Pasloski backed by Hart, Horne

Health Minister Glenn Hart and Justice Minister Marian Horne are supporting Darrell Pasloski's bid to become the Yukon Party leader.

Health Minister Glenn Hart and Justice Minister Marian Horne are supporting Darrell Pasloski’s bid to become the Yukon Party leader.

Their endorsement, announced Friday, further complicates a three-way race that’s produced a tangled web of allegiances.

Pasloski, a 50-year-old pharmacist who carried the Conservative banner during the 2008 federal election, is also backed by Brad Cathers, MLA for Lake Laberge, and Craig Tuton, a party heavyweight and past campaign organizer.

Pasloski has also lined up a slate of eight potential candidates willing to run in the next territorial election. Among them is Dean Hassard, who served as MLA for Pelly-Nisutlin from 2002-06.

The chief threat to Pasloski’s bid is Rod Taylor, a 51-year-old dog musher and businessman. He’s supported by four government members: Tourism Minister Elaine Taylor, Community Services Minister Archie Lang, Environment Minister John Edzerza and Speaker Ted Staffen.

Then there’s Jim Kenyon. Before the leadership race, the 64-year-old veterinarian was responsible for the Department of Economic Development and the liquor, lottery and housing corporations.

But, shortly after declaring his leadership aspirations, Kenyon was sacked by Premier Dennis Fentie, he says, for criticizing the premier’s heavy-handed leadership style and confirming that Fentie had tried to sell off Yukon Energy’s assets, contrary to claims otherwise.

Kenyon caused the biggest commotion by disclosing that Fentie has sat on nearly $18 million in federal affordable housing money, allegedly to help plump up the territory’s savings account. But, to date, he hasn’t received any public endorsements.

The Yukon Party’s membership has swollen fivefold since the leadership race started, to 1,509, as of Tuesday. Members vote for a new leader on Saturday.

Pasloski has run a safe campaign. True-blue conservatives are impressed by his claims that he’s on friendly terms with Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Miners like his promise to not meddle with Yukon’s free-staking method of exploration.

Taylor has offered the boldest ideas. He wants to champion connecting the Yukon to British Columbia’s energy grid—a scheme that would cost upwards of $1 billion.

He promises to not stoop to sarcasm in the legislature and co-operate more with the opposition.

And he’s touted by his backers as an opportunity to broaden the party base and lure in centrist voters who may otherwise vote Liberal.

But the Yukon Party’s conservative core questions whether he’s one of them. Taylor only joined the Yukon Party last month, although he says he voted for the party in the past two elections.

Not long ago, as head of the Tourism Industry Association of the Yukon, Taylor slammed the government for showing “contempt” towards planning to protect the Peel Watershed. He’s since eaten those words and now avows he never wanted to see an area “the size of Scotland turned into a park.”

Liberals assert Taylor offered to run for their party, provided he became their leader. He disputes this, instead saying he was simply unwilling to serve under Liberal Leader Arthur Mitchell.

Fentie promised to trigger this leadership race one year ago, to appease party members unhappy with his handling of the ATCO affair. He hasn’t endorsed a candidate.

Contact John Thompson at

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

Just Posted

Team Togo member Katie Moen sits in a sled behind a snowmobile for the ride from the airport to Chief Zzeh Gittlit School. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Coming together: How Old Crow became one of the first communities in the world to be fully vaccinated

Team Togo and Team Balto assembled with a mission to not waste a single dose of vaccine

Main Street in Whitehorse on May 4. If council moves forward with bylaw changes, eating and drinking establishments could set up pop-up patios in on-street parking spaces. (Stephanie Waddell/Yukon News)
Patios may be popping up in Whitehorse this summer

City considers program for downtown restaurants and bars

The Yukon Coroner's Service has confirmed the death of a skateboarder found injured on Hamilton Boulevard on May 2. Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News
Whitehorse man dies in skateboarding accident

Coroner urges the use of helmets, protective gear, while skateboarding.

The new Yukon Liberal caucus poses for a photo during the swearing-in ceremony held on May 3. (Yukon Government/Submitted)
Liberal cabinet sworn in at legislature before house resumes on May 11

Newly elected MLA Jeremy Harper has been nominated as speaker.

The Yukon Wildlife Preserve’s baby bison, born April 22, mingles with the herd on April 29. (John Tonin/Yukon News)
Yukon Wildlife Preserves welcomes two bison calves

A bison calf was the first 2021 baby born at the Yukon Wildlife Preserve

A map provided by the Yukon government shows the location of unpermitted logging leading to a $2,500 fine. (Courtesy/Yukon government)
Man fined $2,500 for felling trees near Beaver Creek

The incident was investigated by natural resource officers and brought to court.

The site of the Old Crow solar project photographed on Feb. 20. The Vuntut Gwitchin solar project was planned for completion last summer, but delays related to the COVID-19 pandemic pushed it back. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Old Crow is switching to solar

The first phase of the community’s solar array is already generating power.

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
One new case of COVID-19 in the Yukon

Case number 82 is the territory’s only active case

Flood and fire risk and potential were discussed April 29. Yukoners were told to be prepared in the event of either a flood or a fire. Submitted Photo/B.C. Wildfire Service
Yukoners told to be prepared for floods and wildland fire season

Floods and fire personelle spoke to the current risks of both weather events in the coming months.

From left to right, Pascale Marceau and Eva Capozzola departed for Kluane National Park on April 12. The duo is the first all-woman expedition to summit Mt. Lucania. (Michael Schmidt/Icefield Discovery)
First all-woman team summits Mt. Lucania

“You have gifted us with a magical journey that we will forever treasure.”

Whitehorse City Hall (Yukon News file)
City news, briefly

Whitehorse goings-on for the week of April 26

The Yukon Department of Education in Whitehorse on Dec. 22, 2020. The department has announced new dates for the 2021/2022 school year. (John Hopkins-Hill/Yukon News file)
Yukon school dates set for 2021/22

The schedule shows classes starting on Aug. 23, 2021 for all Whitehorse schools and in some communities.

Most Read