On April 12, Emily Tredger learned she would be the latest in a long legacy of NDP MLAs representing Whitehorse Centre.
This will mark her first stint in the legislature, becoming one of two confirmed NDP MLAs. The other is party leader and Takhini-Kopper King MLA Kate White.
Tredger says she’s anxious to begin her new role.
“I’m excited to start working,” she told reporters gathered at NDP election night headquarters at the Guild Hall in Porter Creek April 12.
With the exception of Liberal and later independent member Mike McLarnon, who represented Whitehorse Centre from 2000 to 2002, the NDP have held the riding since its creation in 1992. Most recently, former NDP leader Liz Hanson served as the riding’s MLA for three terms from 2010 until this year when she retired.
Ahead of the territorial election, Tredger beat out two other candidates – Amy Labonte and Kaori Torigai – to become the riding candidate.
As the territorial polling results rolled in on election night, Tredger took an early lead and held onto it, ultimately winning the riding with 498 votes in her favour, or 49 per cent of the vote.
She had been running against Whitehorse Mayor Dan Curtis, who had stepped back from his city duties to seek a seat in the territorial election under the Liberal banner. Curtis walked away with 312 votes while Yukon Party candidate Eileen Melnychuk finished with 249.
Like many territorial candidates in this pandemic-era election, Tredger was at home with those in her social bubble to watch the results.
Out of the room when the first poll results for Whitehorse Centre came in, revealing an early lead, Tredger heard the screams of excitement from the small group gathered. They were so loud, she said, she thought all the polls had come in.
“It’s great to have that support.”
That first poll indicated what was to come and before 9:20 p.m. Tredger was declared the winner for Whitehorse Centre.
In her own excitement to get to NDP election night headquarters she slipped on the first pair of footwear she saw – her rubber boots with no shoes for indoors – and headed to the Guild Hall where she was greeted and congratulated by campaign staff.
“My head’s still spinning,” Tredger said, clearly pleased with the solid results from her riding.
Throughout the campaign, she said, housing was the number one issue that continued to come up, with mental health, dental and pharmacare also at the top of the list of concerns she is ready to work on.
Tredger also praised her closest competitor, noting she has a lot of respect for Curtis and it was great to be in the same field with him, at times meeting one another going door-to-door on the campaign trail.
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