LeBlond vies for Greens in Copperbelt South

Philippe LeBlond says he’s running for the Green Party in Copperbelt South to give people a choice and bring issues to the table rather than get elected.

Philippe LeBlond says he’s running for the Green Party in Copperbelt South to give people a choice and bring issues to the table rather than get elected.

“We’re not going to form government,” he said with a chuckle, during an interview with the News Thursday.

The Green Party has five candidates in the upcoming election.

It’s LeBlond’s first time running in the territorial election. He ran for the federal Greens in 2004, when he realized the Yukon was the only riding the party didn’t have a candidate in.

LeBlond operated a mobile bike shop for a number of years.

He lives in Riverdale, but is moving to the Mount Sima subdivision next year where he is currently building a new home.

When asked if he had been doing a lot of door knocking, LeBlond said his campaign was “pretty low-key.”

“I knocked on a lot of doors to get my nomination signatures,” he said.

He got encouragement from residents, he said, but found people weren’t really interesting in talking about policies.

“People are pretty well decided in the riding,” he said. “I think it’s going to be a pretty strategic election.”

The riding is especially interesting because of how close the race was in 2011: the NDP’s Lois Moorcroft won by three votes against Yukon Party candidate Valerie Boxall. This time, cabinet minister Scott Kent is running for the Yukon Party.

LeBlond recognizes the Greens won’t change things overnight.

“We’re not a bunch of tree-huggers,” he said.

But just having the Greens run candidates in the past years has had an impact, he said.

“Just us being there, we have an influence,” he said. “A lot of the other parties have picked up green ideas.”

People often don’t understand Green Party policies around the economy, he noted.

“We’re actually fiscally conservative,” he said. “We’re more into an efficient, lean government.”

One of the Greens’ pillars is social justice issues, including programs to deal with the causes of social issues the territory is facing, he said.

“There are tough situations around here sometimes,” he said.

Petty crime can be traced to boredom and lack of opportunities for some youth, he said. Public transport in the territory should also be improved, he added.

The government doesn’t have to “re-invent the wheel,” he said. The old White Pass and Yukon Route tracks that go through the Whitehorse could have trains run on them once again.

LeBlond was raised in B.C. by two Quebecois parents but says he has the “West Coast mentality.”

He spent a few years in Quebec and eventually made his way to the Yukon in 1992, before putting down roots two years later.

He will be facing incumbent Lois Moorcroft seeking re-election for the NDP, Jocelyn Curteanu for the Liberals and Scott Kent for the Yukon Party.

Contact Pierre Chauvin at pierre.chauvin@yukon-news.com

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