NDP MLA Jim Tredger has announced he plans to seek re-election in Mayo-Tatchun during this year’s territorial election.
Tredger made his announcement at the May Gathering held by Northern Tutchone First Nations in Minto Landing.
“I have brought the voice of the communities to the legislature,” he told the News, adding that he has tried to highlight his constituents’ ideas, solutions and optimism during his tenure.
Tredger has acted as Opposition critic for education and energy, mines and resources since his election in 2011.
Over the years, he’s been vocal about his opposition to hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, for natural gas in the Yukon. He was a member of the legislative assembly’s special committee on hydraulic fracturing, and said there’s a “consensus across the territory” against the technology.
An NDP government would impose a moratorium on fracking, he said.
“And you would also see a significant investment in renewable energy and support for the industry here.”
Tredger said the Yukon should focus more on solar and wind power, instead of trying to develop a local oil-and-gas industry.
“If we look at climate change ... the scientists are telling us that we can’t burn all the fuel that already exists and that we already know about,” he said. “Let’s spend our money on developing a renewable economy. And yeah, it’s going to be tough. It’s a challenge, but I think we’re up to it.”
Tredger said he does support responsible mining in the territory, including Kaminak’s Coffee project, to be acquired by mining giant Goldcorp, and Victoria Gold’s Eagle project.
He also said Capstone’s Minto mine has worked very closely with the Selkirk First Nation, and “they’re doing it right.”
He said mining companies need certainty to succeed, which they’re not getting from the current government.
“Right now, with the territorial government litigating with First Nations rather than working with them as partners, that creates an uncertainty,” he said.
Regarding education, Tredger said his priorities are promoting First Nations languages and improving graduation rates.
Tredger won the last election with nearly 42 per cent of the vote. This time around, former Mayo mayor and councillor Don Hutton has announced he is seeking the Liberal nomination. The Yukon Party has yet to announce any potential candidates in the riding.