Third candidate enters race for Liberal nomination

Tamara Goeppel has joined the race to be the Yukon's next Liberal MP. Goeppel announced her candidacy Thursday afternoon, on the banks of the Yukon River.

Tamara Goeppel has joined the race to be the Yukon’s next Liberal MP.

Goeppel announced her candidacy Thursday afternoon, on the banks of the Yukon River.

The owner of Yukon Travel and CEO of Mainsteele Developments said there’s been a political decline across the nation.

“There is a mood now, an appetite across the country and I believe here in the Yukon, for change. I’d like to be a part of it,” she said.

Goeppel highlighted some areas of focus for her campaign: growing the middle class by stimulating the private sector, sustainable health care, including improving waiting times, democratic representation through the inclusion of First Nation interests, women and youth and promoting a clean environment and economy.

Born in Whitehorse, Goeppel has sat on numerous boards throughout her career as a businesswoman and entrepreneur, including the Yukon Workers’ Compensation Health and Safety Board, the Yukon Hospital Corporation board of trustees, and most recently the chair of the assessment review board for the Yukon government.

She’s also involved in the mining industry as an investor and liaison between local operations and outside interests.

The nomination race pits her against Larry Bagnell, who was the territory’s longtime Liberal MP until he was unseated last election, and Ben Sanders, who has been campaigning diligently since his candidacy announcement in mid-June.

“I’m excited by Tamara’s entry. She’s an exciting candidate,” Sanders told the News in an e-mail from Keno. “As fellow entrepreneurs, we both bring strong business credentials to the job and share a vision for the need to innovate health care in Canada.”

“I believe everyone brings an incredible amount of experience to the table,” Goeppel said of her competition. “It’s quite exciting for the Liberal Party to attract more than one candidate.”

Goeppel said, if elected, she would bring quality and dignity to the job. She spoke highly of the Yukon’s potential but warned problems need to be repaired.

“We have eroded the middle class and we need that stability,” she said.

“We have more people that need continuing care, mental health, alcohol and drug abuse (services)… can there not be a way the Yukon actually sets the bar in the delivery of those services? Why don’t we make the model for the rest of the country?”

Goeppel, as part of the business contingent on a Team Canada trade mission in 2002, travelled to Moscow, Berlin and Munich alongside Jean Chretien.

With a German background, she frequently visits the country to attend business and government functions. Locally, Goeppel is well known on the athletic circuit for her impressive career as an endurance and adventure cyclist.

Her environmental focus includes building a clean economy through research and “respectful consultation with all stakeholders for large development projects.”

“Regardless what happens on the 4th of October I’ve already gained much from this experience,” she said.

“Just speaking with Yukoners about these issues… it’s been a rich experience already and it just started.”

Contact Sam Riches at

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