Currie Dixon, former Yukon Party MLA and cabinet minister, announced via press release Nov. 21 that he will be running for the party’s leadership. (Lacey McLoughlin Photography/Submitted)

Former cabinet minister announces he’s running for Yukon Party leadership

Currie Dixon is the first person to announce he is running for Yukon Party leadership

Former Yukon Party cabinet minister Currie Dixon wants to make the party more progressive and inclusive, he said.

That’s why he’s thrown his hat into the ring for party leader.

He wants to transform it into “one that takes, very seriously, the role of First Nations in the governance of this territory and the role of First Nations people in the economy,” he told the News on Nov. 21, the day he formally announced that he’s running.

Dixon, 34, was environment minister during some of the then-Yukon Party government’s dealings with the Peel watershed land use plan, including when the government released its plan for the area. The Yukon Party’s plan was canned by the courts. The case between the government and affected First Nations would eventually end up in the Supreme Court of Canada.

“I need to connect with members of the party, former members, people who have never thought of our party before and get as much input as I can and get as many people engaged as possible and try to build a movement towards a common goal,” he said.

Dixon was first elected under the Yukon Party banner in 2011, serving as MLA for Copperbelt North.

He was the youngest cabinet minister in Yukon history at 26.

During his time in office his portfolios included the minister of community services and minister of economic development.

Asked how he’s going to make the party more progressive, he said he wants to hear from Yukoners about that.

“I think in 2016 voters sent the Yukon Party a bit of a message that we need to make some changes.”

Dixon didn’t run for re-election in 2016 but was the Yukon Party’s campaign chair.

He has the experience, he said, which would give him the skills to be an effective leader.

Dixon became community services minister in 2015 after the mayor of Whitehorse complained that the former minister, Brad Cathers, was difficult to work with.

Dixon has worked in the public service during his political hiatus.

He’s been the director of business development for ALX Exploration and Mining Supplies for the past year.

Dixon is enrolled at the University of London, through which he’s studying for a postgraduate degree in international law.

He said the Yukon Party has core values that have always been strong, mainly fiscal conservatism, support for small businesses and hunting and outdoors management. These will be adhered to, but with more emphasis on social issues, if elected.

The Yukon Party will be choosing its new leader on May 23, 2020. In a news release earlier this week party officials said further details will be shared with party membership in the coming weeks.

Contact Julien Gignac at julien.gignac@yukon-news.com

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