Political rookie Julie Anne Ames represents Green Party in Lake Laberge

Julie Anne Ames wasn’t initially sold on the idea of running for the Yukon Green Party, but now she is the party’s candidate in Lake Laberge.

Julie Anne Ames wasn’t initially sold on the idea of running for the Yukon Green Party.

But now she is the party’s candidate in Lake Laberge.

“I see the bigger picture of running and giving people the option to vote Green,” she told the News on Thursday.

“I want the choice to vote Green — so now I have one.”

Ames, who was raised in B.C., but spent time in Ottawa and Montreal, moved to the territory three years ago.

She got involved with the Green Party last year during the federal election, working as the riding coordinator for Frank de Jong’s campaign.

Ames said the Greens want the territory’s economy to move towards “clean tech” and renewable energy.

They’re not opposed to mining, but want to see it done more sustainably, she said. That could mean using renewable energy to power some of the mining operations.

On the topic of the carbon tax, the Greens are in favour of one at a higher rate than what Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he will enact.

They favour a rate of $30 per tonne of CO2 to start, increasing every year to reach $100 per tonne. That’s twice the amount Trudeau wants the provinces and territories to charge by 2022.

That would only cost an extra $300 a year for the average Yukoner, Ames said, though she wasn’t able to provide figures for that calculation.

The tax would be revenue neutral, but she said the details would have to involve discussions with Yukoners on the exact form it would take.

Ames said she’d like to work with placer miners to find ways to mine using less fossil fuels.

There’s been a renewed interest in the Green Party since people realized there are five candidates running in the election, she said.

“We are a very small party,” she said. “We’re not everywhere at all times.”

Attending debates and town halls has proven difficult, because some of them require the leader and don’t allow participation by videoconference.

Green Leader Frank de Jong lives in Faro.

As for Lake Laberge’s local needs, Ames said the area needs a community centre similar to Mount Lorne’s.

Currently residents use the Hootalinqua fire hall to meet.

It’s the only riding without a municipality, she said, extending from Ibex Valley to the Takhini Hot Springs, Fox Lake and Braeburn.

She would also like to see what she calls a “central distribution counter” for local farmers to sell their products, located around Lake Laberge.

“(We need) somewhere to consolidate their product more rather than just (going to) the Fireweed Market, Farmer Robert’s or the Potluck food co-op,” she said.

Ames has a master’s degree in geography and environmental studies. She’s worked for non-profits for the past 10 years, after working for Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada, and lecturing at universities.

She works for Yukon Learn, a non-profit offering free literacy services.

“I feel like I have a pretty broad range of experiences I can bring to the table,” she said.

Ames will be facing Brad Cathers, the Yukon Party candidate seeking re-election, the NDP’s Anne Tayler and the Liberal’s Alan Young.

Contact Pierre Chauvin at pierre.chauvin@yukon-news.com