Aspiring Liberal candidate restored to Team Yukon pep rally after being dropped twice

Potential Liberal candidate Jeane Lassen has been re-invited to speak at a Team Yukon pep rally prior to the 2016 Arctic Winter Games, after she says she was dropped from the list of speakers by the premier's office.

Potential Liberal candidate Jeane Lassen has been re-invited to speak at a Team Yukon pep rally prior to the 2016 Arctic Winter Games, after she says she was dropped from the list of speakers by the premier’s office.

Lassen, an Olympic weightlifter, will speak to Team Yukon on Thursday, before the group leaves for Nuuk, Greenland to compete in the Games.

Premier Darrell Pasloski made the announcement on Twitter on Tuesday evening. “Proud to personally invite Yukon Olympian @jeanelassen to pump up our athletes at Team Yukon Pep Rally,” he wrote.

Lassen was first dropped from the roster the same day she announced her plans to run for the Liberals in Takhini-Kopper King, a decision she believes was political.

“The implication is that I would make a political message, potentially,” she said.

Team Yukon is funded by the sport and recreation branch of the Department of Community Services. Lassen said she called Community Services Minister Currie Dixon to ask for an explanation after her speech was cancelled.

“He said it could look like they’re endorsing a political candidate,” she said.

But Dixon followed up with Lassen the next day to confirm that her name had been put back on the list of speakers. “I thank him for being supportive,” she said.

Four days later, however, Lassen discovered she’d been dropped once again, with no explanation.

“It’s really disappointing. So often we talk about sport being socially engaging,” she said on Tuesday. “I’m still a Yukoner at heart and the same person that I was before I made this announcement.”

But on Tuesday evening, after the CBC published Lassen’s story, she received a phone call from Pasloski.

“As you probably saw on Twitter, I have been re-re-invited to the pep rally,” Lassen later told the News in an email. “The premier confirmed that the decision came from his office and that it was reversed.”

Lassen’s speech, which she sent to the News, is decidedly not political. She plans to urge the athletes to create personal “highlight reels” from the Games.

“Most of the magical moments have nothing to do with the score of the game,” it reads. “The magical moments that make up our highlight reels are that play of the day where you pulled off a slick move out of nowhere… or when your competitor makes you laugh after the race and you don’t even speak the same language.

“Your highlight reel is anything and everything that matters to you, everything we feel good about.”

Dixon and the premier’s office did not respond to requests for comment.

Contact Maura Forrest at

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

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Zoning amendment approved for Black Street property

Bylaw change will allow suite to be built over existing garage despite side, rear setbacks

Yukon borders to reopen July 1, masks required at all Yukon airports

Yukon moves to Phase 2 of reopening on July 1

Runners race Reckless Raven

Nearly 60 Yukoners completed the fourth annual Reckless Raven 50-mile Ultra and… Continue reading

Local gardener asks for return of wagons

Alice Cyr grows vegetables for her condo, but has had two wagons stolen in the last two weeks

YukonU instructor pens letter urging immediate action to address systemic racism

A Yukon First Nations instructor at Yukon University has penned a letter… Continue reading

Ancient lake bed sediments, unusual plants are markers of the Takhini salt flats

It’s one of the Yukon’s best open geological secrets, a well-known but… Continue reading

Yukon University hires director of finance

Yukon University announced in a press release on June 29 that Sheila… Continue reading

Diamond Tooth Gerties to reopen

The Klondike Visitors Association (KVA) announced in a press release on June… Continue reading

Newly-elected Liard First Nation chief accuses YG of interfering with election

Stephen Charlie says YG’s announcement days before election endorsed previous chief

COMMENTARY: Shifting the prevailing narrative of substance use

Blood Ties Four Directions Centre Special to the News Rarely does society… Continue reading

Alexco nearing production at Keno Hill mines

Alexco Resource Corp. is entering the final phase of development at its… Continue reading

Literacy award nomination deadline approaching

Nominations for the 2020 Council of the Federal Literacy Award will remain… Continue reading

City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

Most Read