Yukon Greens ‘pretty pumped’ following the election, leader says

Yukon’s Green Party interim leader said he’s proud of the work his small team did this territorial election.

Yukon’s Green Party interim leader said he’s proud of the work his small team did this territorial election.

“We flew the colours, we talked issues, we’re pretty pumped,” Frank de Jong said Tuesday.

The Green Party ran a slate of five candidates this election, up from two in 2011.

They came away with about 0.8 per cent of the vote.

On election night the small group gathered, some via Skype, to enjoy the fruits of their work.

De Jong has said the goal this election was to have the other parties take notice of Green policies and adopt them as their own.

He said he’s pleased the Liberals won, meaning there won’t be a fight against the impending carbon tax.

Though the Greens were proposing a higher carbon tax than what the federal government is promising, they believe it should be revenue-neutral. The Liberals have promised to return money from any carbon tax to Yukoners.

“My worst-case scenario was that the Yukon Party would sneak up the middle (if votes were split between the other major parties) and we’d still have that to fight,” he said.

This election shows how different the distribution of power would be if Yukon adopted a proportional representation system as opposed to Canada’s current first-past-the-post system.

The Liberals won 11 of 19 seats in the Yukon legislature despite winning only 39.4 per cent of the popular vote.

“So many people said they would have to vote with my head instead of my heart,” de Jong said.

“That doesn’t help any of the parties.”

De Jong said he hopes new premier-designate Sandy Silver will act on some of the Greens’ environmental policies, including preventing any mines with tailings ponds from being built in the Yukon. The Greens favour dry stacked tailings, which pose less of a risk to the environment.

Another Green issue de Jong hopes will continue to get traction after the campaigning is done is their proposed bus system between Yukon communities.

Silver is from a riding outside Whitehorse, de Jong notes, and will hopefully see why the idea has merit.

After a month-long campaign, it’s understandable that some candidates would be exhausted. But de Jong said the Greens Monday night were still raring to go.

“People were already asking about what’s next.”

Contact Ashley Joannou at ashleyj@yukon-news.com