Scott Kent will seek the Yukon Party nomination for Riverdale North.
The riding is being vacated by Yukon’s long-serving Speaker, Ted Staffen, who announced last Friday his exit from politics.
Kent, 42, is a former Liberal cabinet minister who joined the Yukon Party last autumn.
He’s not alone. By Kent’s count, he is one of seven lapsed Liberal candidates who have joined the Yukon Party in the past year.
The Liberals alienated businesspeople with their early support of the draft plan to protect the Peel Watershed, he said.
The Yukon Party’s wholehearted support for mining “is just a better fit,” said Kent, who’s executive director of the Klondike Placer Miners’ Association.
He’s prepared to leave that job if he’s nominated. “I obviously don’t want to compromise the integrity of the placer mining association,” said Kent.
“I’ll make sure to take all the necessary steps to make sure there’s no conflict.”
Kent managed Rod Taylor’s failed Yukon Party leadership campaign. But he’s now supporting Premier Darrell Pasloski. “He brings a fresh approach to the party,” said Kent.
Kent is also president of the Yukon Hospital Foundation and sits on the MacBride Museum of Yukon History and Yukon Chamber of Mines boards.
From 2000 to 2002, Kent served as the Liberal MLA for Riverside. Part of that riding is now Riverdale North.
In 2002, the Riverside riding was eliminated in a boundary review. Kent sought Porter Creek Centre, but lost to the Yukon Party’s Archie Lang.
While in office, Kent held the cabinet portfolios of Economic Development, Government Services and Energy, Mines and Resources.
Kent and his wife Amanda live on Tagish Road in Riverdale North. He lives across the street from his childhood home.
So far, Kent is the only one to express his candidacy for the upcoming nomination meeting, to be held on Monday, July 11 at 7:30 p.m. at the Grey Mountain Primary School gym.