Former city councillor Ranj Pillai seeks Liberal nomination in Porter Creek South

Former Whitehorse city councillor Ranj Pillai has announced he is seeking the Liberal nomination in Porter Creek South during the upcoming territorial election.

Former Whitehorse city councillor Ranj Pillai has announced he is seeking the Liberal nomination in Porter Creek South during the upcoming territorial election.

“My time on city council was an incredibly fulfilling experience, and it is with that same work ethic and dedication that I wish to move forward and to represent the people of Porter Creek South,” he said during an announcement on Thursday.

Pillai made his announcement near the contentious Porter Creek D site. The possible development of that area was the subject of heavy debate during his time on city council. The plans were eventually shelved after residents voiced their opposition to construction around McIntyre Creek.

Back in 2011, Pillai was among the councillors who voted against the development of the site.

“I rallied with the community members to delay and refocus plans for the area,” he said. “During the time, I experienced first-hand the sense of community and values that the citizens of this riding stood for.”

During his stint as councillor, Pillai also helped bring Hockey Day in Canada to Whitehorse in 2011.

But Pillai announced he was leaving city politics ahead of the 2012 municipal election, saying he needed to spend more time with his two young sons.

Now, he says things have changed.

“I think they’re at the right age now,” he said. “At this point, they’re excited.”

Pillai has been involved with the Yukon Liberals since 2004, and was the party’s president in 2007, 2008 and 2015.

Since Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was elected last fall, he said, he’s sensed new excitement about the Liberals across the country.

“There’s certainly a sense of hope around how the country’s changing and I hope that that resonates here in the territory.”

Pillai is currently the executive director for the Champagne and Aishihik First Nations, but will not be involved in any intergovernmental work during his campaign.

He has previously held senior roles with Northern Vision Development and Yukon College.

He has also been a director of the Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Society Yukon, the Youth of Today Society and the Yukon Wildlife Preserve.

Pillai lives in the Mountainview riding, not in Porter Creek South. He said he chose not to run in his home riding because former city councillor Mike Gladish is already seeking the Liberal nomination there, and the nomination will likely be contested.

“That field’s about to become much more filled,” he explained.

Pillai said his older son attends Porter Creek Secondary School, and he’s been a volunteer coach there for the last 15 years.

But Porter Creek South is also contested. Pillai will be up against Russ Hobbis, another Liberal contender who announced his campaign back in January.

“I’m weeks behind,” Pillai said. “I have a lot of work to do. I have a lot of doors to knock on and I have a lot of listening to do.”

Porter Creek South is currently held by Health Minister Mike Nixon, who narrowly beat out Liberal candidate Don Inverarity in 2011.

Contact Maura Forrest at

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

Just Posted

From Whitehorse to the Whitecaps

Joe Hanson is starting his second season with the Vancouver Whitecaps academy

Mount Lorne Mis-Adventure Trail Race doesn’t miss a step

Blue skies and sunshine for a chilly fall race

Canada Summer Games postponed

Yukon Canada Summer Games athletes will now work on mastering skills in preperation for 2022

Site selection for battery project draws ire of nearby landowners

Yukon Energy is accepting public comments on three possible sites for the project

Taking a closer look at the cosmos

Star gazing party scheduled for Sept. 18

Yukon government releases new guidelines for COVID-19 symptoms and sending children to school

The advice sorts symptoms into three categories: red, yellow and green

Nominations closed in Watson Lake byelection

Four candidates are running for mayor

Baggage screening changes begin

Passengers are asked to arrive earlier than normal in order to accommodate the new temporary system

Yukon Government extends education review

The final report is scheduled for release in March 2021

City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

Lawsuit against Freedom Trails settled

The suit was dismissed with consent of all parties

Tank farm takes another step towards development

OCP designation passes second reading

Climate change strategy targets 30 per cent reduction in territory greenhouse gases by 2030

The strategy includes rebates for electric vehicles but puts off mining targets for two years

Most Read