NDP rally for absent Hardy

The chant was easy to memorize. “Who was calling for government employees to be treated fairly and with respect?” interim New Democratic…

The chant was easy to memorize.

“Who was calling for government employees to be treated fairly and with respect?” interim New Democratic Party leader Steve Cardiff asked at the Yukon Inn Monday night.

“Todd Hardy and the NDP!” about 60 of the party faithful, seated in ranks before Cardiff’s podium, cried in unison.

“Who has consistently taken the lead on calling for action on climate change, for protection of the Porcupine caribou herd, for the protection of wildlife habitat in special places?” Cardiff cried.

“It wasn’t the Yukon Party, it wasn’t the Liberals, it was…”

“Todd Hardy and the NDP!”

So began an hour-long nomination meeting that saw four NDP candidates, including Hardy, acclaimed to run in the October 10 territorial election.

Hardy is currently receiving chemotherapy in a Vancouver Hospital.

“(Fentie) could have waited at least another month,” Cardiff said at the rally.

“The timing seems a little strange to me, considering the fact that Dennis went to Vancouver; he spoke to Todd’s doctors. Todd’s doctors said that he would be back in the Yukon around the beginning of October.”

The meeting was more a political rally than a simple series of acclamations.

Candidates were announced. Applause. Nominated. Applause.

The candidates accepted. Applause. They gave speeches. Applause.

Hardy, Samson Hartland, Dave Hobbis and Rhoda Merkel were all acclaimed to repeated clapping that bordered on fanatical.

The climax came when Hardy’s three adult children — Janelle, Tess and Tytus — accepted the NDP nomination for Whitehorse Centre on Hardy’s behalf.

“We all wish the election could have been called when he could have been here for the whole thing,” said Tess Hardy.

“As a family, we will represent him to the best of our abilities.”

The standing ovation lasted 20 seconds once the three Hardys finished speaking.

Though there was plenty of enthusiasm, it couldn’t cover some basic deficiencies in the NDP campaign that had clearly been caught flatfooted by Fentie’s call.

“There are a few more needs in the office; we need more tables, more chairs, a few more lamps,” veteran party organizer Max Fraser told the crowd.

“An important part of any campaign is people giving what they can of their time and their financial resources to make our organization succeed during an election campaign.

“It’s an intense period of time. It’s an intense 30 days.

“I won’t ask you to dig more deeply than you can. I will ask you to dig as deep as you can, and give what you can of your time and your money.”

Of the three party headquarters, the NDP’s was the most barren on Tuesday, with only a few desks, chairs and computers lining the walls inside the old Unitech Building on Second Avenue.

A barren space big enough to park a dump truck filled the middle of the room.

The NDP assumed they had another month to prepare, after Fentie visited Hardy in late August, said Fraser the morning after the rally.

“We thought there would be a significant delay, a period of weeks,” he said.

“We’re not 100-per-cent ready.

“It’s a very unusual situation, with the leader 1,000 miles away.”

The NDP have nominated or announced 13 candidates for the Yukon’s 18 ridings, while the Liberals and Yukon Party both have 17.

Fraser was certain the NDP would have a full slate by the candidacy deadline of 2 p.m. Monday.

But the NDP also has yet to announce a campaign manager.

It won’t be Fraser, who last managed Piers McDonald’s campaign in 2000, but stepped into the background afterward, citing work and health reasons.

“We have a few holes in our campaign,” said Fraser.

“They’ll be filled by Friday.”

The NDP is budgeting about $75,000 for this election, he said.

That’s less than the $100,000 the NDP had in the 2000 election.

The Liberals and the Yukon Party are probably budgeting in the $100,000 range, said Fraser.

New Democrats tend to have less money than Liberals and Conservatives because they come from lower to middle-income backgrounds, and it’s party policy not to accept donations from banks or large corporations, he added.

Also, the federal and territorial branches of the NDP pool their resources, and there have been two federal elections and a territorial byelection during the last two years, noted Fraser.

However, the NDP vision and platform are intact, said Cardiff.

“The Yukon Party is running currently on a slogan of ‘imagine tomorrow,’” he said during the rally.

“You can imagine more sole-sourced contracts, more partisan appointments to boards and committees, more conflict with other governments, more privatization of public services, more secrecy and more reckless spending of public funds.

“Now try and imagine what a Liberal tomorrow might look like.

“It’s not very easy. The problem is, you don’t know who they are; you don’t know what they stand for.

“Who is Arthur Mitchell? What does he stand for? We don’t know. He hasn’t told us.

“Everybody in this room and most Yukoners know who Todd Hardy is. We know what he stands for.

“He stands for honesty. He stands for integrity. He stands for hard work.”


“He’s the only one of the current three leaders of the political parties who stayed with the same party.”


“Who took the lead on substance abuse and on safer communities?

“It wasn’t the Yukon Party; it wasn’t the Liberals, it was …”

Just Posted

Jibo comes North

Interactive robot is a pricey assistant with personality

Warm weather causes dangerous road conditions in southern Yukon

‘We have to chain up the sand machines just to get out’

Lunchtime power outage plunges parts of south Yukon into darkness

Power to 7,800 residents was out for up to 90 minutes

Darryl Sheepway murder trial comes to a close with Crown submissions

The Crown presented its closing submissions Dec. 8. A verdict is expected in January

Teachers’ Association president placed on leave following ‘serious’ allegations

‘I’m going to let the membership decide what it is that they want to do about this’

Lower Post, B.C., man suing Yukon RCMP over assault allegation

Suit alleges man ended up with ‘ended up with bruising on his arms, biceps and chest’

Yukon Rivermen host South Okanagan Knights for 3-game series

‘Having 15 games at home is absolutely unheard of for a Yukon team’

Sort those recyclables

The mills that receive our recyclables are getting pickier

Supreme Court’s Peel decision is straight to the point

Ruling is an important, precedent-setting decision that defines the scope of land use planning

Celebrating 40 years of celebrating Yukon’s history

This year the Yukon Historical and Museums Association marks a major milestone

All about recalls

If your ride is subject to a recalll, take it in right away

Whitehorse tyke hockey program embraces half-ice setup

‘If they’re on half-ice, they get to touch the puck’

Yukon Men’s Basketball League expands in fourth season

‘Come playoff time, guys get a little more intense and the skill level increases’

Most Read