Gerrard Fleming wants to explain why the Yukon Party turfed him as its candidate for Mount Lorne-Southern Lakes.
More than a decade ago, when Fleming lived in Burlington, Ontario, he was sacked from a job because of allegations that he uttered “inappropriate language,” Fleming said in a release.
Fleming fought the dismissal in court but lost. He maintains he was innocent.
But Yukon Party bigwigs worried questions surrounding Fleming’s past may harm the party’s standing in the looming territorial election. So they dropped him as a candidate on Tuesday evening.
In an interview, Fleming declined to offer any specifics on the past allegations he faced. “I’m not in politics any more,” he said. “And I’d prefer to not have all that spread through the paper. That’s not important.”
However, in a written statement, Fleming issued his own explanation late Wednesday morning, after the Yukon News had gone to press for the day.
“As my candidacy will no longer move forward, I believe that I owe an explanation to the people of Mount Lorne-Southern Lakes,” said Fleming’s statement. “I want to thank my friends, family and co-workers, and the many people in our community, who know and support me. I also want to thank the constituents in Mount Lorne-Southern Lakes for listening to my dreams and hopes for the Yukon.”
With a territorial election expected to be triggered any day, the Yukon Party plans to swiftly fill the vacancy. The obvious choice would be Deborah Fulmer, who ran against Fleming for the nomination.
The Liberals are running Ted Adel in the riding. Kevin Barr is carrying the NDP flag.
Premier Darrell Pasloski is expected to call the election when he addresses a Whitehorse Chamber of Commerce luncheon on Friday. Even if he doesn’t drop the writ then, he’ll need to do it soon: his party’s mandate expires in October.
Contact John Thompson at email@example.com.