Yukon Party interim leader Stacey Hassard talks to Whitehorse media on Nov. 27, 2017. The party decided to wait at least another year before choosing its new leader at their annual general meeting April 28. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)

Yukon Party delays leadership race for another year

The Yukon Party has decided to wait at least another year before choosing its new leader.

Party members passed a motion at their annual general meeting April 28 agreeing not to set up a committee to organize the leadership election until next year.

“I think (the decision was made) just to get closer to the next election,” said interim leader Stacey Hassard. “It gives more opportunity for people outside of caucus to have the chance to step forward if they’re interested in leadership.”

Hassard has served as the party’s interim leader since former premier Darrell Pasloski stepped down following the results of the last territorial election in Novermber 2016.

Yukon Party members also passed a motion supporting an elected senate rather than using senate appointments.

Alberta is the only jurisdiction in Canada that has elected senators. In that case the winning senators are recommended by the provincial government for appointment by Ottawa.

“The majority of people felt an elected senate would be more beneficial to Yukoners,” Hassard said.

It’s not clear how the election of a senator would fit in with the federal government’s updated method for choosing senators.

Since 2016, the Independent Advisory Board for Senate Appointments reviews submissions by Canadians who want to be a senator and makes recommendations to the prime minister.

From the recommended pool of candidates, the prime minister selects the individuals he then recommends to the Governor General for appointment to the Senate.

Yukon’s sole senate seat is currently vacant.

Hassard said the party did not discuss specifics of what senate elections would look ike in the Yukon.

Contact Ashley Joannou at ashleyj@yukon-news.com

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