Laxton departs Yukon Party shortly after announcing re election bid

David Laxton has resigned suddenly from his position as Speaker of the Legislative Assembly. He is also leaving the Yukon Party to sit as an Independent MLA.

David Laxton has resigned suddenly from his position as Speaker of the Legislative Assembly. He is also leaving the Yukon Party to sit as an Independent MLA.

“I have been privileged to serve as Speaker these past four and a half years,” Laxton said in a news release. “However, I have decided that at this time, I need to step back from this role and focus on personal matters.”

On Tuesday, Watson Lake MLA Patti McLeod was sworn in as the new Speaker.

When the News contacted Laxton by phone on Tuesday morning, he was not keen to discuss the issue.

“I’m not taking calls,” he said, before hanging up abruptly.

The Yukon Party announced just last week that Laxton would seek re-election in Porter Creek Centre in this year’s territorial election. He was acclaimed as the candidate for the riding in early April.

Now, it’s unclear whether he will seek re-election, and if he does, whether it will be under the Yukon Party’s banner.

“The Yukon Party has nothing more to add at this time,” wrote Yukon Party president Linda Hillier in an email on Tuesday. “Being that his resignation from caucus was for personal reasons we will be giving him some time before we reach out regarding his nomination.”

Laxton was elected to Porter Creek Centre in 2011. He also ran for the Yukon Liberals in the 2006 election in the same riding, but lost to the Yukon Party’s Archie Lang.

In the release announcing his re-election campaign last week, he spoke highly of the Yukon Party’s performance.

“I love my community and the Yukon Party is working diligently to create a positive and prosperous Yukon,” he wrote at the time.

Laxton was absent from the legislative assembly on Tuesday, though a desk has been prepared for him to sit as an Independent.

When the House convened, McLeod was immediately elected as the new Speaker. She is the first female Speaker in Yukon’s history.

McLeod was first elected as an MLA during the 2011 election to represent Watson Lake. She was elected deputy Speaker in 2011, and has also served as chair of the committee of the whole.

Once McLeod assumed her position as Speaker, House Leader Darius Elias was elected to take over as deputy Speaker.

The changes mean that both McLeod and Elias will receive pay increases, according to salaries listed on the Yukon Legislative Assembly’s website.

All MLAs will receive a basic income of about $76,000 this fiscal year, and an expense allowance of about $14,600.

As deputy Speaker, Elias is entitled to an additional $11,660. McLeod is entitled to an extra $29,000 as Speaker.

Contact Maura Forrest at

maura.forrest@yukon-news.com

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

Just Posted

Crystal Schick/Yukon News file
Runners in the Yukon Arctic Ultra marathon race down the Yukon River near the Marwell industrial area in Whitehorse on Feb. 3, 2019.
Cold-weather exercise hard on the lungs

Amy Kenny Special to the Yukon News It might make you feel… Continue reading

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
YUKONOMIST: The Neapolitan election

Do you remember those old bricks of Neapolitan ice cream from birthday… Continue reading

Whitehorse City Hall (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
This week at city hall

A look at issues discussed by Whitehorse city council at its April 6 meeting.

Two people walk up the stairs past an advance polling sign at the Canda Games Centre on April 4. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
April 12 is polling day: Here’s how to vote

If in doubt, electionsyukon.ca has an address-to-riding tool

Yukon Party leader Currie Dixon addressing media at a press conference on April 8. The territorial election is on April 12. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Getting to know Currie Dixon and the Yukon Party platform

A closer look at the party leader and promises on the campaign trail

lwtters
Today’s Mailbox: Rent freezes and the youth vote

Dear Editor, I read the article regarding the recommendations by the Yukon… Continue reading

Point-in-Time homeless count planned this month

Volunteers will count those in shelters, short-term housing and without shelter in a 24-hour period.

The Yukon’s new ATIPP Act came into effect on April 1. Yukoners can submit ATIPP requests online or at the Legislative Assembly building. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News file)
New ATIPP Act in effect as of April 1

The changes promise increased government transparency

A new conservancy in northern B.C. is adjacent to Mount Edziza Provincial Park. (Courtesy BC Parks)
Ice Mountain Lands near Telegraph Creek, B.C., granted conservancy protection

The conservancy is the first step in a multi-year Tahltan Stewardship Initiative

Yukon RCMP reported a child pornography-related arrest on April 1. (Phil McLachlan/Black Press file)
Whitehorse man arrested on child pornography charges

The 43-year-old was charged with possession of child pornography and making child pornography

Team Yukon athletes wave flags at the 2012 Arctic Winter Games opening ceremony in Whitehorse. The postponed 2022 event in Wood Buffalo, Alta., has been rescheduled for Jan. 29 to Feb. 4, 2023. (Justin Kennedy/Yukon News file)
New dates set for Arctic Winter Games

Wood Buffalo, Alta. will host event Jan. 29 to Feb. 4, 2023

Victoria Gold Corp. has contributed $1 million to the First Nation of Na-cho Nyak Dun after six months of production at the Eagle Gold Mine. (Submitted/Victoria Gold Corp.)
Victoria Gold contributes $1 million to First Nation of Na-cho Nyak Dun

Victoria Gold signed a Comprehensive Cooperation and Benefits Agreement in 2011

Most Read