Stacey Hassard named Yukon Party’s interim leader

Stacey Hassard will be the Yukon Party’s interim leader as it forms the new official Opposition.

Stacey Hassard will be the Yukon Party’s interim leader as it forms the new official Opposition.

The MLA for Pelly-Nisutlin will take over for outgoing premier Darrell Pasloski, who resigned after losing his seat in Mountainview during the territorial election on Nov. 7.

As interim leader, Hassard will not be eligible to run for the permanent leadership.

“I have no aspirations to be the premier,” he said. “But I’m more than happy to step up and fill in where I’m needed.”

The Yukon Party will decide when to choose a permanent leader at its annual general meeting in the spring of 2017.

As interim leader, Hassard said, his job will be to ensure “that the government spends taxpayers’ dollars in a responsible fashion.”

He said the party hasn’t yet picked a shadow cabinet, but carbon pricing, procurement and housing in Ross River are some of the issues he will hold the new Liberal government to account on.

Hassard was first elected in 2011, and is the outgoing minister of economic development and minister responsible for the housing and liquor corporations.

He said the Yukon Party’s morale is good, despite having lost five seats to the Liberals in the election.

“I mean, I think there’s a little bit of shock,” he said. “You never expect to lose, you never want to lose. But I think in reality the election was a lot closer than a lot of people think.”

He pointed out that the Liberals won several ridings by just a handful of votes.

“So it’s not like the Yukon lost complete faith in the Yukon Party,” he said. “We just need to get back to our grassroots core group and make sure that we’re headed in the right direction. We’ve got a few years to rebuild and I’m confident that we will.”

Despite the fact that the Liberals won a majority with just 39 per cent of the popular vote, Hassard said he doesn’t see any reason to change the current voting system.

“I’m certainly not crying in my milk or anything over losing the election,” he said. “People made a decision and we have to live with it.”

He said the six Yukon Party candidates who were elected are “a really good team with plenty of experience.” Geraldine Van Bibber will be the party’s only rookie MLA.

Still, the party is facing some major changes as it moves into Opposition for the first time in 14 years. Hassard said the Yukon Party caucus now has a budget for just three staff, down from about 20 during its time in office.

Ted Laking has been hired as the new chief of staff, replacing Michael Hale.

The Yukon Party caucus will be sworn in at noon on Nov. 29 in the legislative assembly. The NDP swearing-in is scheduled for 11 a.m. on Nov. 25.

The Liberal government will be sworn in on Dec. 3 at 11 a.m., and the cabinet at 2 p.m.

Premier-designate Sandy Silver will take his oath at the Dawson City Museum at noon on Dec. 1.

Contact Maura Forrest at maura.forrest@yukon-news.com

Just Posted

Yukon’s Japanese association launches its first sake festival

Former president says the hope is to bring people together to learn

Yukon First Nations, AFN Yukon, CYFN sign climate change emergency declaration

The declaration was signed on the last day of the Yukon First Nations Climate Action Gathering

Yukon Fish and Game Association opposed to moose management proposals

Executive director Eric Schroff said he thinks Yukon government needs to be more transparent

WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World

Casino taking more time with mine proposal

Statement not expected to be submitted to YESAB until Dec. 31, 2021

Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in to hold general election in April

On top of voting for chief, three councillors, citizens will vote for a deputy chief for first time

Yukon’s minimum wage set to increase by $1 to $13.71 in April

The increase will make the Yukon’s minimum wage the fourth-highest in the country

City news, briefly

Some of the decisions made at the Whitehorse council meeting on Feb 17

Yukonomist: Three questions on Yukon Zinc and China

The case heard recently in Yukon Supreme Court is particularly troubling

Commentary: Highway plans will negatively impact safety

The proposed Alaska Highway work will impact our safety, our communities and our environment.

Olivia Webster is the final musher to finish the Yukon Quest

‘I guess I’ve always been a grandpa’s girl and he’s my best friend, so I kind of wanted to be like him and so I did it’

Yukon’s Rob Cooke and company finish 10th in the 2020 Yukon Quest

Cooke and his 14 Siberians crossed the finish line at 9:07 a.m. on Feb. 15 in Whitehorse

Lights Out Yukon Invitational Basketball Tournament bigger than ever in sixth year

“Honestly, it was the smoothest tournament I think we’ve run yet”

Most Read