Huff sets sights on Porter Creek Centre seat

Kerry Huff plans to run for the Porter Creek Centre seat under the Liberal banner in the next territorial election. That would pit him against Public Works Minister Archie Lang, should he choose to run again.

Kerry Huff plans to run for the Porter Creek Centre seat under the Liberal banner in the next territorial election.

That would pit him against Public Works Minister Archie Lang, should he choose to run again.

Huff, 57, is well known in the riding. He worked at Porter Creek Secondary School, first as a teacher and later as vice-principal and principal, for 20 years. He retired last year and still lives in the neighbourhood.

Former students and parents will remember Huff’s habit of wearing goofy ties to work and awarding pupils with liquorice.

“I think you’re getting a straight shooter, someone with integrity,” he said during a news conference held yesterday.

And why would someone who matched that description want to become involved in, of all things, territorial politics?

“If we want to make a change, politics is the only way to make that happen,” he said.

Huff is unimpressed with the Yukon Party’s tall talk about improving the territory’s education system, following a blistering report by Auditor General Sheila Fraser in February 2009.

“Nothing is really changing,” he said, despite plenty of assurances from the government to the contrary.

Graduation rates remain low. Absenteeism is high. The achievement gap between First Nation students and other Yukoners remains wide.

“We’re failing a whole lot of people in our rural communities and First Nation communities,” Huff said.

He’s also critical of the Yukon Party’s spending decisions. It has run down the territory’s surplus and shifted debt onto its Crown corporations. “I don’t think that’s responsible,” said Huff.

And he questions the integrity of Premier Dennis Fentie. For Huff, serious doubts arose when Brad Cathers quit cabinet over the ATCO energy privatization scandal in August 2009.

“You have to wonder what’s going into decision making,” said Huff.

He must still win the Liberal nomination for the riding before he becomes the party’s candidate.

Huff was one of Canada’s Outstanding Principals Award winners in 1997. He served as president of the Yukon Teachers’ Association from 1995-8, and vice-president of the Canadian Teachers’ Federation from 1997-8.

Contact John Thompson at

johnt@yukon-news.com.