Old Crow MLA quits Liberal Party
Lone remaining Yukon Liberal MLA Sandy Silver now interim party leader
Yukon MLA Darius Elias has quit the territory’s Liberal Party and will now sit as an independent.
Elias, MLA for Vuntut Gwitchin, said he's undergoing what he calls a healthy political metamorphosis and people in Old Crow don't really care that he's no longer a Liberal.
"The majority of our community votes for the person, they vote for Darius Elias, and they just want me to be healthy, my family to be healthy and they want their community strong with leaders that are pushing in the same direction and that's basically it," he said.
Elias had been designated interim leader of the party when Liberal leader Arthur Mitchell stepped down after the party's poor showing in last fall's territorial election.
Klondike MLA Sandy Silver, the lone remaining Liberal MLA in the Yukon legislature, will now have that title.
Elias said leaving the Liberals was a personal decision to better serve his constituents in Old Crow.
"I dedicated six years of my political life to that party, as far as I'm concerned they are in very good hands," he said. "Mr. Silver will do an excellent job. That party will do fine without me."
The move will cost Elias the party leaders’ $12,000 salary perk.
A brief statement from the Liberal Party said the door remains open for his return.