Protest held to condemn Yukon Party MLAs’ texts

Ron Rousseau holds a sign saying ‘It’s time for a cultural shift’ during the Yukoners: Raise Your Voice Against Misogyny rally on May 11. (John Tonin/Yukon News)Ron Rousseau holds a sign saying ‘It’s time for a cultural shift’ during the Yukoners: Raise Your Voice Against Misogyny rally on May 11. (John Tonin/Yukon News)
’Stacey Hassard, MLA is a HAZARD to THE YUKON’ reads Shaun LeDue’s sign. (John Tonin/Yukon News)’Stacey Hassard, MLA is a HAZARD to THE YUKON’ reads Shaun LeDue’s sign. (John Tonin/Yukon News)
A protestor holds their sign up to passing traffic on May 11. (John Tonin/Yukon News)A protestor holds their sign up to passing traffic on May 11. (John Tonin/Yukon News)

A rally was held outside the Legislative Assembly on May 11, the first day of the post-election spring sitting, to protest the vulgar texts from Yukon Party MLAs Stacey Hassard and Wade Istchenko.

The gathering, just shy of 100, was called Yukoners: Raise Your Voice Against Misogyny. The rally was organized for those appalled by the “misogyny, homophobia (and) transphobia” of the messages.

The signs protestors held read “This is Action for Change?” or “Hold them Accountable” and “It’s time for a Cultural Schift”.

Some at the rally played the drums and cars honked their support as they passed by.

Sophie Delaigue said they helped coordinate the rally as a means of campaigning for a more inclusive Yukon.

“I think now, since it’s been about a week or so, it is not personal anymore,” said Delaigue. “We want a Yukon where there is no sexism, homophobia, transphobia. I think that Currie Dixon campaigned ‘Action for Change’ — we need this change. We need to have true leadership that shows the path to a very inclusive and diverse Yukon.”

The punishment Hassard and Istchenko received wasn’t as severe as Delaigue would have thought, but is still hopeful further action will be taken.

“It is 2021, I would have thought that some stronger action would have been taken to show the example,” said Delaigue. “These people were elected, they are public figures, they need to have very high standards.

“Hopefully, the assembly will take action with their conduct. If something like that happens again, we need strong leadership.”

Delaigue said the solution to this issue is to come together.

“We are all part of the solution and all together we will be making the change,” Delaigue said.

Molly Hobbis, a Porter Creek Secondary School student and member of the Gender and Sexuality Alliance (GSA), said the remarks made by the MLAs are not just a Yukon issue.

“I feel like this isn’t just a problem here,” said Hobbis. “This is a problem everywhere and it is such an easy fix. It is just people with just closed minds, we need to open our minds and open our hearts.”

Hobbis would like to see Hassard and Istchenko “suspended or fired” and hopes everyone in the legislature can learn a lesson from this.

“You are elected officials,” said Hobbis. “Even in your off time there will be people watching and you will be judged for your actions. That’s what they should have agreed to when they knew they would be in charge.”

Shaun LaDue said they attended the rally from a place of anger.

“What brought me out is a lot of anger toward these particular MLAs who have no regard for women, trans folks, and queer people,” said LaDue.

“I think these two men should show some backbone and step down from politics and not hurt people anymore.”

Contact John Tonin at

Yukon legislative assembly

Just Posted

John Hopkins-Hill/Yukon News file
Catherine Elliott, Yukon acting Chief Medical Officer of Health, has announced two new COVID-19 cases in the Yukon.
Two new COVID-19 cases confirmed, Porter Creek Secondary prom cancelled

Graduating students are encouraged to self-isolate and monitor for symptoms

Jim Elliot/Yukon News
Ross and Cindy Smith are finding more reason to smile as the floodwaters that almost reached their farm house were beginning to recede on June 8.
Farms on South Klondike Highway experience severe flooding

The nearest body of water is a lake almost three kilometres away


Wyatt’s World for June 11, 2021.… Continue reading

Whitehorse courthouse interior on April 6, 2018. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
CYFN launches pilot program for community impact statements

First Nations will receive support developing statements after major crimes

Israr Ahmed speaks at a vigil at the Whitehorse Mosque to honour the Muslim family killed in London, Ont. on June 10. (John Tonin/Yukon News)
Yukoners gather to honour Muslim family killed in London

Like many communities across the country, Yukoners came together to honour the Muslim family murdered in London Ontario

The RCMP Critical Incident Program will be training in Watson Lake from June 14-16. Mike Thomas/Yukon News
RCMP will conduct three days of training in Watson Lake

Lakeview Apartment in Watson Lake will be used for RCMP training

John Tonin/Yukon News Squash players duke it out during Yukon Open tournament action at Better Bodies on June 5.
Four division titles earned at squash Yukon Open

The territory’s squash talent was on full display at the 2021 Yukon Open

Runners leave the start line of the 2014 Klondike Trail of ‘98 International Road Relay Skagway. The 2021 race will start at checkpoint six and remain in the Yukon only. (Tom Patrick/Yukon News)
Klondike Road Relay returns to in-person after a virtual year

A modified, in-person Klondike Road Relay will be open to Yukoners

John Tonin/Yukon News Rang Pillai speaks at the Great Yukon Summer press conference on May 27.
‘The sooner the better’: Operators react to Great Yukon Summer campaign

The Great Yukon Summer campaign was announced May 27 and begins June 4

Mayor Dan Curtis stands in front of Minister Richard Mostyn and MP Larry Bagnell during an infastructure announcement made outside Jack Hulland Elementary School in Whitehorse on June 2. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Safety improvements planned for Whitehorse school zones

Enhanced pedestrian crosses are planned to make walking to school safer

2020 Haines Junction graduates line up for a photo on May 27, 2020 as part of a celebration parade through the village. While the St. Elias Community School is able to host an outdoor grad ceremony for 2021 grads this year, it will also host a parade and group photo as it did last year. (Marty Samis/Submitted)
Ceremonies and parades all part of 2021 grad

2021 sees old traditions return with some 2020 events adopted

A rendering of the proposed new city hall/services building and transit hub. (City of Whitehorse/submitted)
New city hall could cost $24.7 million

Council will be presented with latest plans June 7

Most Read