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Yukon MLA feels 'ambushed' by riding association

Marian Horne says rival contested her nomination at last minute

August 03, 2011



Yukon Party MLA Marian Horne is accusing her own riding association of putting up a rival candidate for the party's nomination in advance of this fall's territorial election.

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Marian Horne, seen at an April 2010 news conference in Whitehorse, said she had thought her party nomination in Pelly Nisutlin, the riding she has represented since 2006, would go uncontested. ((CBC))

Horne, who is also Yukon's justice minister, said she had thought she would not be challenged for the Yukon Party's nomination in Pelly Nisutlin, the riding she has represented since 2006.

But rival candidate Stacey Hassard entered the party's nomination race at the last minute, despite saying on several occasions that he was not interested in running, according to Horne.

"I was really shocked. It's my constituency association who is supposed to be my support that ambushed me," she told CBC News on Wednesday.

Hassard is the brother of former Yukon Party MLA Dean Hassard, who was Horne's predecessor in Pelly Nisutlin. He represented the riding from 2002 to 2006.

Nomination to be decided Friday

Horne said the Yukon Party nomination will be decided Friday in Pelly Nisutlin, which includes the rural Yukon communities of Teslin, Ross River and Faro. Horne is based in Teslin.

"The reason given was that I didn't attend the Village of Teslin meetings, and I do," she said.

"I responded [that] I have when I can. Like, my full-time job is minister of justice."

Horne said she has told Yukon Party Leader Darrell Pasloski about her concerns, but she added that what Hassard has done is not against the rules.

At the same time, Horne said she is concerned about balanced representation in the Yukon legislature.

"Twenty-five per cent are First Nations, therefore of the nineteen seats we should have at least four to five First Nations representatives," said Horne, a member of the Teslin Tlingit First Nation.

All parties should nominate First Nations candidates in ridings like Pelly Nisutlin, where many voters are First Nations people, she added.

Yukon Party slate almost complete

Hassard has not responded to a request for comment as of midday Wednesday.

Carol Geddes is seeking the NDP nomination in Pelly Nisutlin.

Yukon Party officials say they hope to officially nominate candidates in all 18 Yukon ridings by the end of this week.

A total of 10 ridings have Yukon Party candidates confirmed to date, including Garry Njootli, who was nominated on Tuesday to challenge Liberal MLA Darius Elias in the Vuntut Gwitchin riding.

Njootli is the nephew of former Yukon Conservative MLA Grafton Njootli, who represented Vuntut Gwitchin in the late-1970s and early '80s.

Party spokesman Darren Parsens said the remaining eight ridings all have nomination meetings set for this week.

Pasloski must call a general election in Yukon by the end of October, when his party's mandate expires.

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