Premier stages snoozefest

Premier Darrell Pasloski’s public meeting in Whitehorse, as part of his community tour, was a humdrum affair. Of the two-dozen people who attended the gathering in the Gold Rush Inn on Friday afternoon, only a few could not be counted as either party hacks or reporters.

Premier Darrell Pasloski’s public meeting in Whitehorse, as part of his community tour, was a humdrum affair.

Of the two-dozen people who attended the gathering in the Gold Rush Inn on Friday afternoon, only a few could not be counted as either party hacks or reporters.

Various theories were proposed for the poor turnout. The soggy weather, voter apathy and the sparse advertising for the event may have all played a part.

Pasloski had his own idea.

“Maybe it’s a reflection of how busy people are, and how good things are going,” he said.

Other community visits have proven more lively. In Carcross, residents kicked up a fuss over the new roadwork. As a result, territorial officials have tweaked the designs so that there’s now parking in front of the post office.

Judging by most of the tepid questions aimed at Pasloski in Whitehorse, you’d think Carcross parking was the biggest controversy facing the territory.

It all probably suited Pasloski fine, who’s approach as the autumn election looms is clearly to avoid rocking the boat and to say as little as possible.

Lewis Hartland wanted the territory to consider providing closed captioning for the legislature’s televised proceedings. He lost his hearing to spinal meningitis at infancy.

His request was translated by his son, Samson, who is the Yukon Party’s candidate for Takhini-Kopper King.

Pasloski referred the request to Janet Moodie, deputy minister of the executive council office. She assured Hartland she’d pass the query on to Floyd McCormick, the legislature’s clerk.

Dan Curtis, the Liberal candidate for Riverdale South, asked what the territory plans to do to boost the number of trades apprentices.

Parts of Yukon College’s industrial wing are currently empty enough that “you can shoot a gun off and not hit anybody,” said Curtis. Meanwhile, automobile shops are considering shuttering for lack of apprentices, who are being scooped up by mining exploration outfits, he said.

Pasloski agreed education was important, but he didn’t make any commitments. After an awkward pause, Curtis tried again.

Would the territory renew its funding commitments with the Yukon Mine Training Association? The organization’s contract with the territory lapses this spring.

Again, Pasloski made encouraging sounds, without offering an outright commitment to do anything.

The most poignant question came last. It was put by a soft-spoken Deborah Silverfox, who asked whether the territory would act on the recommendations of a task force that examined how the government treats hardcore alcoholics.

Her brother, Raymond, died in RCMP custody in December of 2008. While he vomited and soiled himself for more than 13 hours, guards and RCMP officers looked on and mocked Silverfox as he slowly succumbed to an acute infection caused from inhaling his own vomit.

“I just want to make sure something like that won’t happen again,” said Silverfox.

There’s a new and improved drunk tank being built by the territory, said Pasloski. It adjoins the new jail.

Bruce Beaton, a doctor who helped author the task force recommendations, has called the secure-assessment centre a good “first step,” but, by itself, a long way from the more comprehensive solution he’s proposed: a 24-hour accessible shelter and a well-equipped detoxification centre, located downtown.

Putnam’s out

The Yukon Party is looking for a new candidate for Whitehorse Centre, following Lana Putnam’s decision to withdraw her name on Friday.

Putnam’s political aspirations were spurred by the suicide of her son, Christopher, in January. She’s called for improved services for teenagers struggling with alcohol and drug addictions.

“As I began campaigning I found the loss of my son is too fresh and the wounds too deep,” she said in a release. 

“The citizens of Whitehorse Centre deserve 100 per cent commitment from their candidate and, at this time, I am unable to put forth the energy and focus required of me. For these reasons, it is with regret I am withdrawing from the campaign for Whitehorse Centre.”

The Yukon Party expects to have a new potential candidate announced within the next week, said Premier Darrell Pasloski.

The riding is held by NDP Leader Liz Hanson. The Liberals are running Patrick Singh, a downtown businessman.

Other than in the downtown riding, the Yukon Party has a complete election roster in place. The Liberals are nearly ready. The NDP still must name half of their candidates.

Kluane kerfuffle kept quiet

The Yukon Party is standing by its Kluane candidate, Wade Istchenko, despite complaints by contender Mike Crawshey that the narrowly-won race was marred by “irregularities.”

The party’s executive has looked into the complaint and ruled everything to be above board. Crawshey, a Haines Junction councillor and past Yukon Party candidate, wouldn’t comment on the dispute.

Istchenko is co-chair of Alsek Renewable Resources Council. He’s up against the Liberals’ Timothy Cant and the NDP’s Eric Stinson.

Contact John Thompson at

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

Just Posted

Children’s performer Claire Ness poses for a photo for the upcoming annual Pivot Festival. “Claire Ness Morning” will be a kid-friendly performance streamed on the morning of Jan. 30. (Photo courtesy Erik Pinkerton Photography)
Pivot Festival provides ‘delight and light’ to a pandemic January

The festival runs Jan. 20 to 30 with virtual and physically distant events

The Boulevard of Hope was launched by the Yukon T1D Support Network and will be lit up throughout January. It is aimed at raising awareness about Yukoners living with Type 1 diabetes. (Stephanie Waddell/Yukon News)
Boulevard of Hope sheds light on Type 1 diabetes

Organizers hope to make it an annual event

City of Whitehorse city council meeting in Whitehorse on Oct. 5, 2020. An updated council procedures bylaw was proposed at Whitehorse city council’s Jan. 18 meeting that would see a few changes to council meetings and how council handles certain matters like civil emergencies. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Whitehorse procedures bylaw comes forward

New measures proposed for how council could deal with emergencies

A Yukon survey querying transportation between communities has already seen hundreds of participants and is the latest review highlighting the territory’s gap in accessibility. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Multiple reports, survey decry lack of transportation between Yukon communities

A Community Travel survey is the latest in a slew of initiatives pointing to poor accessibility

Mobile vaccine team Team Balto practises vaccine clinic set-up and teardown at Vanier Catholic Secondary School. Mobile vaccine teams are heading out this week to the communities in order to begin Moderna vaccinations. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Mobile vaccine teams begin community vaccinations

“It’s an all-of-government approach”

A file photo of grizzly bear along the highway outside Dawson City. Yukon conservation officers euthanized a grizzly bear Jan. 15 that was originally sighted near Braeburn. (Alistair Maitland/Yukon News file)
Male grizzly euthanized near Braeburn

Yukon conservation officers have euthanized a grizzly bear that was originally sighted… Continue reading

Mayor Dan Curtis listens to a councillor on the phone during a city council meeting in Whitehorse on April 14, 2020. Curtis announced Jan. 14 that he intends to seek nomination to be the Yukon Liberal candidate for Whitehorse Centre in the 2021 territorial election. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Whitehorse mayor seeking nomination for territorial election

Whitehorse mayor Dan Curtis is preparing for a run in the upcoming… Continue reading

Gerard Redinger was charged under the <em>Civil Emergency Measures Act</em> with failing to self-isolate and failing to transit through the Yukon in under 24 hours. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Man ticketed $1,150 at Wolf Creek campground for failing to self-isolate

Gerard Redinger signed a 24-hour transit declaration, ticketed 13 days later

Yukon Energy, Solvest Inc. and Chu Níikwän Development Corporation are calling on the city for a meeting to look at possibilities for separate tax rates or incentives for renewable energy projects. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Tax changes sought for Whitehorse energy projects

Delegates call for separate property tax category for renewable energy projects

Yukon University has added seven members to its board of governors in recent months. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
New members named to Yukon U’s board of governors

Required number of board members now up to 17

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: Your Northern regulatory adventure awaits!

“Your Northern adventure awaits!” blared the headline on a recent YESAB assessment… Continue reading

Yukoner Shirley Chua-Tan is taking on the role of vice-chair of the social inclusion working group with the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences’ oversight panel and working groups for the autism assessment. (Submitted)
Canadian Academy of Health Sciences names Yukoner to panel

Shirley Chua-Tan is well-known for a number of roles she plays in… Continue reading

Most Read