Fentie says no to ceding power

An NDP proposal to shorten how long the premier has to call a byelection was shelved by Premier Dennis Fentie on November 3.

An NDP proposal to shorten how long the premier has to call a byelection was shelved by Premier Dennis Fentie on November 3.

The proposal, made by Steve Cardiff, would have given the premier 90 days, rather than 180, to call a byelection.

Both the NDP and Liberals are unhappy with how long the seat for Whitehorse Centre has sat vacant, since former MLA Todd Hardy succumbed to cancer this summer. Fentie has until mid-January to call a byelection for the riding.

The current Elections Act was created by a New Democratic government, noted Fentie. And Hardy voted in favour of the current 180-day limit.

So did Eric Fairclough and Gary McRobb, who have since jumped ship from the NDP to the Liberals.

“It appears the opposition benches are changing their minds,” said Fentie. “That’s not practising good democracy or good government.”

Fentie was a member of the NDP before joining the Yukon Party.

Fentie did concede that “90 days may very well be a better choice than 180 days.” But, rather than pass or reject the motion, Fentie instead adjourned debate, putting the proposal on ice.