Former principal Pat Berrel eyes a political future in Porter Creek Centre

Former elementary school principal Pat Berrel announced yesterday he wants to be the NDP's MLA for Porter Creek Centre. The riding is currently held by the Yukon Party's David Laxton.

Former elementary school principal Pat Berrel announced yesterday he wants to be the NDP’s MLA for Porter Creek Centre.

The riding is currently held by the Yukon Party’s David Laxton. Berrel is the first to express interest in representing the riding for the NDP. Rod Taylor is seeking the Liberals’ nomination for the riding.

Berrel spent 17 years as the principal of Whitehorse Elementary School before retiring.

He said he wants to improve the relationship between the City of Whitehorse and the territorial government to help with issues like affordable housing.

“Some of the issues are the city’s issues, some are the jurisdiction of the territorial government. The more that we can get a partnership, the better that would be,” he said.

As an educator, Berrel said he’d like to see the McIntyre Creek area and surrounding trails get spruced up and become an educational resource for students and teachers to use.

The area could also become a tourist attraction, he said.

Tourism is an important piece of the Yukon economy, Berrel said.

Along that line, he’d like to see the territory expand its marketing efforts to France.

It’s unique for a small population like the Yukon to offer a direct flight to Europe like Condor Airlines’ flight between Whitehorse and Frankfurt, he said.

“One of the things we could do, again creating partnerships, is look at France as a target. Where we would target French people, using the same flight.”

Getting from France to Frankfurt is an easy trip for Europeans who would then be able to hop on the Condor flight, he said.

“And we have a French community here, AFY, that actually has a tourist department and (that helps with) creating a partnership there and have them help us create some good publicity for tourism in France.”

Porter Creek Centre has been a tight riding in the past. During the 2011 election Laxton won the seat with 39 per cent of the ballots. About 70 votes separated Laxton from the person in third place.

Berrel is familiar with the riding. In 2006 he was campaign manager for Archie Lang, who won the seat for the Yukon Party.

Berrel makes no apologies for his changing allegiances.

“My big thing was social programs, and they actually did a lot of good things for social programs. I know because I was working with NGOs, and there was money flowing, and certainly it shifted after that.”

Berrel has been on the Persons with Disabilities Advisory Committee for the City of Whitehorse. He has been a director with the learning disabilities organization, LDAY, as well as Challenge and the Yukon Association for Community Living.

He said his focus, no matter what political party he’s involved with, has always been on social programs and social justice.

No date has been set for the next territorial election. Premier Darrell Pasloski must call it by this fall.

Contact Ashley Joannou at

ashleyj@yukon-news.com

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