the 2015 election, but lost to Melissa Atkinson.

He said he spoke with many voters during the federal election campaign who had concerns about the Yukon Party.

“They were asking why as Yukoners they could not get work on projects like the construction of the new F.H. Collins high school, why the Yukon Party was so often going to court against First Nation governments,” he said.

Bourcier focused heavily on fiscal responsibility during his announcement on Thursday.

“Darrell Pasloski cannot talk of a no-deficit budget when Crown corporations like Yukon Energy, the Yukon Hospital Corporation or Yukon Housing are raking up debts like never before,” he said. “One day, those debts will have to be paid, and we know the invoice will be sent to Yukoners.”

He said past Yukon NDP governments have a record of “strong financial management.”

He also said an NDP government would honour the final agreements with Yukon’s self-governing First Nations. He criticized the Yukon Party for being “stuck in litigation with First Nation governments over the Peel watershed land use plan … and now over mineral exploration,” referring to a recent lawsuit filed by the Tr’ondek Hwech’in First Nation over mineral staking.

Bourcier is originally from Quebec City, but moved to the Yukon in 2001, and has lived in Copperbelt North ever since.

He said working at the Yukon Native Language Centre has helped him “understand what the conditions in the communities are and what are the aspirations of First Nations people.”

He is also the vice-chair of the Association franco-yukonnaise, and was chair of the French school board from 2006 to 2013.

During his tenure, the school board sued the Yukon government, claiming it had misallocated funds and wasn’t meeting its obligations under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which protects minority language rights.

On Thursday, Bourcier said the current relationship between the Yukon government and the francophone community is good, but it hasn’t always been that way.

“Over the years, it has been really up and down with the government in terms of the francophone population and the kind of services they deserve,” he said.

He said a new francophone high school, which is currently being planned on the site of the old F.H. Collins Secondary School, will help provide “equal services” to the French-speaking community.

Bourcier said it’s important that the francophone community be represented in the legislative assembly.

“I strongly believe in diversity,” he said. “We need to have people participating in government coming from all walks of life, coming from all kinds of ethnic backgrounds and having all these minorities represented in government.”

Bourcier has a PhD in linguistics from Universite Laval. He is a member of the Yukon Geographical Place Names Board, and has also sat on the board of Swim Yukon and helped organize the swimming portion of the 2009 Canada Summer Games.

Copperbelt North is currently held by Yukon Party MLA Currie Dixon, who has announced he will not seek re-election.

Lindsay Schneider and Pat McInroy are vying for the Yukon Party nomination in the riding, while Raj Murugaiyan and Ted Adel are both seeking the Liberal nod.

Contact Maura Forrest at

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

U Kon Echelon hosts Tour de Haines Junction

U Kon Echelon continued its busy schedule with the Tour de Haines… Continue reading

Melted beeswax, community pottery take centre stage at Arts Underground’s August shows

Two new, and very different, shows will be opening at Whitehorse’s Arts… Continue reading

Northern First Nations call for a major overhaul of mining legislation

The Na-Cho Nyäk Dun, Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in and Vuntut Gwitchin Governments say change is long overdue

Yukon Salmon Sub-Committee recommends First Nations take ‘additional measures’ to conserve Chinook

Recommendation comes as Chinook run on the Yukon River appears unlikely to meet spawning goals

Students prepare for online learning as Yukon University announces fall semester

The school plans to support students who may struggle with remote learning

Changes to federal infrastructure funds allow for COVID-19 flexibility

Announcement allows for rapid COVID-19 projects and expands energy programs to Whitehorse

City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

C/TFN announces Montana Mountain reopening plan

Carcross/Tagish First Nation and the Carcross/Tagish Management Corporation announced the partial reopening… Continue reading

Roberta Joseph reelected as Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in chief

Unofficial results show Joseph with more than double the votes of runner-up

Development incentives considered for three projects

Projects will add 24 rental units to the market

Delegate calls for crosswalk changes to show support for people of colour

Mayor states support for idea, but cautions it could take some time

Whitehorse advises of water system maintenance

Residents on the city’s water system are being advised they may notice… Continue reading

Walkway, signs planned for West Dawson paddlewheel graveyard

Unofficial attraction may get 135-m walkway and interpretive signs, if YESAB application approved

Most Read