Skip to content

This week’s mailbox: electoral reform and the Atlin project

Watching the electoral reform conversation

Watching the electoral reform conversation

On May 26, 2021, the Special Committee on Electoral Reform was struck by the Yukon Legislature. The Special Committee consists of John Streicker, Kate White and Brad Cathers. They have been meeting regularly and have received already an executive summary of the report on electoral options by the committee’s researcher, Dr. Keith Archer.

Will we finally replace first-past-the-post with a fairer, more representative electoral system?

The doings of the Special Committee on Electoral Reform may only be of interest to political nerds passionate about electoral reform like myself. But perhaps other Yukoners would like to know what the Special Committee on Electoral Reform has been doing and who they are listening to. Here is a link:

Hearings by experts on electoral reform are scheduled to make submissions to the Special Committee starting this coming Friday at 3 p.m. and continuing until Jan. 31. (See coverage.) The first expert will by the official committee researcher, Dr. Keith Archer, on the topic of “Options for Yukon’s electoral system.” Archer was the B.C. Chief Electoral officer for seven years who also taught political science at the University of Calgary for 27 years.

To view the Yukon government press release, and schedule of the hearings:

According to the Yukon government press release, “Members of the public may watch the hearings live through a link on the committee’s webpage ( or on the Legislative Assembly’s Facebook page ( The hearings will also be broadcast live on 93.5 FM.”

If you are unable to watch or listen to the hearings in real time, there will be transcripts and recordings on the Special Committee’s website. See the link above.

There are ten experts speaking at these hearings. The bulk of them are academics from outside with the exception of Maxwell Harvey who is the Chief Electoral Officer of Elections Yukon. A representative from the office of the Special Committee on Electoral Reform has assured me that the Committee will be hearing from Yukoners at a later date through surveys and town halls.

On Friday, I’ll be watching.

Linda Leon


In response to Keith Halliday

Dear Editor,

Let me start by saying that I enjoy Yukonomist’s columns as he injects humor and purpose into otherwise dreary subjects.

I see that in the latest edition he lauds the Taku Klingat First Nation for their intuitive hydro power development but in a story scant weeks ago talking of peaking out on Yukon’s power consumption and where we could develop more.

He mentioned everything else including small nuclear reactors but never gave a word to more Yukon hydro development.

This seems a bit weather-vaney for me but maybe he had a reason.

Yukon Energy was going great guns with secondary hydro development and had various sites under investigation and then along came LNG generators and those plans fell silent.

We now have battery storage construction going on at the wrong site in which the lame surveyor was also looking for a tax break he didn’t need at the more obvious site.

I guess in short I would say, Keith, why is secondary hydro development such a jewel for Taku Klingat First Nation and not Yukon citizens?

Thank you,

J.K. Birmingham