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

Just Posted

Yukon’s Japanese association launches its first sake festival

Former president says the hope is to bring people together to learn

Yukon First Nations, AFN Yukon, CYFN sign climate change emergency declaration

The declaration was signed on the last day of the Yukon First Nations Climate Action Gathering

Yukon Fish and Game Association opposed to moose management proposals

Executive director Eric Schroff said he thinks Yukon government needs to be more transparent


Wyatt’s World

Casino taking more time with mine proposal

Statement not expected to be submitted to YESAB until Dec. 31, 2021

Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in to hold general election in April

On top of voting for chief, three councillors, citizens will vote for a deputy chief for first time

Yukon’s minimum wage set to increase by $1 to $13.71 in April

The increase will make the Yukon’s minimum wage the fourth-highest in the country

City news, briefly

Some of the decisions made at the Whitehorse council meeting on Feb 17

Yukonomist: Three questions on Yukon Zinc and China

The case heard recently in Yukon Supreme Court is particularly troubling

Commentary: Highway plans will negatively impact safety

The proposed Alaska Highway work will impact our safety, our communities and our environment.

Olivia Webster is the final musher to finish the Yukon Quest

‘I guess I’ve always been a grandpa’s girl and he’s my best friend, so I kind of wanted to be like him and so I did it’

Yukon’s Rob Cooke and company finish 10th in the 2020 Yukon Quest

Cooke and his 14 Siberians crossed the finish line at 9:07 a.m. on Feb. 15 in Whitehorse

Lights Out Yukon Invitational Basketball Tournament bigger than ever in sixth year

“Honestly, it was the smoothest tournament I think we’ve run yet”

Most Read