North

Yukon's chief electoral officer starts inquiry into Mountainview riding

Allegations of questionable election campaigning tactics surfaced in the Kwanlin Dün subdivision earlier this week. Chief electoral officer Lori McKee is now making her own inquiries.

Lori McKee wants to speak with anyone who has 'first hand' information of questionable campaign tactics

'Obviously, we take these concerns seriously,' said Lori McKee, Yukon's chief electoral officer. (Paul Tukker/CBC)

Yukon's chief electoral officer has begun an inquiry into allegations of unethical campaign behaviour in Whitehorse's Mountainview riding. 

Some people in the Kwanlin Dün First Nation's McIntyre subdivision told CBC they were taken to vote while they were drunk or very hungover.

The First Nation also issued a letter to all three candidates in the riding, cautioning them about what it called "questionable tactics."

Chief Electoral Officer Lori McKee said after the allegations came to light, she consulted a lawyer.

"We did receive legal advice. And based on the provisions of the Elections Act, and the Public Inquiries Act, if it is made to appear to the chief electoral officer that an offense under this act has been committed, the chief electoral officer shall make any inquiries that appear necessary, under the circumstances," McKee said.

"What we are doing is an inquiry, where we're gathering information. We will get it firsthand from the people involved, and follow up as approriate."

A letter sent by the Kwanlin Dun First Nation to Mountainview candidates refers to 'questionable tactics.' (CBC)

Elections Yukon has said that it must hear from someone who has "direct involvement" in an issue, before an official complaint can be made.

McKee said she's already made inquiries and is waiting for information. She says then her office can then "speak to the individuals that had firsthand involvement, to determine if there has or has not been any wrongdoing."

McKee says any wrongdoing under the Elections Act can lead to prosecution.

She said she hopes to resolve the matter "on a timely basis," noting that Elections Yukon is busy preparing for the Nov. 7 election.    

"It is important to resolve it before polling day," she said. "Obviously, we take these concerns seriously, and that's why we have taken this step."

About the Author

Raised in Ross River, Yukon, Nancy Thomson is a graduate of Ryerson University's journalism program. Her first job with CBC Yukon was in 1980, when she spun vinyl on Saturday afternoons. She rejoined CBC Yukon in 1993, and focuses on First Nations issues and politics. You can reach her at nancy.thomson@cbc.ca.