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Fires, floods, landslides postpone electoral reform hearings to a ‘less stressful time’

Public hearings in Carmacks and Mayo will be rescheduled; other hearings will go on as planned
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Political campaign materials used to sway voters in the 2021 territorial elections seen on July 5, 2022. (Dana Hatherly/Yukon News)

The Yukon Legislative Assembly’s special committee on electoral reform has determined that early next week is not the best time to hear from some communities about changing the voting system, given the disasters rocking the territory.

“The committee understands that many Yukoners are currently dealing with forest fires, flooding and landslides, whether they are directly impacted themselves or offering assistance to family and friends,” committee chair Kate White, who is also leader of the Yukon NDP, said in a July 7 release.

“The special committee on electoral reform looks forward to hearing Yukoners’ opinions on voting systems in Mayo and Carmacks at a less stressful time.”

The committee is hosting public hearings in some communities to give Yukoners a venue to share their thoughts on electoral reform. In-person hearings that were planned for July 11 in Carmacks and July 13 in Mayo will be postponed.

Both Carmacks and Mayo are under evacuation alert for different reasons.

Mayo is facing an evacuation alert due to wildfires in the Silver Trail and surrounding areas. An evacuation alert has also been issued by the village for Carmacks areas serviced by the wastewater treatment plant. Water use is being limited and there is a flood warning in place for Carmacks.

New dates for the hearings have yet to be released.

Public hearings will continue as planned throughout the summer in Haines Junction, Teslin, Watson Lake, Dawson City and Whitehorse.

The hearings will take place in Haines Junction at the Da Kų Cultural Centre on July 14, Teslin at the Tom Dewhurst Recreation Centre on July 26, Watson Lake at the Morgan Chaddock Recreation Centre on July 27, Dawson City at the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in Community Hall on Sept. 1 and Whitehorse at the Best Western Gold Rush Inn Town Hall on Sept. 7.

All hearings will be running from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The schedule for the hearings has been updated multiple times since the legislative assembly’s initial release.

The committee has held 14 video conference hearings with subject matter experts, as well as a public hearing in Whitehorse on May 30. It has also been gathering input through a survey and written submissions that are published on the committee’s webpage.

The committee must report its findings and recommendations to the legislative assembly by the 2022 fall sitting.

Contact Dana Hatherly at dana.hatherly@yukon-news.com



Dana Hatherly

About the Author: Dana Hatherly

I’m the legislative reporter for the Yukon News.
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