Grayling, motor oil and electioneering in Old Crow

Darius Elias was fishing for grayling when Yukon Party Leader Darrell Pasloski flew into Old Crow last week. The Old Crow Liberal incumbent caught only two fish.

Darius Elias was fishing for grayling when Yukon Party Leader Darrell Pasloski flew into Old Crow last week.

The Old Crow Liberal incumbent caught only two fish.

But Elias figures he may have caught a few more votes that day, too.

Pasloski came to the community and hosted a lunch.

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But he didn’t take question, said Elias.

“He provided the lunch but no question-and-answer period, and people were very upset about it.”

A call to Pasloski’s campaign headqaurters wasn’t returned by press time.

Pasloski wouldn’t let the Yukon Party’s Old Crow candidate, Garry Njootli, take questions either, said Elias.

“Members of the public came up to me afterwards and said they had the feeling Pasloski was not concerned about their issues.”

The biggest issue in Old Crow is protection of the Porcupine caribou calving grounds, in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, he said.

The community also wants an elders’ care facility and a community service centre that would include a daycare, skating rink and new town hall, he said.

Elias was in Whitehorse for a few days this week to pick up snowmobile oil and axes for the community.

Then, he’ll be back on the campaign trail.

It’s a little different in Old Crow, he said.

Instead of just knocking on doors, Elias hosted a public forum, dishing out moose stew, bannock and debate last Thursday.

“I stood up and faced the public,” he said. “And seeing people who don’t usually speak in public, standing up to speak and get engaged in issues made me proud.”

Food-mail issues came up at the forum, as did elder-care concerns, he said.

In fact, people were still bringing issues up with Elias as he boarded the plane to Whitehorse, this week.

The Liberals have committed $100,000 to the new community centre and are calling for a Grade 10 class in Old Crow. Currently kids have to come to Whitehorse at that grade to complete high school.

“Ideally we would like to see Grade 12 graduates walking across the stage in Old Crow,” said Elias.

“But it’s one step at a time.”

Work has just started on a new drinking-water well in the community too, something Elias has been pushing for, he said.

Elias is confident he has the community’s support.

“But this is a place where you can’t judge the will of the people,” he said. “You have to accept the will of the people.

“And you don’t have to be elected to be a leader in this community,” added Elias.

“Some of our best leaders are not elected.”

Contact Genesee Keevil at

gkeevil@yukon-news.com

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