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RCO





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PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2016 8:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yukon Party promises to build outdoor sports complex in Whitehorse

by Maura Forrest Friday October 14, 2016 »




The Yukon Party says it will build an outdoor sports complex in Whitehorse if it’s re-elected on Nov. 7.

The complex would include two full-sized soccer pitches with artificial turf and an eight-lane, rubberized running track.

Previous attempts by the current government to build a sports complex have been thwarted by Whitehorse city council, which twice voted against a zoning amendment that would have allowed the facility to be built in the Whistle Bend subdivision.

Now, the Yukon Party says it will find a way to build the complex on Yukon government-owned land, which wouldn’t require rezoning by the City of Whitehorse.

The party isn’t saying where that might be.

“There’s a variety of locations, and I don’t think anyone’s picked out a specific location yet,” said Riverdale South candidate Danny Macdonald.

The city councillors who voted against the rezoning, including current Liberal candidate Jocelyn Curteanu, were concerned that the city might end up on the hook for the cost of running the facility. But Macdonald said that won’t happen.

“The government would be looking to fund the operations of it.”

The party estimates construction of the new facility would cost $7.5 million.

Macdonald said a new sports complex would allow the Yukon to bid on major sporting events, including the 2023 Western Canada Summer Games.

The Yukon Party is also promising improvements to recreational facilities in several communities, including the replacement of the ice rink in Carmacks and of the recreation centre in Beaver Creek.

The party also says it will finish work on the Dawson City recreation centre by installing artificial ice and renovating the second floor, a claim that was met with skepticism by Liberal Leader Sandy Silver, who called it an “empty promise.”

Silver pointed out that there was a ground-breaking ceremony for a new recreation centre in Dawson just days before the 2011 election was called, but that centre never came to be.

http://www.yukon-news.com/news.....hitehorse/
RCO





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PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2016 8:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

NDP promises free tuition for incoming Yukon College students

by Maura Forrest Friday October 14, 2016 »


Ian Stewart/Yukon News
college.jpg
The NDP will offer free tuition at Yukon College for Yukoners if they form the next government.


The NDP says, if elected, it will make tuition free for all first-year Yukon College students who are Yukon residents.

The commitment covers full- and part-time students enrolled in credited programming at the college.

“This plan will make it even more attractive for our best and brightest to stay here and put their skills to work in our community,” said NDP Leader Liz Hanson on Wednesday.

The commitment would apply to incoming students beginning next year. Hanson said the party will work with the college to establish residency requirements for students to be eligible for the funding.

Yukon College had 685 full-time and 526 part-time students in credited programming last year. The NDP estimates that offering free tuition for the first year will cost less than $1 million a year, and individual students will save between $900 and $3,450.

Hanson said students who qualify for free tuition can still receive the full Yukon grant, which provides financial support for students enrolled in post-secondary education.

This year, students qualifying for the Yukon grant will receive $135 per week, which totals $4,590 for a school year that runs from the beginning of September to the end of April.

But the Yukon grant is only available to students who went to high school in the Yukon or lived in the territory during their teenage years, and who have been living in the Yukon continuously for two years before their post-secondary classes start.

Hanson said the free tuition will be available to a broader range of Yukoners, including those who move here as adults and are looking to upgrade their skills.

Korrel Ronaghan, president of the Yukon College student union, said the free tuition will help future students to pay for books and living expenses, or to work less while they’re studying. But she was disappointed that the commitment won’t extend to any current students.

She suggested that tuition could have been lowered across all years instead.

“It would be nice to kind of have reduced costs everywhere, instead of just free tuition for the first year,” she said.

Overall, though, she supported the announcement. “It’s a win-lose, but it’s definitely more weighted to the win.”

http://www.yukon-news.com/news.....-students/
RCO





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PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2016 9:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shades of green: Parties spar over environmental policies at debate

by Maura Forrest Wednesday October 19, 2016 »




Joel Krahn/Yukon News
p05forum.jpg
Candidates field questions during a forum on the environment held at the Beringia Centre Tuesday night.


Candidates from Yukon’s four political parties met at the Yukon Beringia Interpretive Centre on Tuesday night to discuss environmental issues, including the Peel watershed land-use plan, oil and gas development, and carbon pricing.

Yukon Party candidate Danny Macdonald, NDP Leader Liz Hanson, Liberal candidate John Streicker and Green Party candidate Kristina Calhoun faced questions from the public and from groups including the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, Yukoners Concerned About Oil and Gas Exploration/Development and the Trails Only Yukon Association. The event attracted well over 100 audience members.

The only party leader present, Hanson showed her political experience during the forum with clear, concise messages: the NDP will ban fracking in the territory and has been “unwavering” in its support of the final recommended land-use plan for the Peel watershed.

She said the NDP will help transition the Yukon away from fossil fuels and toward renewable energy using a planned $50-million green energy fund, which would be partly financed with the revenue from a federally mandated carbon tax.

Streicker, despite his credentials as a climate change lecturer and former federal Green Party candidate, didn’t always get his message across.

In response to a question about fracking in the territory, Hanson said the NDP are completely opposed to unconventional natural gas and would not simply implement a “temporary moratorium” — an obvious dig at the Liberals, whom she accuses of being unclear on their position.

In fact, the Liberals have said unequivocally that they will implement a moratorium on fracking, though they will allow conventional oil and gas development in Eagle Plains. The NDP has not clearly said where it stands on conventional oil and gas, meaning there is no discernible difference between the parties’ positions on this issue.

But instead of pointing that out, Streicker gave a convoluted answer about land-use planning that was met with bemused silence from the audience.

Later, he clarified: “It is my hope that we don’t develop oil and gas here in the territory. It is not the right direction for us as a territory, but we are supportive of the land-use plan.”

His strongest response was perhaps his answer to the Yukon Party’s position on carbon pricing, which consists of telling Yukoners that a carbon tax will make everything cost more.

“I don’t think it’s very leader-like to be using fear,” he said. “It’s a federal tax. It’s coming.”

Macdonald, the rookie of the group, initially seemed uncomfortable in front of a crowd that was largely not in his camp. But he found his stride later in the evening, claiming his party has an “aggressive government plan to address climate change.”

“It’s clear we’re the only party that believes we can do that without implementing a carbon tax in the territory,” he said.

Audience members were largely polite, only snickering audibly when Macdonald said the Yukon Party wants to “sit down with First Nation governments” once the Peel watershed debacle has been settled by the Supreme Court of Canada, with the understanding that “there will be significant protection of the Peel.”

Macdonald focused on a suite of recent announcements the Yukon Party has made, including an $80-million commitment to retrofit inefficient buildings over the next five years. That includes $33 million for upgrades to Yukon government buildings, including the Education building. Another $47 million for retrofits to schools was announced last week.

http://www.yukon-news.com/news.....at-debate/
RCO





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PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2016 9:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Parties pitch Dawson promises: runway, housing, tourism, fossils

by Pierre Chauvin Monday October 17, 2016 »




Mike Thomas/Yukon News
runway_web.jpg
Candidates of the three major parties all said they were in favour of paving the runway in Dawson City.


Candidates from the three main parties all offered similar proposals at an election forum in Dawson City last week.

The Yukon Party, Liberals and NDP all said they would pave the runway at Dawson’s airport.

But Liberal Leader Sandy Silver, the MLA for Klondike seeking re-election, called the Yukon Party proposed measures “empty promises.”

“We don’t believe these grandiose commitments from the Yukon Party when it comes to Dawson,” he told the News Thursday.

As it stands, because the airport runway is not paved, larger planes can’t land in Dawson City.

In February, the Dawson City Chamber of Commerce released a study that said paving the runway would have positive economic impacts on the community.

The Boeing 737-200 Air North uses for summer flights, specially equipped to land in Dawson, is also coming to the end of its lifecycle, making paving more pressing.

“They’ve known about it for a decade,” said Silver of the need to pave the runway. “Pasloski has had five budgets to deal with it.”

The Liberals haven’t released their entire platform for Dawson.

Silver said it will include measures to deal with Dawson’s chronic housing shortage.

The Yukon Party also said it would start planning for a Klondike paleontology facility, a museum for fossils that placer miners have unearthed.

Brad Whitelaw, the Yukon Party candidate for Klondike, also proposed the Korbo land parcel be used for housing.

Dawson has had a longstanding housing shortage. But that piece of land has been sitting there empty for many years, Silver said, questioning why it couldn’t have been done sooner.

“It’s very rich to see all these promises after five years of not doing anything,” Silver said. “It’s election time and now they’re getting those big gold scissors out, trying their best to make these announcements.”

Silver also said his government would find a permanent home for the Little Blue Day Care.
http://www.yukon-news.com/news.....m-fossils/
Bugs





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PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2016 10:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Yukon government has total revenues of $942 million in 2009, of which only $211 million came from their own population! Transfers from other governments amounted to $731 million.

So it's really our money they're spending.
RCO





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PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2016 6:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yukon Party promises to fight federal carbon tax amid territorial election


The Canadian Press

October 25, 2016 01:00 AM



Yukon Premier Darrell Pasloski arrives for a meeting of provincial premiers in Whitehorse, Yukon, in a July 21, 2016, file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward



WHITEHORSE - The federal government's carbon tax strategy is dominating Yukon's territorial election, with the leader of the long-governing party promising to fight the levy while his rivals dismiss the pledge as political bluster.

Yukon Party Leader Darrell Pasloski said that putting a price on carbon would raise the cost of virtually everything in the territory, including food, clothing and gas.

"A carbon tax would do nothing but hurt the economy," he said in an interview. "When you put in a new tax that makes everything cost more money, people have a lot less money to spend in an economy."

Pasloski was elected leader of the governing Yukon Party in 2011 and went on to win the election later that year. He called this election on Oct. 7 with just a week to spare on the party's five-year mandate.

The premier said his experience working with politicians on the national stage could earn an exemption from a federally-mandated carbon tax by showing Ottawa what the territory has done to cut emissions.

"Yukoners want a leader and a party that's going to stand up for Yukoners and not simply roll over with inevitability," he said.

But leaders of the territory's opposition parties have called the carbon tax promise unrealistic.

"I think he's misleading Yukoners," said Sandy Silver, leader of the Yukon Liberals. "That's not a great plan for Yukoners, just to stick your head in the sand."

Instead, Silver said the territory needs to plan to take money from the levy and put it back into businesses.

The federal government made it clear that carbon pricing is coming and Yukon has to come up with ways to make sure the tax brings benefits, said Yukon NDP Leader Liz Hanson.

Her party is proposing half of the revenues from the tax be used to create a rebate for families and the other half would be dedicated to grow the territory's renewable-energy sector.

"We need to make the direct link that if we're going to address climate change through a carbon price, show us that it's going to help by fostering both the creation of jobs in the renewable energy sector and the replacement of fossil fuels through those funds," she said.

There's huge potential for wind, solar and geothermal energy in Yukon, Hanson said, and creating jobs in the renewable energy sector could help replace positions lost due to a shrinking mining sector, which has long been the region's dominant economic engine.

Silver, too, said there's a need to diversify the territory's economy and create new jobs. But mining will always have a future in Yukon and it's important that the next government looks to find a more sustainable way forward for the industry, he said.

Pasloski acknowledged that there has been a downturn in mineral prices globally during his tenure, but said he's optimistic about the future of mining in Yukon and proud of how his government has weathered the slowdown.

New businesses are coming in, flights in and around the territory have increased, and a new subdivision has been built in Whitehorse, he said.

"For the first time ever in a mining economy downturn, we haven't seen a mass exodus of people, which has historically been an issue in mining downturns."

While Pasloski's party campaigns on continuing to put the interests of Yukoners first, his opponents say it's time for a change.

The Yukon Party has been in power for 14 years, and Silver — the lone Yukon Liberal elected in 2011 — said the party has gotten "a little long in the tooth."

It's time to get away from partisan politics and start working directly on the issues that impact Yukoners, he said in an interview, arguing his party is the best for that job.

Hanson said the NDP's record as the official opposition shows they're ready to take the reins.

"People can see by our work ethic that we're prepared to take on issues, to stand up with people or for principle," she said. "To me, those are the kind of things I hope people consider when they consider voting."

Sixty-three people are vying for 19 seats in the election, which takes place on Nov. 7.

http://www.princegeorgecitizen.....-1.2372570
RCO





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PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2016 6:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

New
Yukon Party promises vendors a deal on Yukon-made alcohol

Promise would see Yukon-made brewers and distillers bypass Yukon Liquor Corporation, and its markup

By Philippe Morin, CBC News Posted: Oct 25, 2016 5:28 PM CT| Last Updated: Oct 25, 2016 5:37 PM CT

Cheers: Yukon Party candidates Stacey Hassard (Pelly-Nisutlin) and Mark Beese (Riverdale North) toast the latest electoral pledge during a campaign stop.
Ch

In a move that caught Yukon brewers by surprise, the Yukon Party is promising restaurants, hotels and bars a big discount on locally-made alcohol.

The party says vendors could buy from the territory's brewers and distillers directly, bypassing the Yukon Liquor Corporation — and its markup.

Mark Beese, Yukon party candidate in Riverdale North, says this will incite vendors to buy local.

The plan could reduce vendors' costs on local beer by about 23 per cent. Spirits could be sold to vendors at almost half the current price.

"This will help to support the local breweries and distilleries and give them a local advantage," Beese said.

Beese and the Yukon Party's candidate for Pelly-Nisutlin, Stacey Hassard, announced the plan Monday at a pub in Whitehorse.

Hassard says a re-elected Yukon Party government would also invest in a marketing campaign for local brewers and distillers to promote Yukon-made products outside the territory.
■Yukon votes 2016 | Find all of our election coverage


Plan could cost territory $1.5 million a year

The Yukon Liquor Corporation is a significant source of income for the territory. An annual report for 2014/2015 puts total revenues near $40 million.

The corporation collects both taxes and what it calls a markup on alcohol.

The markup varies by product. For bottled beer, it's about 23 per cent of total cost. For example $8.34 on a $27.39 case of beer.

The markup on spirits is highest.

A chart from the Liquor Corporation says the markup would account for $13.94 of a $27.90 bottle of liquor, about half the retail cost.

Yukon Liquor Corproatino pricing chart 2014-2015
The Yukon Liquor Corporation collects a markup as well as taxes. The Yukon Party says it would allow vendors not to pay the markup (middle grey section) when buying products made in Yukon. (Yukon Liquor Corporation annual report 2014/2015)

The corporation recently changed its rules on keg beer, now applying a markup of 25 cents a litre. This translates to about $15 for a 60L keg of beer.

In 2015 the Yukon Party government changed liquor rules so that vendors would get a 10 per cent discount over the public's retail price. However, vendors have been paying the same proportional markup on that price, which is applied equally to domestic and imported alcohol.

Local brewer supports plan

Marko Marjanovic, co-founder of Winterlong Brewing Co in Whitehorse, says the Yukon Party's plan would help his business.

It could even lead to hiring a delivery driver.

"If vendors were able to purchase directly from us, we'd have to start hiring someone to help us with that. Because the markup (would be) no longer applied we could potentially sell our beer at a lower cost as well," he says.

Brewers
Marko Marjanovic (right) of Winterlong Brewing Co. says the change would provide more than a discount. He says it would provide his company opportunities to study the market and who's buying the product. (CBC)

Marajanovic sees another advantage to selling directly to vendors: market research.

"When we distribute (our beer) it goes to [the] Liquor Corporation. It's like a black hole," he says. "I don't know what they have in inventory and who's buying it. Selling it to vendors would give us some more feedback."

Winterlong Brewing Co. has a tasting room in Whitehorse. Marajanovic feels the brewery could also qualify as a vendor and avoid paying markup on its own product.

"When we sell a growler from the brewery, the Yukon Liquor Corporation isn't involved at all. Abolishing the markup would make sense since we're handling the product from start to finish."

No consultation with local brewers prior to announcement


The idea gets a more hesitant response from Bob Baxter, co-founder of Yukon Brewing.

He says the Yukon Liquor Corporation provides a valuable service when it comes to distribution, especially to smaller Yukon communities like Dawson City and Watson Lake.

Bob Baxter Yukon Brewing
Bob Baxter is a co-owner of Yukon Brewing and Yukon Spirits. (Dave Croft/CBC)

"We're certainly happy that (the Yukon Liquor Corporation) are the ones trucking product to Dawson because of course they're supplying the liquor store but also hauling the product up to licensees. That's a pretty efficient way to move product."


Baxter wonders about the added cost of delivery the policy could put on the company.

Neither Yukon Brewing nor Winterlong said they were consulted prior to the election pledge being announced.


Baxter says "the devil will be in the details" if the idea is indeed implemented.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/.....-1.3820624
RCO





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PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2016 6:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Charting paths to victory for Yukon’s political parties


Keith Halliday

Yukonomist
by Keith Halliday

Friday October 14, 2016 »


Look out Hillary and Donald, here comes Darrell, Liz, Sandy and Frank.

Actually, I hope attention stays on the US campaign, which increasingly reminds me of a bush party gone horribly wrong.

Sometimes, it’s good to be boring.

I’m sure our candidates will get around to making a few vicious personal attacks, but so far, campaigning has been surprisingly focused on the issues. Candidates have been in the papers talking about carbon taxes, economic growth (or the lack thereof) and relations with First Nations. Perhaps they have not always done so with logical rigour and confirmed facts, but they’ve been a lot better than Donald and Hillary.

I am not expecting any of our party leaders to take a cue from Donald Trump and promise to have the Rangers put his or her opponents in jail after the election.

So, until our candidates start behaving more like Donald Trump, I’m afraid we newspaper columnists are going to have to focus on the issues and traditional political analysis.

In the absence of someone really shaking up the Yukon political landscape, the place to start is the current legislature. Let’s have a look at how many seats each party has now and, based on the 2011 election results, how many votes the opposition parties have to shift to win.

Unlike the US, with its huge number of polls, we can’t use fresh Yukon polling data to calculate sophisticated Nate Silver-style probabilities that a certain party will win. So, as a thought exercise, let’s steal the BBC’s simpler “Swingometer” method and look at the numbers from 2011 to see what kind of territory-wide swing would be needed for another party to win enough seats to take power.

It’s a back-of-the envelope approach, since it ignores what’s happening on the ground in each individual riding, the immigration of new Yukoners with different political heritages from Canada and abroad, the advantages of incumbency and the impact of star (and dog) candidates. But it gives you a general idea of what kind of political wave has to happen for each party to win.

In the 2011 election, the Yukon Party won government with 40 per cent of the vote. This translated into 11 seats. The NDP took six seats with 33 per cent of the vote. The Liberals had 25 per cent of the vote, and won two seats (to keep things simple, I’ll use the actual election results and treat Old Crow like a Liberal “win,” ignoring that Darius Elias later switched to the Yukon Party).

The Yukon Party needs to keep its current seats, or pick up replacements for any they lose. Their backup seat is Copperbelt South, which they lost by just a handful of votes to Lois Moorcroft and the NDP in 2011. Veteran cabinet minister Scott Kent is running for them there this time. Riverdale South would be next, requiring a five-point swing to the Yukon Party.

The NDP are the official Opposition and have the shortest path to victory among the opposition parties, at least mathematically. They only have to keep their current seats and bring down four Yukon Party incumbents to win a majority. Based on 2011 results this would require just a six-point swing. By this, I am assuming the NDP vote goes up six percentage points, and that the new NDP votes come equally from the two other major parties.

The four Yukon Party ridings most at risk are Watson Lake, Riverdale North, Porter Creek Centre and Kluane. Interestingly, neither Riverdale North nor Porter Creek Centre have incumbent Yukon Party veterans running in them. Scott Kent moved to Copperbelt South, as mentioned above, and Dave Laxton is no longer a Yukon Party candidate. Yukon Party incumbents Patti McLeod in Watson Lake and Wade Istchenko in Kluane will be on the NDP wish list, especially since both ridings have had NDP members for extended periods in the last few decades.

As for the Liberals, they need at least an 11 percent swing to get to 10 seats and a majority.

This outcome would have the Liberals repeating their 2011 wins in Old Crow and Klondike. They would also have to defeat the candidates (mostly incumbents) in, listed from smallest swing to biggest, Porter Creek South and Centre, Riverdale North, Kluane, Copperbelt North, Riverdale South, Mayo-Tatchun and Watson Lake.






This would require the Liberals to defeat well-established NDPers Jan Stick and Jim Tredger. And if they happen to miss any of the 10 most likely Liberal seats under the Swingometer method, the next few seats look quite challenging. The Liberals lost the next three likely seats by more than 20 points last time, to Lois Moorcroft, Kate White and Darrell Pasloski.

The Greens do not have a path to victory, since they are only running five candidates. That is three more than 2011, however. My crude Swingometer analysis above does not take them into account. A strong Green showing could affect the results in several of the key ridings discussed above, particularly Copperbelt South, Riverdale North and Porter Creek North.

Another flaw is in the Swingometer method is the potential impact of star candidates. In Tamara Goeppel and John Streicker, the Liberals have two candidates who have garnered a lot of media attention. The big question is whether this will make the party competitive in races that, based on 2011 results, look like tough sledding. Goeppel is running in Whitehorse Centre where the Liberals got 13 per cent in 2011, compared to the NDP’s 63 per cent. Streicker is running in Mount Lorne, where the Liberals scored 11 per cent last time versus the NDP’s 47 percent.

It’s not impossible, but these are big gaps to close.

So much for statistics. In next week’s election column, we’ll look at another key election topic: money.

Keith Halliday is a Yukon economist and author of the MacBride Museum’s Aurore of the Yukon series of historical children’s adventure novels. He won last year’s Ma Murray award for best columnist. You can watch his election interviews with all four party leaders on the Northwestel Community Channel website. Full disclosure: Keith is a member of the Yukon Liberal Party. He is not involved in their campaign.

http://yukon-news.com/letters-.....l-parties/
RCO





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PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2016 7:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Record number of ballots cast in Yukon's advance polls

More people voted on 1st advance polling day this year than over 2 days in 2011

CBC News Posted: Oct 31, 2016 3:36 PM CT| Last Updated: Oct 31, 2016 3:36 PM CT

Advance polls were open on Sunday and Monday. The general election is on Nov. 7.




More Yukoners appear to be taking advantage of advance polling days to cast their ballot in the territorial election.

The general election is next Monday, Nov. 7. Advance polls were open Sunday and again today.
■Yukon Votes 2016: More coverage from CBC North

On Sunday alone, the number of people who cast ballots was 3,031 — more than the 2,827 who voted in two days of advance polls in the 2011 election, and more than twice as many who voted in 2006's advance polls (1,495).

"It does seem like more and more people are taking advantage of the advance polls," said Dave Wilkie, Yukon's assistant chief electoral officer.

He notes that the polls have been open longer this year (8 a.m. to 8 p.m.), but also says the growing turnout before election day is not unusual to Yukon.

Yukon advance poll
Yukon's assistant chief electoral officer says advance poll numbers seem to go up every election, and not just in Yukon. (CBC)

"It's part of a trend, really, across the country that advance poll numbers seem to go up every election, from one part of the country to the other," he said.

Elections Yukon will have a final count how many took advantage of the advance polls sometime after they close on Monday evening.

There's no full tally yet of how many Yukoners are eligible to vote this year. In 2011, there were 20,730 names on the official list of electors, and in 2006 there were 18,681.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/.....-1.3829712
RCO





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PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2016 7:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

( those in Ontario might remember hearing about the " Gandalf " group , he is Kathleen wynne's pollster and so his poll should be taken with some doubt )


A tale of two polls: one shows Liberals with large lead, the other shows dead heat with Yukon Party

by Maura Forrest Monday October 31, 2016 »


Joel Krahn/Yukon News
pollsliberal.jpg
The Yukon Liberals hold a lead ahead of next week's territorial election according to one poll, and are tied with the Yukon Party in another.


One new poll shows the Yukon Liberals with a big lead over the Yukon Party. A second poll shows a dead heat. The NDP says both should be taken with a grain of salt.

On Friday, the Liberals released the results of a poll they commissioned, showing them with a 16-point lead over the Yukon Party.

The survey, completed by the Toronto-based Gandalf Group, finds that the Liberals would have taken home 46 per cent of the vote had the election been held last week when the poll was conducted. The Yukon Party polled at 30 per cent, with the NDP trailing at 24 per cent.

The poll has a margin of error of 4.9 per cent.

The Gandalf Group surveyed 408 Yukoners on Oct. 25 and 26. It used a 50/50 mix of land lines and cell phones.

Respondents were asked which party they would vote for if the election were held today. The parties and leaders were then read out to them in random order. If they were unsure, they were asked if they were leaning toward any of the parties.

The survey results grouped together decided and leaning voters. Of those polled, 27 per cent said they would vote for the Liberals, 19 per cent for the Yukon Party and 16 per cent for the NDP. Twenty-six per cent were undecided.

Among undecided voters, 26 per cent said they were leaning toward the Liberals, 12 per cent toward the Yukon Party and 11 per cent toward the NDP.

Thirteen per cent of respondents were completely undecided.

Jennifer Espey, a principal partner with the Gandalf Group, said the methodology was “very solid,” and did not influence respondents in any way.

“You’re really trying to approximate what it would be like to vote,” she said.

Another principal partner at the Gandalf Group, David Herle, has worked on various Liberal campaigns, including Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne’s re-election campaign in 2014.

In a statement issued Monday, NDP Leader Liz Hanson used that fact to cast doubt on the results. “The Liberals paid the campaign manager of the Ontario Liberals to conduct a poll for them,” she said. “I think Yukoners will reject this kind of cynical politics.”

But Espey said that affiliation has no influence on poll results, and Herle wasn’t involved with this particular poll.

“It doesn’t do a client any favours if you don’t find out the truth,” she said.

A second poll, from Yukon-based DataPath Systems, was released on Sunday. When voters were asked who they’d prefer as premier, Liberal Leader Sandy Silver had a three-point lead over Yukon Party Leader Darrell Pasloski and a 10-point lead over Hanson.

The DataPath poll also asked respondents to choose which party they would vote for in their riding, and found the Liberals and the Yukon Party were tied at 34 per cent. Twenty-nine per cent of respondents chose the NDP and three per cent chose the Green Party.

DataPath partner Donna Larsen compared the results to another poll she conducted last December, which showed the Liberals leading with 40 per cent of the vote and the Yukon Party at 25 per cent.

“I think the honeymoon’s over with the federal election results, and people have kind of gone back to their core party,” she said.

But the DataPath poll isn’t a random sample, as it’s sent out to a pre-existing email contact list. Larsen said that contact list now includes roughly 3,000 people. The survey results are based on 625 responses submitted between Oct. 15 and 23.






Larsen said there is nothing preventing people outside the territory from submitting responses, but they would have to lie about their location for their responses to be included in the results. She also said she only accepts two responses from each household, to prevent people from filling out the survey multiple times. She said she weeds out suspicious answers and duplicate surveys.

The DataPath poll would have a margin of error of 3.9 per cent, 19 times out of 20, if every Yukoner were on the mailing list and had an equal chance to respond, which is currently not the case.

Larsen also found that among Whitehorse voters, 38 per cent would vote for the Liberals, compared to 31 per cent for the Yukon Party. She said that’s significant, because there are more ridings in Whitehorse than in rural Yukon.

The DataPath poll also found that 14 per cent of those planning to vote NDP would prefer Silver as premier.

The survey indicates that the Liberals are more popular among Yukoners aged 35-50, those with children at home, and government employees. The Yukon Party polls higher with older voters and those in rural areas, and the NDP is more popular among younger voters, those without children, and those earning less than $50,000 a year.

Hanson also criticized the DataPath poll. “The results I have seen so far fail to include undecided voters, and thus cannot be taken seriously,” she said in a statement.

She also pointed out that the Liberals sent out an email on Oct. 17 asking people to complete the DataPath poll and simultaneously promoting their own vision. “It seems dishonest,” Hanson said.

http://www.yukon-news.com/news.....hows-a-de/
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2016 7:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Liberal candidate defends use of proxy votes by homeless residents

by Ashley Joannou Friday October 28, 2016 »

Joel Krahn/Yukon News
p05proxy.jpg
Liberal candidate for Whitehorse Centre, Tamara Goeppel, is defending her choice to help homeless people cast ballots using proxy voters.


A Yukon Liberal candidate says she doesn’t know if she’ll give back the proxy voting forms she helped homeless people get even if Elections Yukon says she made a mistake.

The elections office is looking into Tamara Goeppel’s campaign in Whitehorse Centre after she helped 10 homeless people fill out paperwork that allows someone else to vote on their behalf.

Goeppel doesn’t deny what she’s done. She said she believed proxy voting was a way to help homeless people exercise their democratic right to vote.

“There is a segment of our society in my neighbourhood that has never been politically represented. They’re not found on the voters list, most of them have never voted. Technically we have ignored this community.”

Goeppel has lived in the area her entire life and was one of the first Liberal candidates to announce her intention to run nearly a year ago.

She said it’s since then that she’s really learned the difficulties faced by some people when it comes to voting.

She said she spoke to a former homeless person who filled out a special ballot for the first time this election. Those ballots are a way for people to vote ahead of election day Nov. 7.

“He did it and he said, ‘there’s no way in this lifetime a street person will be able to do this,’” Goeppel said.

“First of all, walking into that office is totally intimidating, they will bolt, they won’t even go near the door.”

Even if they did make it through the door there are forms to fill out, Goeppel said. “He said most of these folks can’t even read the forms.”

You need to write out the political party and candidate’s name: “You’ve lost them, he said, because they won’t know how to spell.”

Even having a friend come with them is too much to ask of people surviving on the streets, she said.

“For you and I, we walk into an environment that we’re very comfortable in and we put an X. That’s a pretty low barrier to vote,” she said.

“Whereas with these folks we’re demanding that they have to read, they have to write, they have to go into an environment where they feel threatened.

“It really shows that there is a huge misunderstanding of someone’s situation with this community. There’s rules out there that seem to be made from afar, not really appreciating what these people go through.”

Goeppel said she spoke to many homeless people about where they’re going to be on election day.

One person told her “‘You know, Tamara, I might be at the bottom of the river in two days. I don’t know where I am going to be,’” she said.

“A lot of them just chimed in and said, ‘We’re survivors here, we might be in our makeshift shelter somewhere down the highway, we don’t know where we are going to be.’”

Goeppel said, in her mind, that was enough for them to qualify to use a proxy ballot.

Proxy voting means voters can choose another person to mark a ballot on their behalf. They can also appoint a political party to find someone to vote for them.

Goeppel said she turned people away from signing a form if they were intoxicated. Some people used the Salvation Army’s church on Black Street as their home address.

Elections Yukon is already looking into other accusations of wrongdoing in the Mountainview riding, including allegations that political representatives were driving intoxicated people to the polls. The people allegedly responsible have not been identified.

“It’s not arm twisting or falsification (in this case),” Goeppel said. “I have to get up and look at myself in the mirror.”

Dave Wilkie, the territory’s assistant chief electoral officer, said he’s not in a position to say definitively if what Goeppel did was correct until all the information has been gathered.

Proxy ballots are for people who will be outside the territory on election day, Wilkie said.

Parts of the Elections Yukon website on voting are ambiguous.

While it does identify proxy ballots as being for Yukoners who will be Outside, the site also tells voters they can ask a political party to appoint someone to vote on their behalf “if you expect to be outside Yukon or in an isolated location.”

Wilkie said those last few words, which may appear to support Goeppel, are actually referring to something that had to be done prior to the election even being called.

Isolation refers to people with no highway access to a polling station or regular postal services, Wilkie said. These people can apply to qualify for a proxy ballot but that has to be done before the writ is dropped.

Wilkie admitted that part of the website “doesn’t read particularly well.”

Liberal Party chair Laura Cabott told the News Goeppel was wrong to do what she did.






“I think she did make a mistake. I think … she has a genuine desire to help out vulnerable people,” Cabott said.

“I think it was well intentioned but she did make a mistake and she’s prepared to return those proxies and leave it at that.”

The party has taught its candidates about the Elections Act, she said.

“A proxy is only to be used by people that reasonably believe that they’re going to be outside of the Yukon. That’s exactly what we’ve told all of our candidates.”

The idea of returning the forms is news to Goeppel, who said Thursday she hadn’t spoken to Cabott.

Goeppel is not willing to commit to giving the forms back.

“I would have to talk to my team and ask them, ‘Are we going to make a stand here for the homeless and say, look, even if Elections Yukon says that we have to pull the proxies, isn’t that the intimidation and the fear-mongering that we’re fighting against?’” she said.

“My hill to die on politically is that I want to be the voice of my constituents. Not only the homeless but also the folks that are in the condos and Old Town. I’m the voice for all of my constituents.”

Liberal Leader Sandy Silver said he believes Goeppel will find a way to help people vote.

“I think this is in front of an investigation right now and they’ll figure out that she did nothing wrong and she’ll figure out a way of making sure that marginalized individuals get a chance to vote,” he said.

“That’s all she ever wanted to do was to make sure that these individuals had a chance to vote.”

In fact, amendments to the Elections Act that took effect in June make an effort to help more homeless people get to the polls.

Now “attestations” are possible. That means, for example, someone from the Salvation Army who is familiar with a regular client can sign a form and attest to that person’s identity, Wilkie said.

The client can use the signed form as a piece of ID to vote.

Wilkie said information about the change has been given to various community groups.

It won’t be clear until after the election if anyone decides to use that option.

Proxy votes can’t be cast until election day, Nov. 7, or at the two advance polls Oct. 30 and 31.

Contact Ashley Joannou at ashleyj@yukon-news.com

http://www.yukon-news.com/news.....residents/
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2016 8:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yukon election poll shows tight race, with NDP trailing

Datapath Systems poll finds Yukon Party and Liberals in dead heat, a week before voting day

CBC News Posted: Nov 01, 2016 7:00 AM CT| Last Updated: Nov 01, 2016 7:00 AM CT

Election signs in Whitehorse's Mountainview riding. A majority of seats in the legislature represent Whitehorse ridings.


Election night in Yukon — now less than a week away — is promising to be a real nail-biter, according to a new independent poll.

Whitehorse-based polling company Datapath Systems surveyed 625 Yukoners and found the Yukon Party and Liberal Party to be virtually tied as front-runners, with the NDP close behind.
■Yukon Votes 2016: More coverage from CBC North

The non-commissioned, web-based poll was conducted between Oct. 15 and Oct. 23, and paid for by Datapath Systems. The company says 479 Whitehorse voters took part, along with 146 voters who live outside the capital. Participants were selected from a pool of respondents Datapath has used in the past.

Sandy Silver
The poll found slightly more respondents preferred Liberal Sandy Silver as premier than the Yukon Party's Darrell Pasloski or the NDP's Liz Hanson. (Nancy Thomson/CBC)

When asked who they would support for premier, 37 per cent of poll respondents chose Liberal leader Sandy Silver, compared to 34 per cent who prefer Yukon Party leader Darrell Pasloski. Twenty-seven per cent chose NDP leader Liz Hanson.

The race tightened even more at the riding level. When voters were asked who they supported in their own riding, the Yukon Party and the Liberals were in a dead heat, each with 34 per cent support. The NDP were also strong contenders, at 29 per cent. The Green Party (running just five candidates, with no chance of forming government) were at three per cent.

Datapath Systems says if its survey was conducted by a "true probability sample process," it would be statistically valid to +/- 3.9 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

Liberals lead in Whitehorse

The poll also found that Liberal support tended to be stronger in Whitehorse, compared to rural ridings. That's significant, says Datapath pollster Donna Larsen, because a majority of Yukon's ridings (12 of 19) are in Whitehorse. Liberal Party support was at 38 per cent in the capital, with Yukon Party support at 31 per cent.

Darrell Pasloski
Support for Darrell Pasloski's Yukon Party has rebounded since last December, when another Datapath poll found the party trailing the Liberals by 15 per cent. (Dave Croft/CBC)

Larsen says another notable finding is that Liberal Party support has actually softened since last year, while Yukon Party support had grown.

A December poll by Datapath found 40 per cent support for the Liberals, and 25 per cent support for the Yukon Party. The gap appears to have closed, Larsen said.

"[Liberals] were benefiting from the Liberal win in the federal election, and enjoying the honeymoon of that, and I guess the honeymoon's over," she said. "The Yukon Party's picked back up."

Neither the Yukon Party nor the Liberals have offered official comment on the poll, but NDP leader Liz Hanson issued a statement on Monday saying the poll "cannot be taken seriously."

She says the poll failed to include undecided voters, and that poll results in Yukon ("where sample sizes are small") can be easily skewed.

Economic development, Peel watershed top issues

Datapath also asked respondents about policy issues, and found that economic development was top of mind for most voters. That was followed by the Peel watershed, fracking and carbon reduction policies, in that order.

Liz Hanson
NDP leader Liz Hanson says the Datapath poll 'cannot be taken seriously.' (Philippe Morin/CBC)

It found that Yukon Party supporters are most likely to support resource extraction in the Peel watershed (77 per cent), while NDP supporters are least likely to support it (15 per cent), and Liberal support tending to be low as well (25 per cent).

When it came to fracking, 68 per cent of Yukon Party supporters were in favour of fracking at some level, compared to 23 per cent of Liberal supporters and 14 per cent of NDP supporters.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/.....-1.3830239
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2016 8:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

( evidence that liberal corruption is everywhere , voter fraud in the Yukon ? of all places )


RCMP now involved in Elections Yukon investigation in Whitehorse Centre

by Ashley Joannou Wednesday November 2, 2016 »

Joel Krahn/Yukon News
goeppel.jpg
Tamara Goeppel, the Liberal candidate in Whitehorse Centre, is being investigated by Yukon RCMP for her use of proxy ballots.


Elections Yukon said Monday it is investigating accusations of electoral shenanigans in two Whitehorse-area ridings.

The RCMP are investigating claims that Tamara Goeppel, the Liberal candidate in Whitehorse Centre, violated the Elections Act by misusing proxy ballots. In a statement, Elections Yukon said “it appears that an offence, or offences under the Elections Act, have occurred.”

Goeppel got in trouble after admitting she helped 10 homeless people fill out proxy ballots so that someone else could vote on their behalf.

She has insisted she was trying to help a disenfranchised population, who don’t usually get to the polls, exercise their democratic right to vote. Under Yukon law voters can have someone else vote on their behalf. They can even ask a political party — as was done in these cases — to appoint someone to vote on their behalf.

But proxy ballots are meant for people who will be outside of the territory on election day.

The police involvement was enough for NDP Leader Liz Hanson — one of Goeppel’s competitors in the Whitehorse Centre riding — to call for Goeppel to withdraw from the election.

“The only right thing to do is for this candidate to step aside. If she will not step aside, I call on (Liberal Leader) Sandy Silver to do the right thing and withdraw his support for this candidate,” she said.

Hanson took issue with Goeppel’s claim that many of the people she spoke with don’t know where they’re going to be on election day. In an interview with the News last week, Goeppel said someone told her they “might be at the bottom of the river.”

“I’ve lived in Whitehorse Centre for some time, and know many of the people that this candidate is talking about,” Hanson said.

“When they say things like that, that they may end up at the bottom of the river next week, my first impulse is not to grab a proxy ballot. It’s wrong.”

While the Yukon Party did not call for Goeppel’s removal, they didn’t miss the opportunity to take a swipe at the Liberals.

“Liberal Leader Sandy Silver is faced with a decision to either support his campaign chair and disavow the unethical tactics being used, or continue to support his star candidate’s use of these tactics and her public criticisms of Elections Yukon,” Yukon Party campaign chair, Currie Dixon said in a statement.

In separate interviews last week, Liberal campaign chair Laura Cabott acknowledged what Goeppel did was wrong, while Goeppel would not guarantee that she would return the proxy ballots.

Goeppel did not respond to an interview request yesterday.

Liberal Leader Sandy Silver refused to answer questions about the situation at a campaign announcement Tuesday.

“This is in front of an investigation right now and so we are talking with the elections office and after that conversation is concluded we’ll have a statement on that,” he said.

Following the announcement the Liberals did issue a statement.

“Tamara was well intentioned and genuine in her desire to help vulnerable people vote,” the statement said. “The Yukon Liberal Party takes all matters related to the electoral process seriously. All candidates have been properly trained and advised on the proper use of special ballots and proxies, to ensure that all eligible Yukoners can exercise their right to vote.”

This is the last election that proxy ballots will be used in the Yukon thanks to amendments to the Elections Act passed last year.

After Monday’s election, only special ballots, which can be cast anytime, but must be cast by the voter, will be available to people away on election day.

Hanson said an NDP government would take things one step further and ensure special ballots are not handled by political parties or their volunteers, only by non-partisan election officials.

The same set of amendments that are doing away with proxy ballots also changed the way people without ID can vote this election.

Now, if a voter can find someone to confirm their identity, they will get a ballot.

Hanson said she thinks enough is being done to help disenfranchised people vote.

“I think that what we’ve heard is the discrediting of the very valuable work of the chief electoral officer and her staff as well as the people that work with street-involved people.”

http://www.yukon-news.com/news.....se-centre/
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2016 10:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yukon Votes: 5 things to watch in today's territorial election

The conservative Yukon Party has been in power for 14 years. Will Yukoners vote for change?

By Paul Tukker, CBC News Posted: Nov 07, 2016 4:00 AM CT| Last Updated: Nov 07, 2016 4:00 AM CT




It's promising to be a close and unpredictable election in Yukon today, as voters head to the polls to choose the next territorial government.

The conservative-leaning Yukon Party is hoping to make history by winning an unprecedented fourth straight majority, but there are signs that Yukoners may be ready for change. An independent poll last month suggested the Liberal Party and the Yukon Party were in a dead heat out front, with the NDP close behind.
■Yukon election poll shows tight race, with NDP trailing
■Yukon Votes: More coverage from CBC North
■INTERACTIVE: Who's running in the Yukon election? Meet the candidates

The last time Yukoners headed to the polls, in 2011, the resource-rich territory was enjoying an economic boom fuelled by high commodity prices. Darrell Pasloski's Yukon Party gladly accepted some credit for the good times, and handily won another majority.

The economic climate is much different now — mines have closed, exploration projects have halted, and the Conference Board of Canada has said Yukon's economy looks "bleak," at least in the near future. The Yukon Party has not been as willing to accept blame for the downturn.

Yukon's economic outlook 'bleakest' in Canada, report says


Pasloski has instead focused his campaign message on the proposed federal carbon tax, saying it will make life unaffordable for Yukoners and his party alone will fight for, and win, an exemption for Yukon.

Watson Lake Election
It's a close race to form the next government in the Yukon. (Dave Croft/CBC)

Liz Hanson's NDP has focused on environmental and social issues, saying the party would ban any fracking in the territory (the Yukon Party supports fracking in a small area of the territory's southeast). The NDP also promised measures aimed at alleviating poverty, such as raising the minimum wage.

Sandy Silver's Liberal Party has presented itself as a middle-ground option, taking a stand against fracking and stressing a positive message of collaboration and consultation, especially with respect to First Nations. The Yukon Party has had a fractious relationship (read: court battles) with First Nations governments, so the Liberals are promising better relations.


Here are some things to watch as the votes are counted on Monday night:

1. Will Yukon end up with minority government?

The close polling results suggest that it may be tough for any of the parties to win a decisive majority, even though they all apparently have a decent shot at it. Just as likely, perhaps, is a minority government.
■ANALYSIS: Yukon parties weigh in on possible minority government

Yukon legislative building
The legislature in Whitehorse may see a minority government for the first time in 24 years. (Paul Tukker/CBC)

If that happens, it would be the first time in 24 years that Yukoners failed to deliver a majority government to the legislative assembly.

There are 19 seats in the legislative assembly, so 10 seats are needed to win a majority. But what happens if one party wins seven seats, and the others win six each? Or, even more potentially vexing — a seven-seven-five split? Who would form the government, and could they make a minority work? Would the Liberals and NDP work together to oust the Yukon Party? Would Yukon's commissioner need to get involved (something that's never happened before)?

The election may settle nothing, at least not initially. The worst-case scenario, for many Yukoners, would be another election sooner rather than later.

2. Will the leaders keep their seats?

Often, political parties count on their leaders being safely returned to the legislature even when the party's fortunes take a dive. In this election, there is no reason to assume any of the leaders are absolutely safe in their seats.

Yukon Party leader Darrell Pasloski won his Mountainview riding in 2011 by 104 votes, or about 10 per cent. It was his first election as MLA and as party leader. His challengers this time have been campaigning hard against him, and hoping that there's been a general shift away from the Yukon Party that could help bring down Pasloski.

Yukon election signs
Yukon Party leader Darrell Pasloski is in a fight to hold onto his seat in the Mountainview riding. (Paul Tukker/CBC)

Liberal leader Sandy Silver was a Dawson City high school teacher and political neophyte when he was elected in the Klondike riding in 2011. He became the party's leader by default because he was the only Liberal in the legislative assembly. He won his seat by 126 votes last time (about 11.6 per cent).

If the 2011 election is any guide, NDP leader Liz Hanson would appear to be the most secure of the leaders — she won her Whitehorse Centre seat by 323 votes, a 25.6 per cent margin of victory. Her Liberal challenger this time, though, has deep roots in the riding and was campaigning aggressively for months before the election call. The Yukon Party's candidate, meanwhile, is a well-known cabinet minister who announced his retirement this year, before deciding to jump into the race in Whitehorse Centre. This race could be a close one.
■RIDING PROFILE: Mountainview
■RIDING PROFILE: Klondike
■RIDING PROFILE: Whitehorse Centre

3. Will urban ridings vote differently from rural areas?

Most of Yukon's ridings and voters are in Whitehorse, so a party can't win power without at least some city ridings (of the 19 seats in the legislature, 11 are in Whitehorse). A party could, however, form a majority government without any seats from rural ridings.

Whitehorse
Most of Yukon's voters, and thus seats, are in Whitehorse, so urban votes are essential to win an election. (Paul Tukker/CBC)

The independent poll done last month found the Liberals had a slight edge in Whitehorse, so it's possible that party could rack up a majority of seats in the capital alone, and in the process form the government.

The Yukon Party has won power with seats in urban and rural ridings in the last three elections, so there hasn't been a clear and firm political divide between the capital and the rest of the territory.

That may be changing, though, as Whitehorse grows faster and becomes more diverse than Yukon's smaller communities. Are their political leanings also diverging?

4. Could the Greens be spoilers?

The Yukon Green Party has never been a major factor in territorial politics, and it would be a shock to many Yukoners if any of the party's five candidates this time won a seat. In 2011, the party's two candidates won less than one per cent of the popular vote.

But it's possible the party could affect some local races, especially where the vote is expected to be close and even a handful of votes can make a big difference. Could the Greens be spoiler candidates?

Green party
Yukon Green Party leader Frank de Jong is hoping to get a seat for the first time for his party. (Philippe Morin/CBC)

Many Yukoners have Green sympathies, and likeable party leader Frank de Jong has run a spirited campaign, but it's tough to say whether that will translate into votes.

Some left-leaning Yukoners are still smarting from the federal election in 2011, when Green candidate John Streicker's strong showing likely helped Conservative Ryan Leef unseat popular Liberal incumbent Larry Bagnell in a squeaker (Bagnell handily re-claimed the seat in 2015, while Streicker is now running in the Yukon election as a Liberal).

5. How many will turn out on election day?

Yukoners like to vote. In last year's federal election, the territory had one of the highest turnouts of any province or territory, at 76 per cent (turnout across Canada was 68.3 per cent, the highest in 22 years).

The 2011 territorial election saw 74.3 per cent of eligible voters cast ballots, and turnout in 2006 was only slightly less, at 72.9 per cent.

The Yukon legislature also passed a number of changes to voting rules this year, aimed at making it easier for people to vote. Officials are accepting more forms of voter identification, and there are new provisions to allow people in remote areas to vote by phone or even Skype. Advance polls were also open longer this year.

Record number of ballots cast in Yukon's advance polls


How to cast a ballot from the bush? This Yukoner used Skype


There's reason to believe that Yukoners are especially engaged in this election, and turnout may be even higher than in the past. Advance polls last week saw nearly 23 per cent of all electors cast ballots — up from about 17.7 per cent in 2011, and 11 per cent in 2006.

Or course, there's also weather to consider. A snowy day — always a possibility in Yukon, in November — could discourage some voters, especially in rural ridings, from a drive to the polls.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/.....-1.3837671
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2016 10:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Leaders stick to scripts during final election debate

by Pierre Chauvin Friday November 4, 2016 »




Joel Krahn/Yukon News
debate.jpg
Liberal Leader Sandy Silver gives a quizzical look during last night’s debate at the Yukon Inn.


The last debate of Yukon’s electoral campaign went much like the others: lots of talking points, very little confrontation, and a wide variety of topics from humane society funding to food security.

The leaders of all four parties were in attendance.

The Green’s Frank de Jong, who hasn’t attended many of the previous debates, differentiated himself most from the other parties.

He said it’s urgent to protect the environment, and touted the Green Party’s conservative fiscal policies aimed at reducing income taxes and replacing them with carbon taxes.

NDP Leader Liz Hanson took aim at the Liberals over hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking. The NDP and Liberals have been locked in a squabble over the issue, with the NDP contending a ban on fracking has more power than the Liberals’ proposed moratorium.

Liberal Leader Sandy Silver quickly replied that the Liberals were opposed to fracking.

“We have a clear position on fracking,” he said. “No fracking.”

On the topic of education, the candidates were asked how they could create programs to meet the needs of Yukon workers.

Hanson said programs at Yukon College should be improved.

“Yukon College has also become a leader in the circumpolar world…on climate change and innovation,” she said.

Silver said there are problems with high schools in the communities. As a result Yukon College ends up working on high school equivalencies, he said.

De Jong, a teacher, highlighted the need for more apprenticeships, saying he sees first-hand how his students are hungry for “real-world experiences.”

“You can call it reality therapy,” he said.

Pasloski pointed to his party’s investment in Yukon College with the creation of the Centre for Northern Innovation in Mining, and the college’s upcoming transition to a university.

On food security, all leaders supported more local food production. Silver took a shot at the Yukon Party, saying some farmers had been fighting for years to clear land to plant produce.

Hanson favoured research into crops that would do well in the territory, and making more land accessible to farmers. Pasloski pointed to a project the Yukon Research Centre funded that aims to grow food year-round with a new type of greenhouse.

De Jong said the topic should be featured more prominently in school curriculums. We don’t realize how dependent we are on the outside, he said.

“If that magic truck stopped coming from Edmonton or Vancouver we would be in pretty bad shape pretty quickly.”

The carbon tax, always lurking in the background, eventually burst into the debate when the leaders were asked how it would reduce consumption if all the money is returned to Yukoners.

None of the leaders actually answered the question.

The Liberals and Greens have said they would give everything back, unlike the NDP, which wants to use part of it for a green energy fund.

The leaders were also asked about future fossil fuel development.

Hanson was quick to attack the Yukon Party for its stance on oil and gas development. She reiterated her promise for a $50 million fund to invest in green energy.


Silver also talked about renewable energy, saying the need for energy had to be balanced with reducing the Yukon’s carbon footprint. But neither Silver nor Hanson would close the door entirely to conventional oil and gas production.

De Jong was clear: a Yukon Green government wouldn’t licence any oil or gas extraction from Yukon.

Pasloski referred to a study that found the Yukon spends $200 million to buy energy from other jurisdictions, with nine million litres of fuel burned in transport.

The Yukon needs to innovate, he said.

In closing, de Jong insisted on looking at everything in our lives through the lens of environmental responsibility.

“Ekos means home, and that’s where we live,” he said.

Pasloski characterized his party platform has a “bold vision” and reiterated his opposition to the carbon tax.

“We continue to do that because less money in your pocket means less money to support local businesses, less dinners out with your family, less money for your kids’ sport equipment, music lessons, and art supplies,” he said.

Hanson said she enjoyed talking to Yukoners who shared their concerns with her.

“You deserve more than a different government, you deserve a better government,” she said.

Silver went last, and drew some laughter from the crowd.

“The Yukon Party has been in power since before the iPhone, before Facebook, and it shows,” he said.

Yukoners go to the polls Monday.

http://www.yukon-news.com/news.....on-debate/
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