Major cabinet shuffle will leave chaos in its wake: opposition

Opposition parties say they are shocked by the scale of last week's cabinet shuffle, which saw every cabinet minister except the premier assigned to at least one new portfolio.

Opposition parties say they are shocked by the scale of last week’s cabinet shuffle, which saw every cabinet minister except the premier assigned to at least one new portfolio.

“My jaw dropped when I saw that every single person was impacted by this,” said NDP MLA Jan Stick, a few hours after Premier Darrell Pasloski announced the shuffle Friday morning.

“There are big issues in every department right now,” she said.

“There are important things happening. And to just see everything thrown up in the air and land where it will, I’m wondering where in all of this are the priorities? Where is the leadership?”

The premier was clearly unhappy with the direction the government had been heading, said Liberal Leader Sandy Silver.

“It absolutely is a drastic measure,” he said. “It’s got to cause a certain amount of chaos in the procedural operations in those departments.”

The shuffle will no-doubt make it even harder to get answers from ministers during the next legislative sitting, as they fall back on the line, “I’m new on this file, so I can’t comment,” said Silver.

Pasloski, who did not respond to multiple interview requests by press time, has suggested that the shuffle was about giving more responsibility to rural MLAs.

Pelly-Nisutlin MLA Stacey Hassard joined cabinet, taking on the portfolios of Economic Development, Yukon Housing Corporation, Yukon Liquor Corporation and Yukon Lottery Commission.

And Vuntut Gwitchin MLA Darius Elias failed to snag a cabinet seat, but was appointed government house leader.

Many have speculated that one of the primary motivations of the shuffle was to remove Lake Laberge MLA Brad Cathers from the Community Services and housing files.

Whitehorse city council voted unanimously to have Cathers removed from those portfolios in October, and the Liberal party also called for his resignation over the last-minute cancellation of an affordable housing project.

Cathers was demoted from government house leader to deputy house leader.

He’s now in charge of Justice, Yukon Development Corporation and Yukon Energy Corporation.

Whitehorse Mayor Dan Curtis said he’s very pleased with the new assignments.

“In terms of what’s important to the city, I think that we’ve got two really good ministers.”

Currie Dixon is the new Community Services minister, and the mayor is already working to set up a formal meeting, he said.

And Hassard will do well on the housing file, said Curtis.

“I think it’s a fantastic choice. I really do. I think he has some really good perspectives from the municipal level, working in the Village of Teslin.

“I’m very pleased with the choices that were made, and I think that our city and our working relationship will benefit greatly from the change.”

Contact Jacqueline Ronson at

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

Just Posted

A proposed Official Community Plan amendment would designate a 56.3-hectare piece of land in Whistle Bend currently designated as green space, as urban residential use. Whitehorse city council will vote on the second reading of the Official Community Plan amendment on Dec. 7. (Courtesy City of Whitehorse)
Future area of Whistle Bend considered by council

Members set to vote on second reading for OCP change

The City of Whitehorse’s projected deficit could be $100,000 more than originally predicted earlier this year. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
City deficit could be just over $640,000 this year

Third quarter financial reports presented to council

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley speaks during a COVID-19 press conference in Whitehorse on Oct. 30. Masks became mandatory in the Yukon for anyone five years old and older as of Dec. 1 while in public spaces. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
As mask law comes into effect, premier says $500 fines will be last resort

The territory currently has 17 active cases of COVID-19

Crystal Schick/Yukon News file
Ranj Pillai, minister of economic development, during a press conference on April 1.
Government rejects ATAC mining road proposal north of Keno City

Concerns from the First Nation of Na-Cho Nyäk Dun were cited as the main reason for the decision


Wyatt’s World for Dec. 2, 2020

The new Little Salmon Carmacks First Nation council elected Dec. 1. (Submitted)
Little Salmon Carmacks elects new chief, council

Nicole Tom elected chief of Little Salmon Carcmacks First Nation

Submitted/Yukon News file
Yukon RCMP’s Historical Case Unit is seeking information related to the unsolved homicide of Allan Donald Waugh, 69, who was found deceased in his house on May 30, 2014.
Yukon RCMP investigating unsolved Allan Waugh homicide

Yukon RCMP’s Historical Case Unit is seeking information related to an unsolved… Continue reading

A jogger runs along Millenium Trail as the sun rises over the trees around 11 a.m. in Whitehorse on Dec. 12, 2018. The City of Whitehorse could soon have a new trail plan in place to serve as a guide in managing the more than 233 kilometres of trails the city manages. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
2020 trail plan comes forward

Policies and bylaws would look at e-mobility devices

Snow-making machines are pushed and pulled uphill at Mount Sima in 2015. The ski hill will be converting snow-making to electric power with more than $5 million in funding from the territorial and federal governments. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Mount Sima funded to cut diesel reliance

Mount Sima ski hill is converting its snowmaking to electric power with… Continue reading

Colin McDowell, the director of land management for the Yukon government, pulls lottery tickets at random during a Whistle Bend property lottery in Whitehorse on Sept. 9, 2019. A large amount of lots are becoming available via lottery in Whistle Bend as the neighbourhood enters phase five of development. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Lottery for more than 250 new Whistle Bend lots planned for January 2021

Eight commercial lots are being tendered in additional to residential plots

The Government of Yukon Main Administration Building in Whitehorse on Aug. 21. The Canada Border Services Agency announced Nov. 26 that they have laid charges against six people, including one Government of Yukon employee, connected to immigration fraud that involved forged Yukon government documents. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Charges laid in immigration fraud scheme, warrant out for former Yukon government employee

Permanent residency applications were submitted with fake Yukon government documents

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Mask fundraiser helps make children’s wishes come true

From Black Press Media + BraveFace – adult, youth and kid masks support Make-A-Wish Foundation

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

Most Read