Recently, there has been a virtual blizzard of candidate nominations and acclimations in preparation for the upcoming territorial election.
But the Klondike riding still has ballot vacancies.
Chief among them, Peter Jenkins, the riding’s independent MLA.
Last year, Jenkins was unceremoniously dumped from his posts as Health and Social Services minister and deputy premier within the Yukon Party after he refused to pay back his $300,000 loan.
But with $286,000 now paid to the loan’s collector, Dana Naye Ventures, will Jenkins run again?
And if he does will it be for the Yukon Party?
“All the options are open, except for the NDP — they’ve got a candidate here,” said Jenkins, in an interview from Dawson City on Tuesday.
Jorn Meier has already won the NDP’s nomination for the riding and the election will be his first dive into territorial politics.
Jenkins, who was first elected to as the Klondike’s MLA in 1996 and was a cabinet minister from 2002 to 2005, was quick to stress he hasn’t decided what his political future holds, but he’s not ruling anything out.
“I think it’s a little premature,” he said, when asked if he would run in the next election.
“Do you have any idea when the election’s going to be called? I’ve got so many days after that to get in there and do something.”
Though Premier Dennis Fentie and other Yukon Party representatives were in Dawson last week, Jenkins did not meet with them, he said.
The Yukon Party has not announced a candidate for the Klondike riding and was unavailable for comment.
The Liberals are also without a Klondike candidate at the moment, but will field a full slate of candidates for the election, said Liberal researcher Jason Cunning.
“We had two; we scheduled a nomination meeting, but in the last two weeks both candidates have backed out for personal reasons,” said Cunning on Tuesday.
Jenkins may not have ruled anything out except the NDP, but Cunning was quick to note the Liberals aren’t interested in having him as their candidate in the riding. (TQ)
The million-dollar battle
Liberal leader Arthur Mitchell says Premier Dennis Fentie should “pay up” the $1 million the Yukon Party promised to Dawson City.
But Mitchell is merely “misleading” the public and playing politics, says Fentie.
Welcome to the still unofficial election campaign.
In April, the Yukon Party promised Dawson $1 million for capital infrastructure and it has yet to be delivered, said Mitchell in a news release issued last week.
“The premier and minister of Community Services (Glenn Hart) need to get this bill paid right away,” he said in the release.
“I want to assure the mayor and council that a Liberal government would honour this outstanding commitment.”
The issue was raised after hearing Dawson mayor John Steins’ concern about the money, said Mitchell on Wednesday.
But Fentie has since visited Dawson and met with Steins, and he’s unimpressed with Mitchell’s math.
“The $1 million is not in question. It is committed by management board; it is absolute,” said Fentie on Wednesday.
The money is not a one-time payment, but a fund to be drawn upon by Dawson for infrastructure, he explained.
A recent letter from Dawson’s council provides the Yukon with a list of capital projects that could qualify for access to the fund, Fentie said.
The total of the first request from the fund was $238,000 — $40,000 of which was for an engineering study to identify water and sewer capital needs, he said.
Fentie assured Steins that the two can talk “at any time” if there are problems with the arrangement, said Fentie.
“Here, again, is an example of Mr. Mitchell and the Liberals just throwing money around without any focus on results-based approaches and accountability,” said Fentie.
“Mr. Mitchell’s motivation (for his press release) is obviously political, and I need go no further.”
That, after he dryly noted that Dawson’s financial woes were created under the previous Liberal government. (TQ)