Darrell Pasloski announces re election bid in Mountainview

Yukon Premier Darrell Pasloski is officially seeking re-election as leader of the Yukon Party in Mountainview.

Yukon Premier Darrell Pasloski is officially seeking re-election as leader of the Yukon Party in Mountainview.

His long-awaited announcement on Thursday means the Yukon Party now has a full roster of candidates, and Pasloski could call the election whenever he chooses.

But the premier is keeping tight-lipped about his plans for the time being, and wouldn’t confirm whether he plans to drop the writ before or after the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit Whitehorse in late September.

“It’s not safe to say anything, I would tell you that right now,” he said.

Oct. 14 is the last day the premier could call the election before the legislative assembly is dissolved. Campaigns in the Yukon typically run for 31 days.

Pasloski outlined what are likely to be his major campaign talking points during an interview with the News Thursday, focusing on his government’s economic track record and his continued aversion to a carbon tax.

His government has cut the small business tax rate by 25 per cent and reduced taxes so that the average family of four will save up to $777 annually relative to 2011, he said.

For months, Pasloski has used every opportunity to repeat that Yukon is the only jurisdiction in Canada with no net debt, and that his government has passed record capital budgets and delivered surpluses.

This year’s budget predicted a small surplus of $9.5 million. But the government has also been drawing down the territory’s net financial assets, which are essentially its cash in the bank. Those assets are now estimated at $57 million, down from about $223 million in 2014-15.

Those shrinking funds will make it harder for the next government to avoid either a deficit or spending cuts next year.

The 2015-16 surplus also shrank dramatically from a predicted $23 million last year to an estimated $1.2 million this past spring.

But Pasloski maintained his government has a strong record of fiscal responsibility.

“We don’t budget any money to service debt here,” he said. “All of our revenues go to capital investments or programs and services delivered to Yukoners.”

He also said the government has done everything it can to help the Yukon weather the current slump in the mining industry.

“Every other major sector of our economy grew in 2015,” he said.

“What we’ve seen in other times of resource economy declines, we’ve seen a huge exodus in population…. What we’ve seen this time is that our population has continued to grow.”

A recent report commissioned by the City of Whitehorse suggested that Yukon has been less affected by the most recent mining slump because of the large number of people employed by government.

Pasloski said his government has also done everything it can to spur investment in Yukon’s mining industry, from creating the Centre for Northern Innovation in Mining to launching an investment attraction strategy in 2014.

“I believe that we’ve done a significant amount of work in the last five years to really keep the downturn to a minimum,” he said.

With respect to his government’s social record, Pasloski pointed to the construction of the new Sarah Steele detox facility and the new Salvation Army centre.

In recent months, Pasloski and his party have seemed to launch more barbs at Liberal Leader Sandy Silver than at NDP Leader Liz Hanson, suggesting they may see the Liberals as their biggest threat in this election. But Pasloski wouldn’t speak to that on Thursday.

“A vote for the Liberals or a vote for the NDP is a vote for making everything cost more money,” he said, referring to the fact that both parties seem interested in some form of carbon pricing.

“I believe that we will win this election on our vision and we will win it one vote at a time,” Pasloski said.

Under the Yukon Party’s constitution, Pasloski is exempt from a nomination battle in Mountainview, because he passed an annual leadership review earlier this year.

The Mountainview riding includes the McIntyre, Hillcrest, Granger and Valleyview subdivisions.

Pasloski will face Jeanie Dendys for the Liberals and Shaunagh Stikeman for the NDP.

Contact Maura Forrest at


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

Just Posted

The Yukon Department of Education building in Whitehorse on Dec. 22, 2020. Advocates are calling on the Department of Education to reverse their redefinition of Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) that led to 138 students losing the program this year. (John Hopkins-Hill/Yukon News file)
Advocates call redefinition of IEPs “hugely concerning,” call for reversal

At least 138 students were moved off the learning plans this year

Medical lab technologist Angela Jantz receives her first dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at the Whitehorse hospital on Jan. 13. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Online booking system for Moderna vaccine opens as mobile teams prepare to visit communities

“The goal is to protect everyone and stop the spread of COVID-19”


Wyatt’s World for Jan. 15, 2021

Zhùr, the ancient wolf pup found mummified in permafrost at Last Chance Creek mine in July 2016. (Government of Yukon/Submitted)
‘Mummy’ wolf pup unearthed in permafrost paints a picture of ice age ancestors

Zhùr is the best preserved and most complete mummy of an ancient wolf found to date.

The Fish Lake area viewed from the top of Haeckel Hill on Sept. 11, 2018. The Yukon government and Kwanlin Dün First Nation (KDFN) announced they are in the beginning stages of a local area planning process for the area. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Local area planning for Fish Lake announced

The Government of Yukon and Kwanlin Dün First Nation (KDFN) announced in… Continue reading

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

Fire damage, photographed on Jan. 11, to a downtown apartment building which occurred late in the evening on Jan. 8. Zander Firth, 20, from Inuvik, was charged with the arson and is facing several other charges following his Jan. 12 court appearance. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News)
More charges for arson suspect

The Inuvik man charged in relation to the fire at Ryder Apartments… Continue reading

The grace period for the new Yukon lobbyist registry has come to an end and those who seek to influence politicians will now need to report their efforts to a public database. (Mike Thomas/Yukon News file)
Grace period for new lobbyist registry ends

So far nine lobbyists have registered their activities with politicians in the territory

The Government of Yukon Main Administration Building in Whitehorse on Aug. 21, 2020. Some Yukon tourism and culture non-profit organizations may be eligible to receive up to $20,000 to help recover from losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Details released on relief funding for tourism and culture non-profits

Some Yukon tourism and culture non-profit organizations may be eligible to receive… Continue reading

Mayo-Tatchun MLA Don Hutton won’t be runing for re-election. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Mayo-Tatchun MLA won’t run for re-election

Liberal MLA Don Hutton won’t be running for re-election. A former wildland… Continue reading

Large quantities of a substance believed to be cocaine, a large amount of cash, several cells phones and a vehicle were all seized after RCMP searched a Whistle Bend home on Jan. 6. (Photo courtesy RCMP)
Seven arrested after drug trafficking search

RCMP seized drugs, money from Whistle Bend residence on Jan. 6

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

Most Read