The former executive director of the Council of Yukon First Nations will be the Yukon Party candidate in Porter Creek Centre this territorial election.
The party announced Michelle Kolla as its candidate Thursday.
Kolla spent five years as the CYFN executive director before retiring a few weeks ago. Before that she worked for eight years as executive director of the Skookum Jim Friendship Centre in Whitehorse.
“I’ve worked in a lot of different sectors, I’ve got a lot of experience working with people and making change and listening to citizens and residents on what they need,” she said.
“So I think that I’ll be able to offer that.”
Kolla said she choose to run for the Yukon Party because of its focus on the economy and because she believes the party is in the best position to create more jobs.
“With change that takes more time and I think they’ve got a good platform and they’ve done a lot of extensive consultation with communities and residents of the Yukon on what is needed, what people want, what people don’t want.”
She said her experience will be a benefit when it comes to building relationships with First Nations.
“If you want to change and you want to move forward and you want to be part of the decision making, than you need to be at the table,” she said.
“So for me it was, I want to be at the table, I need to be at the table to help move that.”
Kolla is a fourth generation Yukoner and a member of the Selkirk First Nation.
She has spent the last 25 years living in Porter Creek with her husband Rob and their two sons, Justin and Ryan. She currently lives in the Porter Creek South riding.
During her time with the Skookum Jim Friendship Centre the centre created an after‐school tutoring program and established the Youth Emergency Shelter and the Youth Employment Centre.
Kolla said the friendship centre is key to the Yukon and was supported by the Yukon Party.
“We were able to help a lot of people and tried to develop programs and services that helped the citizens that we were working with at the friendship centre.”
Porter Creek Centre is the current riding of MLA David Laxton. Laxton won his seat last election under the Yukon Party banner. Laxton resigned as Speaker of the Legislative Assembly and left the Yukon Party on May 10 over an allegation of sexual harassment.
About a month later the party dropped him as its candidate in Porter Creek Centre.
The NDP is running former Whitehorse Elementary School principal Pat Berrel in the riding. The Liberals are slated to pick their candidate at a nomination meeting July 26.
Paolo Gallina and Karlo Krauzig have announced their intentions to seek that nomination.
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