Olivia Chow stumps for Yukon NDP, takes aim at other parties

Former NDP MP and Toronto city councillor paid a visit to Whitehorse on Wednesday, to offer some moral support to the Yukon NDP.

Former MP the only star politician to drop in on Yukon election campaign

Yukon NDP leader Liz Hanson with Olivia Chow (standing on Hanson's left) and several of the party's candidates, in Whitehorse on Wednesday. (Vic Istchenko/CBC)

It's not unusual for a star politician to pay a visit to political brethren fighting an election, in hopes of adding buzz to a local campaign.

But Olivia Chow — the former NDP MP, Toronto city councilor, widow of Jack Layton — became the first, and likely only, high-profile booster to drop in to Yukon's election campaign.

Chow appeared with Yukon NDP leader Liz Hanson at an event in Whitehorse on Wednesday, to talk about the party's plan for child care.

Yukon New Democrats are promising to reduce child care costs for families by 25 per cent, and say their plan will save families over $2,000 per child annually.

"I'm here to support the Yukon NDP because they have a concrete plan to lower child care costs," Chow said.

The Yukon Party platform promises to double the available operating grants to childcare facilities, up to $10 million per year, with the intent of creating more childcare spaces.

The Liberals are promising to research, develop and implement an early childhood strategy.

Shots at Yukon Party, Liberals

Chow also took some pointed shots at the other parties.

"I'm not sure child care or affordability of families is even in [the Yukon Party's] perspective, or in their universe. I haven't heard much about them doing much for kids,".

She was even more dismissive of the Liberals, who she said make empty promises. The party in Yukon "tends to have no experience," she said.

Yukon has had one short-lived Liberal government, under Pat Duncan from 2000 to 2002.

Chow then referred to the investigation into Liberal candidate Tamara Goeppel's use of proxy votes, now before the RCMP. She said the Liberals' lack of experience is "probably why the candidate is allegedly breaking election law.  

"They're probably not experienced. You know, often best intention leads to destructive policies, if you don't have the experience and know what the law is," Chow said.

"You can trust [the NDP], you know where they stand. They've had 10 years of experience governing, right here in Yukon."

With files from Vic Istchenko


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