Premier Sandy Silver announces the dissolving of the legislative assembly for a spring territorial election at a press conference in Whitehorse on Mar. 12. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)

Premier Sandy Silver announces the dissolving of the legislative assembly for a spring territorial election at a press conference in Whitehorse on Mar. 12. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)

Liberals call spring election; voting day will be April 12

“I believe the time is now,” said Premier Sandy Silver.

Yukoners will head to the polls to choose their next territorial government April 12.

Yukon Premier Sandy Silver made the announcement at a press conference on Friday afternoon, surrounded by 14 currently sitting MLAs and new candidates.

“We have been monitoring the COVID-19 situation waiting to see if the territory is safe enough to hold an election. With a strong vaccine uptake and the measures being put in place to stop the importation of the virus, I believe the time is now,” he said.

Silver said he visited the commissioner the morning of March 12 to ask the Legislative Assembly to be dissolved. Voting day for the 39th territorial election will be Monday, April 12.

Advance polls will be on Sunday, April 4 and Monday, April 5.

The current sitting of the legislature is now dissolved. The incoming premier — whoever that ends up being — can then choose whether or not to hold a replacement spring or summer sitting, or to wait until a fall sitting.

By law, the election needed to be called before Nov. 18, 2021. The Liberals chose the spring date.

Silver said he made the decision to call the election before the territorial budget passed through the legislature because he got a “strong signal” that the opposition would not support it, despite the Liberals having a majority in the house.

“We believe that our record is strong and that with four more years, we can continue to build on these accomplishments and take the territory even further because there is much more to be done,” Silver said.

Elections Yukon has released detailed guidelines for how the parties will campaign in the COVID-19 pandemic.

In quick press conferences following the announcement, opposition party leaders Kate White and Currie Dixon said after four years of Liberal rule, they are confident Yukoners will be looking for something different on voting day.

“Frustrated Yukoners are looking for strong leadership, and quite frankly, Yukoners deserve better,” Dixon said. “I think we’ve got a really good mix of experienced folks who have been in the legislature, been in cabinet and new people who have come to the party to add new fresh ideas.”

Dixon criticized the choice to call an election before the vaccination campaign was complete, saying that Silver was putting the “Liberal Party’s political interests above the health needs and safety of Yukoners.”

Asked about the timing of the election, NDP leader Kate White said her party was ready to campaign.

“When Yukoners voted out the Yukon Party five years ago, they put their trust in the Liberals. While it wasn’t the result that I was hoping for, I understood their optimism. Yukoners gave the Liberals a chance, but they have been sadly disappointed,” White said.

“The Premier called an election, and there are three people putting their name forward for that position,” she said. “I intend to be the kind of premier who does what she says she’ll do.”

While the Liberal party budget provides a de facto campaign platform, the NDP and the Yukon Party have yet to release their comprehensive plans for the territory. Those documents are expected in the coming weeks.

So far there are currently 60 candidates and nominees in the Yukon’s 19 ridings. That leaves 15 potential open slots for the three main parties yet to be announced. Right now no candidates are running against Silver in Klondike or Kate White in Takhini-Kopper King.

Contact Haley Ritchie at haley.ritchie@yukon-news.com

Election 2021

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

Just Posted

A competitor takes a jump in front of a crowd at the Mount Sima Up Hill Challenge in Whitehorse on April 17. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Spring shred: Snowmobiles gather on Mount Sima for 2021 Uphill Challenge

Riders had a sunny and warm day on the hill, but still plenty of snowpack on the uphill course.

Sheila MacLean tosses her winter blues in the fire to be burned away in Whitehorse on March 24, 2018. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Burning permits will be revoked April 25

The Whitehorse Fire Department extended the open burning season

Maura Forrest/Yukon News File photos from Beaver Creek White River First Nation
Bessie Chassé elected as new chief of White River First Nation

“I was happy that the membership saw that I was ready for this position.”

X
WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World for April 21, 2021.… Continue reading

Crystal Schick/Yukon News Yukon MP Larry Bagnell speaks at an announcement in Whitehorse on July 8, 2019.
Federal budget includes changes to Northern Residents Deduction, minimum wage, green energy funds

The massive budget included some rare references to the territory.

Doug Bell photographed in Whitehorse in 2008, for an article about his role as Yukon Commissioner in the early 1980’s. (Ian Stewart/Yukon News file)
Yukon remembers former commissioner Doug Bell

Bell passed away in Whitehorse on Sunday, at the age of 94.

Crystal Schick/Yukon News Whitehorse International Airport in Whitehorse on May 6, 2020.
NAV CANADA suspends review for Whitehorse airport traffic control

NAV CANADA announced on April 15 that it is no longer considering… Continue reading

A bulldozer levels piles of garbage at the Whitehorse landfill in January 2012. (Ian Stewart/Yukon News file)
Rural dump closures and tipping fees raise concern from small communities

The government has said the measures are a cost-cutting necessity

Whitehorse City Hall (Yukon News file)
City news, briefly

A look at city council matters for the week of April 12

Joel Krahn/joelkran.com Hikers traverse the Chilkoot Trail in September 2015. Alaska side.
The Canadian side of the Chilkoot Trail will open for summer

The Canadian side of the Chilkoot Trail will open for summer Parks… Continue reading

Letters to the editor.
Today’s mailbox: Hands of Hope, the quilt of poppies

Toilets are important Ed. note: Hands of Hope is a Whitehorse-based non-profit… Continue reading

Most Read