From left to right: Yukon Party leader Currie Dixon, Liberal incumbent Ted Adel and NDP candidate Saba Javed. (Submitted)

From left to right: Yukon Party leader Currie Dixon, Liberal incumbent Ted Adel and NDP candidate Saba Javed. (Submitted)

Getting to know the candidates in Copperbelt North

A university student and the Yukon Party leader are challenging the Liberal incumbent

Copperbelt North encompasses most of the Copper Ridge neighbourhood and the Lobird mobile home park. Its northern boundary splits Copper Ridge at Lazulite Drive, and its southern boundary is the intersection of the Klondike Highway and Mt Sima Road. Its eastern boundary is the Yukon River.

The riding is mainly residential, though it does contain the corridor of businesses on the Klondike Highway near South Access Road. There are no schools in this riding.

Ted Adel won Copperbelt North for the Liberals in 2016 with 45 per cent of the vote. Pat McInroy, Yukon Party candidate, finished only 37 votes behind him. Currie Dixon was the Yukon Party MLA for the riding in 2011. He won with 48 per cent of the vote, nearly 100 more than Liberal runner-up Arthur Mitchell. The riding was created in 2009.

Three candidates are running in the 2021 election. They have been profiled in alphabetical order.

Ted Adel – Yukon Liberal Party

Ted Adel is the incumbent Liberal MLA for Copperbelt North. He was elected for the first time in 2016. During this session, he served as Deputy Chair of the Committee of the Whole and a member of four other legislative committees.

Adel, 67, has lived in the Yukon for 24 years and has worked for Canadian Tire, Canada Post, Superior Propane and the Yukon Liquor Corp.

Adel said he’s excited to be running again with focus on housing, transportation and renewable energy.

“It excites me that we have the chance to be 97-plus per cent renewable energy, I’ve been working with Ranj (Pillai, Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources) on that file for three or four years,” Adel said.

Adel is also committed to expanding health care, including services to help seniors age in place and mental health support. He also highlighted education as an important issue for Copperbelt North constituents and said he would like to expand experiential programs and Indigenous education in public schools.

“Kids need to understand that they live in a very special place, and they need to understand the people that were here first, and how they lived. I think we have a real opportunity to bring those two things together,” Adel said.

The incumbent candidate says the Liberal Party’s collaborative approaches to governance and success in “ground-breaking legislation” this past session has inspired optimism to seek another term.

“We’ve spent four-and-a-half years building the foundation, now I’d like to spend another four years finishing the house,” Adel said.

Currie Dixon – Yukon Party

Currie Dixon was elected leader of the Yukon Party in May 2020. He previously served as MLA for Copperbelt North from 2011 to 2016. During that time he held portfolios as the Minister of Environment, Economic Development, Community Service and the Public Service Commission.

He chose not to run in the 2016 election to spend time with family and work on the management team of local industrial supply company, ALX.

“I’m very pleased to be back into the political scene and offering myself up as a representative for the riding of Copperbelt North … I know how to do the job and how to serve my constituents,” Dixon told the News on March 23.

He called the constituents of Copperbelt North a “really diverse set of folks” encompassing business owners, families and public service workers.

“What I think folks are looking for this time around is some leadership with regards to getting the economy moving again,” Dixon said.

“I know the pandemic has obviously had a pretty huge impact on pretty much everyone, and I think people are interested in seeing a clear path forward out of this.”

Dixon, 35, is leading the Yukon Party with a platform focused on green energy solutions, mental health, childcare, education and infrastructure recovery. The three pillars of his campaign are economic recovery, supporting young families and developing growing communities.

“I think we’ve begun to offer Yukoners a bit of a new look at the Yukon Party, one that is based on a solid foundation with new service and features,” Dixon said.

Longer profiles on the three party leaders vying for the premiership will be published on April 9.

Saba Javed – Yukon New Democratic Party

Saba Javed is finishing her last semester of study at the University of Toronto by distance in Whitehorse. She will graduate this spring with a degree in Peace, Conflict and Justice.

Javed, 23, said she was inspired to run in this election to propel faster change.

“Folks like myself, who are my age, and people who are marginalized, right now they don’t have a say in terms of government decision-making,” Javed said. “People in my generation are going to inherit the system, so why shouldn’t we have a seat at the table?”

Javed’s priorities are housing and mental health support.

“There are a lot of young families in the Yukon, and trying to find a home to buy or rent is extremely difficult. The other issue I care about deeply is mental health,” she said, noting that people who require mental health treatment often must seek it outside the territory.

“I don’t think you should be impacted by a lack of support based on your income and social status, or how many people you have in your corner,” she said.

Education and childcare are primary issues for her Copperbelt North constituents, as there are many young families in the neighbourhood, Javed said.

“We’ve got a slate of (NDP) candidates who are fierce advocates for educational support and childcare as well … we look at things in terms of system change, not in terms of end-user,” she said.

Javed worked for the NDP office as a student and said she is inspired by what the party stands for.

“I think the NDP has the best track record in terms of fighting for what’s right,” she said.

Contact Gabrielle Plonka at gabrielle.plonka@yukon-news.com

Election 2021

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