Porter Creek Centre candidates for the territorial election from the left, Paolo Gallina for the Liberals, Shonagh McCrindle for the NDP and Yvonne Clarke for the Yukon Party. (Submitted photos)

Porter Creek Centre candidates for the territorial election from the left, Paolo Gallina for the Liberals, Shonagh McCrindle for the NDP and Yvonne Clarke for the Yukon Party. (Submitted photos)

Getting to know the candidates in Porter Creek Centre

Porter Creek Centre encompasses Whistle Bend and the eastern section of the Porter Creek neighbourhood. It contains Mountain View Golf Club and green space nestled against the mainly residential area. The riding is also home to Holy Family Elementary School and Porter Creek Secondary School, as well as Whistle Bend Care Facility.

The riding was created in 2002 and Yukon Party Archie Lang was elected to two terms in 2002 and 2006. In 2011, the riding stayed blue with Yukon Party’s David Laxton beating Liberal Kerry Huff by 53 votes.

In 2016, Paolo Gallina stole the seat for the Liberals with a 73-vote victory over the Yukon Party’s Michelle Kolla.

Three candidates are running in Porter Creek Centre this year. They are profiled alphabetically below.

Paolo Gallina – Yukon Liberal Party

Paolo Gallina is the incumbent candidate for Porter Creek Centre, elected for the first time in 2016. During his term, he worked on the completion of Whistle Bend Place, planning for Whistle Bend School, increased road safety measures and enhanced trail networks in the constituency.

Gallina’s professional background is in tourism, sport management and community investment. He was the marketing manager for the 2007 Canada Winter Games and worked previously as the community investment manager at Northwestel.

Gallina is running with a platform focused on development, the economy, senior support, traffic safety and establishing Whistle Bend.

“I want to work with a team that’s going to continue the good work to address the pandemic for citizens in the business community,” Gallina said. “I want to continue to build and strengthen the relationships with Yukon First Nation partners and governments.”

Gallina said he plans to increase traffic safety in his constituency if re-elected, including improving drop-off areas at Holy Family Elementary School. He also wants to see focus on developing Whistle Bend as a new neighbourhood.

“Whistle Bend is just establishing its identity and becoming a priority with the city of Whitehorse in delivering services, things like snow removal and community planning,” Gallina said. “Ensuring that residents are being heard when things like parks are being discussed and planned.”

Gallina also plans to continue with his inaugural gratitude campaign as an annual event, which engages youth to create art based around things they’re thankful for.

“It’s really working with the community and talking with them regularly to understand what the evolving issues are,” he said.

Shonagh McCrindle – Yukon New Democratic Party

Shonagh McCrindle is the executive director of Inclusion Yukon, a job in which she advocates, educates and supports neurodiverse individuals and their families. Her background is in disability rights, women’s rights and healthcare.

McCrindle’s platform focuses on housing, poverty reduction, mental health support and universal childcare.

“I have a lot of experience being a bridge between government and people, as an advocate at the disability level,” McCrindle said. “I think an MLA’s role is very similar … basically being a bridge for folks in a governance model that meets all of those needs in a fiscally responsible way.”

McCrindle is focused on improving the housing shortage with a rental cap, increasing the number of affordable units and diversifying available units in both rural and residential areas.

Mental health care is also a priority for McCrindle. She wants to see a certification process in place to regulate counselling in the territory, as well as follow-through on the NDP’s promise for a walk-in counselling clinic. “Right now the waitlist to see someone is really long. At one point in time, we had Many Rivers (Counselling and Support Services) … and I think that service is still needed,” she said.

The candidate is also an advocate for universal childcare, which she called a feminist issue. She said that the Liberal government’s plan for the childcare benefit doesn’t hit the mark in supporting all parents.

“It’s not at all empowering women to make choices if they’re of lower incomes, so that’s really important,” she said.

McCrindle said she was inspired to run for the NDP because of Kate White’s people-first leadership.

“When (Kate) commits to making something happen, she follows through, and she cares most about the people who need the support the most,” McCrindle said.

Yvonne Clarke – Yukon Party

Yvonne Clarke has lived in the Yukon for nearly 30 years. She is a business owner who has served as a board member for the Yukon Learn Society and the Yukon Public Legal Education Association.

Clarke currently serves as chair of the Yukon Advisory Council on Women’s Issues, and is a Yukon representative on the RCMP Commissioner’s Diversity Advisory Committee. She also served as president of the Canadian-Filipino Society of the Yukon.

Clarke, who is the mother of three adult children, said she felt it was time to serve her community after her kids left the nest.

“I have the time to focus on what I’m most passionate about, and that’s helping people in the community,” she said.

Clarke’s campaign priorities are pandemic recovery, tourism, tackling the high cost of living, improving mental wellness, healthcare and climate change.

She said she was motivated to run for the Yukon Party under Currie Dixon’s leadership.

“Currie’s progressive vision and goals align with my values and entrepreneurial spirit,” Clarke said.

Clarke was also inspired by the party’s focus on fiscally responsible governance.

“The Yukon Party is committed to introducing a small business lens, that will require the government to specifically consider the impact that regulations have on small business,” she said.

Clarke also wants to improve inclusion in the Yukon.

“Twenty-six years ago, I moved to the Yukon as an Asian immigrant, I have experience first-hand that the Yukon can be an amazing home full of opportunities,” she said.

“However, I have also witnessed the struggle for equal access to opportunities, especially for those who speak English as a second language. I believe I can be a strong advocate and voice for my community.”

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

Election 2021

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