A longtime Yukoner who’s worked in sports, corporate sponsorship and tourism has thrown his hat in the ring for the Liberal nomination in Porter Creek Centre.
Paolo Gallina announced his intention to run last Thursday. He stood on the front lawn of his Porter Creek home, his children playing nearby.
“To win this nomination, I need to show you, the constituents of this riding, that I am the best man for the job and that work begins today,” Gallina said.
He will be facing off against Karlo Krauzig, the owner of Yukon Shine Distillery, for the nomination.
Gallina moved to the Yukon in 1995 to work in the tourism industry. He and his wife have lived in Porter Creek for six years. They have four daughters, and Gallina’s father also lives with them.
Gallina works for Northwestel as a community investment manager, handling sponsorship and investment across the Yukon, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut. His portfolio includes initiatives related to aboriginal culture, mental health and youth, he said.
He was the marketing manager for the 2007 Canada Winter Games in Whitehorse, worked with marketing firm Outside the Cube to deliver Hockey Day in Canada to the city in 2011 and raised sponsorship funds for the Arctic Winter Games in 2012.
“My entire career in the Yukon has centred on building relationships, trust, and finding common ground across a spectrum of community, social and corporate interests,” Gallina said. “I know how to navigate bureaucratic channels to get stuff done.”
Two of his priorities are children and seniors. He said he wants to make sure youth have education opportunities that prepare them for the workforce and help them grow into productive members of society.
Gallina said it’s important the government also provide realistic options for health and life care for seniors.
“I believe that the Liberal government under the honest, respectful leadership of Sandy Silver is the government the Yukon needs.”
Gallina decided to enter politics after seeing some of his friends doing the same, he said. His family supported his decision.
“I feel like I can bring positive change to the Yukon,” he said. “I think that I align very well with the Liberal Party values so I stepped forward.”
From the time he’s spent in corporate workplaces, he said he’ll bring to the job of MLA an understanding of how to find common ground, how to respond to people on time and how to help people’s concerns be addressed.
Former Speaker David Laxton is currently the MLA in Porter Creek Centre. He was elected for the Yukon Party, but he left the party last spring over an allegation of sexual harassment. He now sits as an Independent.
The Yukon Party has not yet announced a candidate for Porter Creek Centre. Party president Linda Hillier has said Laxton will not be running for the incumbent party in this election.
Former elementary school principal Pat Berrel is the NDP’s candidate for the riding.
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