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Pat Duncan elected in Yukon

The Story


When Pat Duncan picks up the Globe and Mail to read about her 2000 Yukon election victory, she's a little disturbed to see herself referred to as "Mr. Duncan." The territory's first Liberal premier has made quite an impact, helping her party capture 10 of the 17 seats. But as we see in this clip from The National, Duncan must now focus on making an impression down south.

Medium: Television
Program: The National
Broadcast Date: April 18, 2000
Guest(s): Pat Duncan
Reporter: Terry Milewski
Duration: 2:34

Did You know?


• In the 2000 election, the Yukon Liberal Party came to power for the first time since the introduction of party politics in 1978. It captured 42.9 per cent of the popular vote, for 10 seats and a majority government. The incumbent New Democrats came second with six seats, and the Yukon Party took just one seat. Liberal leader Pat Duncan became the territory's first Liberal premier, and its first woman premier.

• Before becoming premier, Duncan ran a consulting business, managed the Whitehorse Chamber of Commerce and worked as an assistant to Yukon Progressive Conservative MP Erik Nielsen. She was elected to the legislative assembly in 1996, and became Yukon Liberal Party leader in 1998.

• The Liberal rise in the Yukon was partly attributable to tough economic times, with voters taking out their frustrations on the incumbent NDP. Pat Duncan's Yukon Liberal Party also distinguished itself from the federal Liberals under Jean Chrétien by opposing Ottawa's gun control program.
• In 2001, Pat Duncan worked with federal and First Nations negotiators to transfer control over the management of natural resources from the federal government to the Yukon.

• The Yukon Northern Affairs Program Devolution Transfer Agreement gave the territory administrative and financial control over forests, mining, minerals and water rights. But the federal government still holds the underlying title to land and resources in the Yukon, and retains the right to take land back for uses like creating a national park or settling native land claims. The agreement was signed by Duncan and Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development Robert Nault on Oct. 29, 2001.

• Despite this success, the Yukon's first Liberal government struggled with internal dissent, and within two years was reduced to a minority. Three Liberal MLAs left the party to sit as independents, citing Pat Duncan's "dictatorial" leadership style.


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Territorial Battles: Yukon Elections, 1978-2006 more