Cully Robinson will represent the Liberals in Whitehorse West.
The 52-year-old executive of the Yukon Teachers’ Association was acclaimed at a party nomination last night. He aims to dethrone Elaine Taylor, the Yukon Party’s minister of Environment, Tourism and the Public Service Commission.
He admits that won’t be easy. Taylor is popular and enjoys a reputation as one of the nicest people in government.
“Nice is nice, but that’s not the question,” said Robinson. “This is not an election to determine who’s going to be the nicest MLA. This election is about holding the government responsible for what it’s said and what it’s done.
“Has this government been kind? Let’s ask ourselves about the homeless. Has this government been fair? Let’s ask ourselves about the negotiations with ATCO, or the special warrants for funding.
“Has this government followed the rules? Let’s ask ourselves about the consultation process around the Peel. They’re like kids changing the rules when they don’t win.”
Robinson also condemned the government’s “adversarial attitude” towards the francophone community, which wants a new high school built adjacent to Ecole Emilie Tremblay, which sits within the riding.
A judge recently ordered the territory to build the school. The government is appealing.
“I’m not inside those negotiations, so I don’t know all the details,” said Robinson. “But I don’t see the downside for developing francophone infrastructure. This is an attraction for young families. It’ll be advantageous to the value of our homes.”
Robinson also blasted the government for its “head-in-the-sand” handling of flooded basements on Zircon Lane and a shortage of daycares.
Robinson has lived in the riding for a decade. And he’s banged on neighbourhood doors before, to stump for Larry Bagnell, Yukon’s former Liberal MP.
The Liberal riding nomination was to be challenged by Louis-Roch Gagnon, a 49-year-old father of three who owns and operates the Kebabery restaurant. But Gagnon dropped out of the race Wednesday morning, citing a lack of time to campaign.
The NDP haven’t yet named a candidate for the riding.
The Liberal’s election lineup is nearly complete. The party has nominated three other candidates this week.
Patrick Singh will represent the Liberals in Whitehorse Centre. He’s the owner of Mark & Paddy’s Wondrous Music Emporium on Fourth Avenue, as well as the Main Street hotdog stand. He’ll be challenging NDP Leader Liz Hanson for her seat. Lana Putnam is running for the Yukon Party.
Christine Richardson will stand for the Liberals in Riverdale North. She’s a mortgage broker and longtime Liberal. The riding’s in play, as Speaker Ted Staffen is also leaving politics.
Scott Kent, a former Liberal cabinet minister, is stumping for the Yukon Party in the riding.
Both Peter Lesniak and David Blottner want to represent the New Democrats. The party nominates its candidate Saturday.
The Greens are running their leader, Kristina Calhoun, in the riding.
David Sloan will carry the party flag in Mountainview. The former school superintendent will vie for the new seat against Premier Darrell Pasloski. The NDP haven’t yet named a candidate.
Tim Cant wants to represent the party in Kluane. The seat is being vacated by the Liberals’ long-serving Gary McRobb, who is retiring from politics.
If nominated, he’ll contend against the Yukon Party’s Wade Istchenko. Eric Stinson wants to represent the NDP.
Cant is a management consultant who resides in Whitehorse. But he lived in Kluane from 1988 to 1997.
While there, Cant worked for the Kluane First Nation, served on the Burwash recreational committee and worked as a volunteer firefighter and a justice of the peace.
The riding holds its nomination meeting August 17.
Contact John Thompson at email@example.com.