The owner of P&M Recycling Depot, Pat McInroy, has put his name in the hat to be the Yukon Party candidate in Copperbelt North for the upcoming territorial election.
Now is just the right time, said the lifetime Yukon Party member, who also served as party president from 2011 to 2016.
“Obviously, I’ve been very interested in it for the past half-decade or so,” he told the News on Thursday.
“My kids are now at a reasonable age, they’re not quite so reliant on me … I think it’s the right time.”
The lifelong Yukoner has been operating the recycling business since 1998, valuable experience for a future MLA, he said.
“It has a lot of common traits. You try to do the absolute best for your employees.”
It’s also about treating people with respect, he says.
He wants to run under the Yukon Party banner because the government has balanced the budget and he feels the social programming available for Yukoners is adequate.
“I do think the Yukon has quite a few social programs,” he said.
But there’s always room for improvement, he acknowledged.
“I think every government’s goal is to try to get better and better.”
While the current economic downturn is affecting the territory, McInroy said previous market fluctuations have affected the Yukon much more.
“I don’t know a lot of people looking for work,” he said.
“I remember the economy growing up in the ‘80s and ‘90s. It wasn’t good at all.”
Today as a business owner, he said he sees the difference and is constantly looking for employees.
He also stressed that the Pasloski government has invested in tourism.
“From what I can see, the Yukon government has a high amount of interest in tourism industry-type jobs.”
The low dollar combined with the low price of gas will be beneficial for tourism this year, he noted.
“All kinds of market influences play into industry regardless of whether it’s mining.”
When asked about the relationship between the Yukon government and other levels of government, including self-governing Yukon First Nations, McInroy equated it to a marriage.
“I don’t think you’re going to get along with everyone every minute of every day,” he said.
“The trick is you have to work on it.”
While he said he can’t speak to individual relationships with First Nations, he notes things have improved.
“I think the Yukon Party has gotten much better over the past two to three years in dealing with First Nations governments.”
The Yukon government has been embroiled in numerous lawsuits brought by Yukon First Nations in the past three years, including a high-profile court case over the Peel watershed that will be heard by the Supreme Court of Canada.
McInroy will be facing off against Lindsay Schneider for the Yukon Party in the riding. Incumbent MLA Currie Dixon has announced he will not be seeking re-election.
Raj Murugaiyan and Ted Adel are seeking the nomination for the Liberals. The NDP has yet to announce a potential candidate for the riding.
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