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Yukon's electoral reform assembly distances itself from material calling for specific result

Yukon Citizens’ Assembly on Electoral Reform chair says assembly materials won't call for specific outcome
Sara McPhee-Knowles, who chairs the Yukon citizen's assembly on electoral reform, seen in the downtown Whitehorse skywalk on June 10, 2024. She made a statement clearly separating the citizens' assembly from groups calling for a specific outcome in the process.

The Yukon Citizens’ Assembly on Electoral Reform (YCAER), a group of Yukoners examining the possibility of changes to the territory’s electoral system, is distancing itself from informational material and polling distributed by groups advocating for a particular result in the electoral reform process.

“The Citizens’ Assembly has not engaged any polling, nor have we sent literature to Yukoners,” said YCAER Chair Sara McPhee-Knowles in an email to the News.

“We have received calls and emails from people who are upset at the polling and materials received because the groups engaging in such activities are not clearly stating they are in no way affiliated with the work of the Citizens’ Assembly.” 

“It’s challenging, because such activities may cause Yukoners to doubt the Citizens’ Assembly process if they think members have already reached a conclusion — which they have not.” 

McPhee-Knowles explained that assembly members have learned a lot about different voting systems the Yukon could potentially adopt. The citizens’ assembly is also still taking written, video and audio submissions which Yukoners can use to voice their opinions via its website The submissions are open until Aug. 12. 

The assembly will recommend either keeping the Yukon’s current voting system or adopting a new one by Oct. 31. '

In the meantime, the email from the citizens’ assembly states that any outreach that it does will not advocate for a particular outcome. 

(Jim Elliot)

Jim Elliot

About the Author: Jim Elliot

I’m a B.C. transplant here in Whitehorse at The News telling stories about the Yukon's people, environment, and culture.
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