NDP needs rebuilding, says Hardy

Rocked by the departure of MLA John Edzerza, the New Democrats are discussing their leadership options. Todd Hardy won't say whether he's staying, or going. "That is another discussion and announcement," said the NDP lead...

Rocked by the departure of MLA John Edzerza, the New Democrats are discussing their leadership options.

Todd Hardy won’t say whether he’s staying, or going.

“That is another discussion and announcement,” said the NDP leader, who had just returned from a trip to Vancouver.

Edzerza’s decision to leave the NDP had nothing to do with the party, said Hardy.

“I asked him, point blank, if it was about us,” said the NDP leader.

“He said, ‘No.’”

Edzerza has other interests he wants to pursue, said Hardy.

“And the way parties are set up, they don’t fit in the direction he wants to go.”

Edzerza’s decision to leave the NDP last week came as a surprise, said Hardy.

But discussions he’s had with Edzerza over the last two years hinted at this, he added.

The parting was not acrimonious.

“We hugged at the end,” said Hardy.

Edzerza’s departure left the party with two MLAs, Hardy and Steve Cardiff.

The NDP is “in a low state,” said Hardy.

He’s been meeting with the party executive weekly, but would not confirm if he would stay on as leader.

Though laid low, the NDP is an integral part of Yukon politics, said Hardy.

“Imagine what the Yukon would be like without NDP voices—the changes we’ve made in opposition, and the legislation we’ve convinced the government to move forward on—imagine if our voice was not there.”

The party has decided to keep its office behind the High Country Inn open.

Most party offices close after the federal election, and reopen before the next one, said Hardy.

“But we are looking at things to do with an office, to bring people in and have discussions and form some groups around issues and the direction the party needs to go.”

Edzerza’s decision to leave brought home the amount of work and commitment needed to take the party from where it is now to forming government, said Hardy.

“That’s our goal—and that process is underway.

“We are drafting up a plan to rebuild the party as we speak.”

Contact Genesee Keevil at

gkeevil@yukon-news.com

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