Youth battle for Takhini Kopper King

Cherish Clarke wants to represent the Liberals in Takhini-Kopper King. Age 26, she's the youngest would-be candidate to put her name forward as the autumn election approaches.

Correction:An August 3 article, Youth battle for Takhini-Kopper King, stated the NDP is running Jean-Francois Des Lauriers in the riding. It should have made clear he hasn’t yet won the nomination. Kate White has since announced her plans to represent the party.

Cherish Clarke wants to represent the Liberals in Takhini-Kopper King. Age 26, she’s the youngest would-be candidate to put her name forward as the autumn election approaches.

If she wins the party nomination, she’d go toe-to-toe with another youthful candidate: Samson Hartland, 32, is carrying the Yukon Party flag for the riding. He’s a past NDP candidate and former Whitehorse city councillor.

Jean-Francois Des Lauriers, a former union boss, wants to be the NDP’s candidate.

Clarke was born and raised in Whitehorse. She joined the Liberals two years ago and is presently party president.

It runs in the family: Her uncle is Ed Schultz, a past Liberal candidate.

Clarke touts the Liberal support for the plan to protect the Peel Watershed as a stand that distinguishes them from the ruling Yukon Party.

“Once a river’s poisoned, who pays the price?” she asked. “I think we need to protect the environment to protect ourselves.”

Clarke works as a techie for the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Board. She, like many Yukoners, has had her share of frustrations with the territory’s internet connection cutting out. “It’s a big issue that needs to be resolved,” said Clarke.

As a fix, she’d like to see the territory buy another fibre-optic cable connecting to Outside. Ideally, this would bring not only more reliable internet service, but also competition for Northwestel.

She’s also promising to foster better relations between the territorial government and First Nations. She’s a member of the Taku River Tlingit First Nation.

Clarke lives in Copper Ridge, but her parents live in Takhini-Copper King.

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