Marsh Lake’s fire chief will be the Yukon Party’s candidate in Mount Lorne-Southern Lakes for this year’s territorial election.
Rob Schneider said the Yukon Party is best-placed to support local businesses and the mining sector as commodity prices climb out of their current slump.
He said he’d like to ensure that Yukoners have proper training so that they are eligible for local mining jobs as the industry picks back up.
“I’m not sure if you can protect Yukon’s economy from falling commodity prices,” he said. “(Training) is one way to be prepared.”
Schneider was skeptical of the Yukon’s ability to diversify its economy much beyond mining and tourism.
“I don’t see, other than travel and tourism, what the other sectors are right now,” he said.
He said the IT industry would be a good fit for the Yukon. “But we don’t have the infrastructure here, as we know from yesterday,” he said, referring to the latest cut to the fibre optic line that disrupted cell phone service and internet in the territory on Tuesday.
Schneider has worked as care and maintenance supervisor for Alexco’s Bellekeno mine near Keno City for the last eight years. He previously spent six years working in mining exploration.
Asked about the Yukon government’s relationship with First Nations when it comes to natural resource development, he said the most important thing is the relationship between First Nations and the mining companies operating in their traditional territories.
“You can get it done with good relations,” he said.
Schneider has also spent 10 years with Marsh Lake Fire Rescue, five years with Emergency Medical Services, and has spent time as a member of Yukon Search and Rescue. He is also a board member of the Yukon Police Council.
He said he’d like to work at improving volunteer recruitment and retention for those types of services.
“I recognize it’s hard to retain and recruit volunteers,” he said. “I don’t know what the answer is, but it’s definitely a problem.”
Schneider has lived in Marsh Lake for 11 years, and will be campaigning against NDP MLA Kevin Barr and Liberal candidate John Streicker for the Mount Lorne-Southern Lakes riding, which includes Carcross, Tagish, Mount Lorne and Marsh Lake.
“I know Kevin and I’m very good friends with John. I believe that we’ve got three strong candidates, and this is now going to come down to the politics of it,” he said.
“We’re all three nice guys. It’ll come down to issues.”
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