Give Elaine Taylor credit for this much: the Yukon Party MLA for Whitehorse West knows how to play for media coverage when it’s time to seek re-election.
Last week, she declined to say whether she would run again, but she offered a trail of hints that all pointed towards her not seeking a third term.
That would have been a considerable blow to the governing party, which has already seen five incumbents bow out of the impending election.
Taylor, 43, is popular. And she holds down important jobs, as deputy premier and minister of Culture, Tourism and the Public Service Commission.
Following her announcement on Wednesday that she’d stand for re-election after all, we now know Taylor’s something else: savvy.
Taylor broke the news at her annual constituency barbecue at Ecole Emilie Tremblay, looking somewhat like the cat that had eaten the canary.
Since hinting at her resignation, Taylor said she’d been approached by many Yukoners on the street who urged her to stay.
“It has only reaffirmed my decision. There’s been so much support that’s been expressed.”
Taylor’s approach was very different from that taken by Health Minister Glenn Hart, who stood nearby flipping hotdogs on the grill. He quietly indicated he would seek another term several weeks ago, to little fanfare.
Taylor, by comparison, built up suspense. Last week, she hemmed and hawed to reporters about how she’d served as Tourism minister longer than her counterparts elsewhere in Canada and concluded “It’s been a real privilege”- not what you’d expect to hear from someone planning to seek a third term.
Taylor said she had made her decision, but she needed to speak to friends and family before going public.
When constituents later approached her, she told them that sometimes you know when it’s time to go.
Apparently, not now.
On Wednesday, she batted aside suggestions that she was cool to the new leadership of Premier Darrell Pasloski. He won the Yukon Party’s leadership campaign handily against two candidates, one of whom Taylor had backed.
But Taylor said she’d respect the outcome. “That’s what government is about,” she said. “It’s a team effort.”
She declared that the Yukon Party has made a “tremendous difference in the lives of Yukoners.”
Taylor must still seek her party’s nomination for the riding. So far, no other party has named a candidate in Whitehorse West.
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