NDP fills out election roster

Carol Geddes wants to be the NDP's MLA for Pelly-Nisutlin.

Carol Geddes wants to be the NDP’s MLA for Pelly-Nisutlin.

She’s an award-winning filmmaker, who most recently received the prestigious Rockie award from the Banff World Media Festival for Anash and the Legacy of the Sunrock, a children’s television series based on Tlingit oral history.

Geddes is a member of the Teslin Tlingit Council. She was born on the shore of Teslin Lake.

She’s also a longtime socialist. But, in a strange turn, she learned much of what she knows about the nitty-gritty of how politics works from Erik Nielson, Yukon’s long-serving Conservative member of Parliament.

Nielson hired Geddes as a parliamentary assistant while she pursued a university degree in Ottawa. When he phoned from the Yukon and asked her “What’s up?” he wasn’t engaging in pleasantries.

She’d have to be on top of House news, such as the passage of bills and developments during parliamentary debates. “He didn’t cut me any slack,” said Geddes.

She describes herself as a “nervous wreck” at the time, while she was juggling the job and her studies. But, looking back, she’s thankful.

“He taught me how to push myself.”

If Geddes wins the party nomination – no others have put their name forward to date – she will aim to knock out Justice Minister Marian Horne, who has represented the riding since 2006 and intends to seek another term.

Geddes has heard grumbling from First Nation residents of Teslin that they rarely see Horne. If elected, she’s promising to be more plugged-in.

Geddes is just one of a string of well-known names announced by the New Democrats as possible candidates over the past week and a half, as Yukon politicians prepare for the looming election, which must be held by November.

Frank Turner wants to stand for Lake Laberge. The veteran dog-musher and owner of Muktuk Adventures was the first Canadian to win the Yukon Quest. He has a background in social work and community development.

The Yukon Party’s Brad Cathers has represented Lake Laberge since 2002. Teena Dixon is challenging him for the riding nomination.

Mike Simon will represent the Liberals.

Eric Stinson wants to represent Kluane. He served three terms as mayor of Haines Junction, from 1988 to 1997.

He’s lived in the riding for 28 years and currently works as a regional supervisor for the Department of Health and Social Services. Previously, he worked as a regional social worker for residents of the north Alaska Highway for 26 years.

The Liberals’ Gary McRobb has held the Kluane seat since 1996.

Jean-Francois Des Lauriers wants to stand for Takhini-Copper King. Until recently, he was the long-serving regional boss of the Public Service Alliance of Canada.

Des Lauriers will contend for the new seat against the Yukon Party’s Samson Hartland, a former Whitehorse city councillor and past NDP candidate. Hartland recently won a nomination race against Eileen Melnychuk.

And Peter Lesniak wants to represent Riverdale North. He’s the NDP’s chief of staff and a former editor of the Yukon News. The riding is being vacated by the Yukon Party’s Ted Staffen, who is retiring from politics.

The Yukon Party is running Scott Kent in the riding. He’s a former Liberal cabinet minister.

Four people have secured NDP nominations to date. The most recent is Jan Stick, who won last night’s nomination meeting for Riverdale South.

Stick, the owner of Well-Read Books and a former Whitehorse city councillor, beat out Dave Blottner, executive director of the Boys and Girls Club.

The riding has been held by the Yukon Party’s Glenn Hart, minister of Health and Social Services, since 2002. Hart’s nomination was acclaimed last night.

The Liberals are running Dan Curtis in the riding. He’s the executive director of Skills Canada Yukon.

NDP Leader Liz Hanson will seek re-election in Whitehorse Centre. Lois Moorcraft, a former NDP cabinet minister, will seek Copperbelt South. And Jorn Meir will stand in the Klondike.

Contact John Thompson at

johnt@yukon-news.com.

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