Pasloski picks cabinet

The Yukon Party’s new cabinet was sworn in on Saturday. Elaine Taylor is minister of Community Services, the Public Service Commission, the women’s directorate and French language services. The MLA for Whitehorse West also continues her role as deputy premier.

The Yukon Party’s new cabinet was sworn in on Saturday.

Elaine Taylor is minister of Community Services, the Public Service Commission, the women’s directorate and French language services. The MLA for Whitehorse West also continues her role as deputy premier.

Brad Cathers is house leader and minister of Energy, Mines and Resources. The MLA for Lake Laberge is also responsible for the Yukon Energy Corporation.

Taylor and Cathers are the only two returning Yukon Party MLAs. Both have served since 2002, and Premier Darrell Pasloski is counting on each to shoulder important files.

Community Services is a potential minefield, as failing sewer lines and mould-ridden rural offices always cause lots of squawking.

And Taylor will have to explain why the Whistle Bend subdivision has become a treeless moonscape, why plans to tap geothermal energy were nixed and how the development came to be dogged by a contract dispute.

Cathers will have to prepare for Yukon’s looming power pinch. His return to the energy file is also a vindication – he quit the job in the autumn of 2009 after falling out with then-premier Dennis Fentie over the ATCO energy privatization scandal, and spent the following year and a half sitting as an Independent.

Other MLAs with experience serving under previous governments were also rewarded with cabinet posts.

Porter Creek North MLA Doug Graham, who served as a Progressive Conservative Justice and Education minister three decades ago, before his most recent incarnation as a city councillor, is minister of Health and Social Services and the Yukon Workers’ Compensation Health and Safety Board.

As such, Graham will need to weigh in to national discussions on Ottawa’s health transfers, as the current agreement expires in 2014. As it stands, Yukon’s Health Department is always pinched for cash and dependably overruns its budget each year.

[image2]

And Riverdale North MLA Scott Kent, a one-time Liberal cabinet minister, is minister of Education and the housing, liquor and lotteries corporations.

Important jobs didn’t just go to those with ministerial experience. Currie Dixon, a rising star in the Yukon Party who knocked out Liberal Leader Arthur Mitchell in Copperbelt North, is minister of Economic Development and the Environment.

He’s just 26. He may be the youngest cabinet minister in Canadian history.

This is Dixon’s first elected position. But he’s familiar with the corridors of power, having served as the executive assistant to Cathers and, more recently, as a senior policy wonk for Pasloski.

Some may see the twin tasks of Economic Development and Environment as being in conflict with one another. But not Pasloski.

He said in an interview that he assigned both roles to Dixon to make a point. “It speaks to how we want to create a balance,” he said.

Wade Istchenko, MLA for Kluane, is minister of Highways and Public Works.

And Mike Nixon, MLA for Porter Creek South, is minister of Justice, and Tourism and Culture.

Pasloski will continue to serve as Finance minister, and, in doing so, will keep control over the government’s purse strings.

Pasloski touted his background as the owner of two pharmacies as to why he kept the Finance job. And it’s tradition – nearly every Yukon premier has held that file, he said.

Three Yukon Party MLAs are left in the back benches: Pelly-Nisutlin MLA Stacey Hassard, Watson Lake MLA Patti McLeod and Porter Creek Centre MLA David Laxton.

One is expected to be named Speaker. That leaves room for one free member to be promoted into cabinet – the government is required to keep at least one backbencher.

Pasloski intends to call an “abbreviated” session of the legislature sometime before Christmas. During that time he will read the throne speech and table a supplementary budget. No major pieces of legislation are expected to be tabled.

Contact John Thompson at johnt@yukon-news.com.

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