Rouble packs it in

Education Minister Patrick Rouble won't run in the upcoming territorial election. He intends to give up politics and pursue a doctorate in education at the University of Calgary.

Education Minister Patrick Rouble won’t run in the upcoming territorial election.

He intends to give up politics and pursue a doctorate in education at the University of Calgary.

Party insiders expressed shock at Rouble’s impending departure. But it would be no surprise to anyone who spoke to him at the Yukon Party’s recent leadership forum.

When asked about his plans for the future then, he hemmed and hawed for a good half-minute, then gave a nonanswer.

Rouble was said to have harboured leadership ambitions, only to find none of his cabinet colleagues come out to support him. He won’t say whether this is true. But, at the forum, he appeared particularly sour.

Rouble declined an interview request this week. By email, he bragged about the Yukon Party’s accomplishments, then declined to elaborate on his reasons for leaving.

“I’m sure the pundits will invent all kinds of theories,” he wrote. “That doesn’t mean that there is any truth to them, does it?”

Rouble holds the Southern Lakes riding. It would be up for grabs next election, if it still existed.

But Yukon’s electoral map has been redrawn. As a result, Rouble’s riding has merged with Mount Lorne, held by the NDP’s Steve Cardiff.

The matchups for the coming election form a jigsaw puzzle with many missing pieces, for now. But politicians of all stripes are scurrying to prepare, as would-be candidates vie for riding nominations.

In Porter Creek South, the Yukon Party’s nomination fight is between a landlord and a lumberjack.

Mike Nixon, who runs a property management company, gave up his other job as party president this week to seek the nomination. He ran in the recent downtown byelection, losing to NDP Leader Liz Hanson.

Russ Hobbis, owner of Bilsen Creek Tree Service, also plans to run. He was a Yukon Party Candidate for Copperbelt in 2006, losing to Liberal Leader Arthur Mitchell.

Hobbis enjoys one advantage: he’s lived in the riding for 15 years. Nixon lives in Copper Ridge, but he says that, if he were to become MLA, he’d move. Riding members vote June 28.

Porter Creek South is currently held by Liberal MLA Don Inverarity. He won in 2006 by just six votes against Yukon Party candidate Dean Hassard, so he may hold one of the more vulnerable seats.

The Klondike is the one riding with a complete lineup.

The Yukon Party’s Steve Nordick has held the seat since 2006. Last month, after a long stint as the government’s only backbencher, he finally won a cabinet portfolio, as minister responsible for Economic Development and the lottery, liquor and housing corporations.

But Nordick will have to fend off complaints about the territory’s handling of the controversial Slinky placer mine that’s a stone’s throw from homes in the Midnight Dome subdivision.

The NDP’s Jorn Meier ran against Nordick in 2006. He will try again this autumn. Meier is a former president of the Dawson City Chamber of Commerce and the current chair of the Klondike Visitors Association.

Sandy Silver, a school teacher, will run for the Liberals.

This week, the New Democrats trotted out three would-be candidates for Riverdale’s two ridings.

Jan Stick, a former Whitehorse councillor, wants to represent the party in Riverdale South. So does Dave Blottner, executive director of the Boys and Girls Club.

The seat’s held by Health Minister Glenn Hart.

Yesterday, the Liberals announced they have a potential candidate for the riding, too: Dan Curtis, the executive director of Skills Canada Yukon.

In Riverdale North, the NDP’s chief of staff, Peter Lesniak, plans to take another kick at the can. He made an unsuccessful bid in 2006 for Riverdale South.

The NDP has also recruited former cabinet minister Lois Moorcroft to run in Copperbelt South.

The Liberal pick for the riding is Colleen Wirth, the Yukon College’s director of student services. She made an unsuccessful bid for Mount Lorne in 2006.

Steve Cardiff remains the NDP’s man for Mount Lorne. And Leader Liz Hanson is expected to defend the downtown.

As well, it’s expected Kevin Barr, the NDP’s candidate in the last federal election, will enter territorial politics.

The Liberals plan to run Mike Simon, a government electrician, in Lake Laberge. The riding has been held by the Yukon Party’s Brad Cathers since 2002.

And Kerry Huff, former principal of Porter Creek Secondary School, will carry the Liberal flag in Porter Creek Centre. That’s the riding of Archie Lang, minister of Community Services and Highways and Public Works.

The Yukon Party has yet to pick many candidates, but their new leader, Darrell Pasloski, announced a roster of potential picks during last month’s leadership forum.

They include:

* Garry Njootli, past contender to be Vuntut Gwitchin chief and nephew of the late Grafton Njootli, the first aboriginal person to be elected to Yukon’s legislature;

* Mike Crawshay, Haines Junction councillor, past chair of Alsek Renewable Resources Council and past Yukon Party candidate for Kluane;

* Wade Istchenko, co-chair of Alsek Renewable Resources Council;

* Dean Hassard, Yukon Party MLA for Pelly-Nisutlin from 2002-06, candidate for Porter Creek South in 2006;

* Val Boxall, Yukon Party candidate for Mount Lorne in 2006;

* Lana Putnam, advocate for better addictions treatment services, following the recent suicide of her son, Chris.

Contact John Thompson at

johnt@yukon-news.com.

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

Just Posted

Team Togo member Katie Moen sits in a sled behind a snowmobile for the ride from the airport to Chief Zzeh Gittlit School. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Coming together: How Old Crow became one of the first communities in the world to be fully vaccinated

Team Togo and Team Balto assembled with a mission to not waste a single dose of vaccine

Main Street in Whitehorse on May 4. If council moves forward with bylaw changes, eating and drinking establishments could set up pop-up patios in on-street parking spaces. (Stephanie Waddell/Yukon News)
Patios may be popping up in Whitehorse this summer

City considers program for downtown restaurants and bars

The Yukon Coroner's Service has confirmed the death of a skateboarder found injured on Hamilton Boulevard on May 2. Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News
Whitehorse man dies in skateboarding accident

Coroner urges the use of helmets, protective gear, while skateboarding.

The new Yukon Liberal caucus poses for a photo during the swearing-in ceremony held on May 3. (Yukon Government/Submitted)
Liberal cabinet sworn in at legislature before house resumes on May 11

Newly elected MLA Jeremy Harper has been nominated as speaker.

The Yukon Wildlife Preserve’s baby bison, born April 22, mingles with the herd on April 29. (John Tonin/Yukon News)
Yukon Wildlife Preserves welcomes two bison calves

A bison calf was the first 2021 baby born at the Yukon Wildlife Preserve

A map provided by the Yukon government shows the location of unpermitted logging leading to a $2,500 fine. (Courtesy/Yukon government)
Man fined $2,500 for felling trees near Beaver Creek

The incident was investigated by natural resource officers and brought to court.

The site of the Old Crow solar project photographed on Feb. 20. The Vuntut Gwitchin solar project was planned for completion last summer, but delays related to the COVID-19 pandemic pushed it back. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Old Crow is switching to solar

The first phase of the community’s solar array is already generating power.

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
One new case of COVID-19 in the Yukon

Case number 82 is the territory’s only active case

Flood and fire risk and potential were discussed April 29. Yukoners were told to be prepared in the event of either a flood or a fire. Submitted Photo/B.C. Wildfire Service
Yukoners told to be prepared for floods and wildland fire season

Floods and fire personelle spoke to the current risks of both weather events in the coming months.

From left to right, Pascale Marceau and Eva Capozzola departed for Kluane National Park on April 12. The duo is the first all-woman expedition to summit Mt. Lucania. (Michael Schmidt/Icefield Discovery)
First all-woman team summits Mt. Lucania

“You have gifted us with a magical journey that we will forever treasure.”

Whitehorse City Hall (Yukon News file)
City news, briefly

Whitehorse goings-on for the week of April 26

The Yukon Department of Education in Whitehorse on Dec. 22, 2020. The department has announced new dates for the 2021/2022 school year. (John Hopkins-Hill/Yukon News file)
Yukon school dates set for 2021/22

The schedule shows classes starting on Aug. 23, 2021 for all Whitehorse schools and in some communities.

Most Read