Hotel manager Francis van Kessel aims to represent NDP in Porter Creek North

Francis van Kessel announced yesterday she wants to be the NDP's MLA for Porter Creek North. The riding is currently held by the Yukon Party's Doug Graham.

Francis van Kessel announced yesterday she wants to be the NDP’s MLA for Porter Creek North.

The riding is currently held by the Yukon Party’s Doug Graham. Van Kessel is the first to express interest in representing the riding for the New Democrats.

Van Kessel, who grew up in Teslin, is currently the manager of the Days Inn hotel in Whitehorse.

If elected she said she’d focus on issues such as food security and affordable housing.

“We grew up just below the poverty line,” she said yesterday, speaking in the parking lot of the Porter Creek Mall.

“Food security was a big issue for our family. If it wasn’t for my family growing its own vegetables, I don’t know what my parents would have done to feed us.”

Van Kessel and her parents moved to Whitehorse when she was 15.

They quickly realized that affordable housing and food were both hard to come by, she said.

As a young adult, van Kessel watched a close friend become addicted to drugs and alcohol. “Because of that, she suffered through the system to find access to proper drug and alcohol healing programs,” she said.

Last fall van Kessel spearheaded a project at the Days Inn where food was grown instead of planting flowers.

The potatoes, carrots, beets, Swiss chard and kale were donated to the Whitehorse food bank.

“I did this, pretty much, because we as people need to change our society and the change comes from within,” she told CBC at the time.

“There’s hungry people in the city of Whitehorse and we need to start fixing that,” she said.

Van Kessel said she is running in the Porter Creek North riding because it’s “near and dear” to her heart.

“It’s a great place to be,” she said.

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

Contact Myles Dolphin at

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

Just Posted

Yukon Party elects new leader

Dixon wins Yukon Party leadership

Construction to get underway on new skate park

Project expected to take six months

Restaurants and personal services businesses to open next week

Industry-specific guidelines for reopening are available online


Wyatt’s World for May 22, 2020

EDITORIAL: Good science means accepting new information and adjusting accordingly

While COVID-19 has been making international headlines since early 2020, the day… Continue reading

Today’s mailbox: Healthcare, COVID-19 and taxes

Letters to the editor published May 22

Yukon Teachers’ Association elects new president

Holy Family Elementary School principal Ted Hupé has been elected president of… Continue reading

Yukon government clarifies businesses available to travellers

Travellers can stop anywhere along the approved route in one of the marked communities

Eight people arrested over three days on drug-related charges

The Yukon RCMP’s crime reduction unit arrested eight people in the span… Continue reading

City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week. Rezoning… Continue reading

Liard First Nation postpones chief, council election

Liard First Nation (LFN) has postponed the election for chief and council… Continue reading

Yukon government releases policing priorities

The Yukon government has released its policing priorities for 2020-21. The government… Continue reading

Youth arrested after 36 windows broken at École Emilie Tremblay

Whitehorse RCMP have arrested a youth after three-dozen windows were broken at… Continue reading

Most Read