Gagnon defects to the Dippers

In what must be some sort of record, Louis Gagnon has switched political teams just weeks into his pursuit of seeking office. Gagnon, a 49-year-old restaurateur who spends his days slicing chicken shawarma at the Kebabery, is a longtime Grit.

In what must be some sort of record, Louis Gagnon has switched political teams just weeks into his pursuit of seeking office.

Gagnon, a 49-year-old restaurateur who spends his days slicing chicken shawarma at the Kebabery, is a longtime Grit.

He served as a director for the Yukon Liberal Party over the past year. And, several weeks ago, he sought the party’s nomination for Whitehorse West.

Now he hopes to carry the NDP flag in the riding. Gagnon downplayed the significance of the switch.

He “hasn’t crossed the floor,” because he hasn’t been elected, he said. Similarly, Gagnon disputes he’s a turncoat.

“I haven’t worn a coat,” he said.

Previously, Gagnon described himself as an “extreme centralist” and extolled the virtues of the Liberal party as a moderate voice in the territory.

Now he calls himself a longtime “social democrat” who happened to find a home with the Liberal Party, but sees the NDP as a better fit.

“Just because you’re in the centre doesn’t mean you’re balanced. And the balance needs to be towards helping people,” he said.

Gagnon withdrew his name from the Liberal nomination shortly before the vote, citing time constraints. The party had shortened the campaign period, for fear of an early election, leaving him with just “four days to knock on 1,100 doors.”

Besides having to keep up the pace of “a time-share salesman,” Gagnon also said his stumping left him feeling that while residents took to him, they were reluctant to support the Liberals.

With Gagnon gone, Cully Robinson, a former school principal, was acclaimed as the Liberal candidate for the riding.

At the time, the two vowed to work together. Now, if Gagnon is nominated, they’ll be competing in a race to knock out Elaine Taylor, Yukon’s minister of Tourism, Culture and the Public Service Commission.

Both preferred to focus on their fight to dislodge the governing party, rather than dwell on Gagnon’s new affiliations.

“There’s not any animosity,” said Robinson.

“I’m not going to war against the Liberals,” said Gagnon. “I’m going to war against the Yukon Party.”

Skeeter Miller-Wright wants to represent the NDP in Copperbelt North. The 61-year-old is best known for two successful court challenges to block a cement batch plant while a member of the McLean Lake Residents’ Association.

The many permutations of the McLean Lake issue has helped shape the NDP platform.

The NDP has called on the Yukon Party to change the Municipal Act to expand the powers of referendums, giving more power back to citizens, but the governing party isn’t interested.

“That’s beyond inexcusable,” said NDP Leader Liz Hanson. “You can’t just leave citizens with no voice. It’s self-evident that something needs to be changed.”

Miller-Wright sought, without luck, a seat on city council during the last municipal election. He’s worked as a social worker, land claims negotiator and mining consultant during his 38 years in the territory.

If nominated, he’ll try to unseat Liberal Leader Arthur Mitchell. The Yukon Party is running Currie Dixon, a government policy wonk.

And, on Wednesday morning, Jean-Francois Des Lauriers announced he will seek the NDP nomination in Porter Creek Centre.

Recently, Des Lauriers ran for the right to represent the NDP in Takhini-Kopper King. He lost the nomination to Kate White.

In Porter Creek Centre, Des Lauriers will square off against fellow New Democrat Cam Kos.

A date for the nomination vote has not yet been set.

Contact John Thompson at

johnt@yukon-news.com.

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

Just Posted

Maria Metzen off the start line of the Yukon Dog Mushers Association’s sled dog race on Jan. 9. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News)
Mushers race in preparation for FirstMate Babe Southwick

The annual race is set for Feb. 12 and 13.

The Yukon government is making changes to the medical travel system, including doubling the per diem and making destinations for medical services more flexible. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Subsidy for medical travel doubled with more supports coming

The change was recommended in the Putting People First report endorsed by the government

Chloe Sergerie, who was fined $500 under the <em>Civil Emergency Measures Act</em> on Jan. 12, says she made the safest choice available to her when she entered the territory. (Mike Thomas/Yukon News file)
Woman fined $500 under CEMA says she made ‘safest decision’ available

Filling out a declaration at the airport was contrary to self-isolation, says accused

The Yukon Department of Education building in Whitehorse on Dec. 22, 2020. Advocates are calling on the Department of Education to reverse their redefinition of Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) that led to 138 students losing the program this year. (John Hopkins-Hill/Yukon News file)
Advocates call redefinition of IEPs “hugely concerning,” call for reversal

At least 138 students were moved off the learning plans this year

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: Your Northern regulatory adventure awaits!

“Your Northern adventure awaits!” blared the headline on a recent YESAB assessment… Continue reading

Yukoner Shirley Chua-Tan is taking on the role of vice-chair of the social inclusion working group with the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences’ oversight panel and working groups for the autism assessment. (Submitted)
Canadian Academy of Health Sciences names Yukoner to panel

Shirley Chua-Tan is well-known for a number of roles she plays in… Continue reading

The Fish Lake area viewed from the top of Haeckel Hill on Sept. 11, 2018. The Yukon government and Kwanlin Dün First Nation (KDFN) announced they are in the beginning stages of a local area planning process for the area. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Local area planning for Fish Lake announced

The Government of Yukon and Kwanlin Dün First Nation (KDFN) announced in… Continue reading

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

Fire damage, photographed on Jan. 11, to a downtown apartment building which occurred late in the evening on Jan. 8. Zander Firth, 20, from Inuvik, was charged with the arson and is facing several other charges following his Jan. 12 court appearance. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News)
More charges for arson suspect

The Inuvik man charged in relation to the fire at Ryder Apartments… Continue reading

The grace period for the new Yukon lobbyist registry has come to an end and those who seek to influence politicians will now need to report their efforts to a public database. (Mike Thomas/Yukon News file)
Grace period for new lobbyist registry ends

So far nine lobbyists have registered their activities with politicians in the territory

The Government of Yukon Main Administration Building in Whitehorse on Aug. 21, 2020. Some Yukon tourism and culture non-profit organizations may be eligible to receive up to $20,000 to help recover from losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Details released on relief funding for tourism and culture non-profits

Some Yukon tourism and culture non-profit organizations may be eligible to receive… Continue reading

Most Read