Dave Sloan will be running against Premier Darrell Pasloski in the next territorial election.
“I’ve been contemplating coming back for quite some time,” said the longtime Yukoner and former MLA, who announced his candidacy Tuesday for the Moutainview riding.
Sloan was Health minister under the NDP government of Piers McDonald in the ‘90s.
His drift toward the Liberal camp began when he started working for former Yukon MP Larry Bagnell.
“I realized I feel most comfortable in a centrist party,” said Sloan.
The NDP chases away mining, while the Yukon Party will support all industrial developments, but nothing else, he said.
“Pasloski is running for Fort Mac (McMurray) North,” said Sloan, referencing the Yukon Party’s industry-heavy agenda.
“Future development is great, but it has to accompany social development.”
Sloan motioned to the tents on the lawn of the legislature.
“We have a housing problem,” he said. “And we just found out the Yukon Party has been sitting on $15 million that could have been used for social housing.”
If you’re sitting on money and, at the same time, trying to access more money from the feds, it weakens the case, he said.
Instead of watching more condos go up, Sloan, if elected, would work with the private sector to build more affordable apartment complexes.
“Because right now it’s almost impossible for people to find a decent affordable place to live.”
On top of that, “we also have an overcrowded emergency room because Yukoners can’t find family doctors.”
The Yukon Party has been promising to fix these problems for the last nine years, said Liberal Leader Arthur Mitchell, who announced he was seeking re-election in Copperbelt North.
“If they haven’t done it by now, why would we trust they will fix it if they’re re-elected?”
Sloan would like to see young people, like his son, returning to the Yukon after going to university Outside.
“I want to make sure people who grew up here can achieve their dreams here,” he said.
“We want to see a thriving economy and protect the Peel.”
Sloan’s Mountainview riding has an interesting cross section of people, he said.
And after working in rural Yukon, as superintendent of Yukon schools, and with First Nations on education, he is up for the challenge.
“I have a good sense of the diverse needs of the people,” he said.
Sloan wants to tackle housing, medical problems and increase support for young people. And he wants to make sure First Nation students’ achievement in school is commensurate with non-First Nations.
“Right now, the rising tide does not lift all boats,” he said.
“With so much prosperity we shouldn’t leave Yukoners at the wayside.”
The Yukon Party has a lot of explaining to do, said Mitchell.
“When you look at the books, the last two years the Yukon Party has promised surpluses and delivered deficits.
“The Yukon government has seen record transfer payments and record budgets and still managed to rack up hundreds of thousands in debt through their Crown corporations.”
After Pasloski took over as premier, Mitchell urged him to call a short sitting of the legislature to sort out new spending.
“Instead, he acted the same as (former premier Dennis) Fentie,” said Mitchell.
“To avoid scrutiny he just got special warrants to announce spending.”
Contact Genesee Keevil at firstname.lastname@example.org