North

Full slate of candidates set in Yukon ahead of fall federal election

All five political parties have chosen their Yukon candidates for the October election. Here's a look at who they are.

All 5 political parties have chosen their candidates for the October election

The federal election is set for this fall and the Yukon is set with a full field of candidates from the major parties. (Peter Power/Canadian Press)

Election season is about to get underway in Yukon, with five candidates set to run in this October's federal election. 

The Conservative Party and the NDP kicked off their campaigns in the past week, while the Liberal event is on Wednesday and the Green Party party is on Friday. The four parties have opened, or are in the midst of opening, their offices and signing up volunteers.

Here's a look at those candidates as they begin making their pitch to Yukoners. 

Green: Lenore Morris

Lenore Morris, Yukon candidate for the Green Party, says its core issues are more relevant to Yukoners than ever. (Dave Croft/CBC)
 

Lenore Morris said her support began with long time party members like herself, then friends and acquaintances and now other members of the public as the election nears.

The party's core issues are more relevant to Yukoners than ever before, she said.

"It used to be that, you know, we were seen as a bit of a fringe party," she said. "That's absolutely not the case."

"People are really open to the Green message, people are really concerned about the environment, and especially about climate change in a way that they simply never were before," said Morris.

Conservative: Jonas Smith

Andrew Scheer poses for a photo with Yukon Conservative candidate Jonas Smith. Scheer was in Whitehorse in July, speaking to residents about his plans for the North. (Chris Windeyer/CBC)

   
The Conservative Party's candidate declared his intent to run just over a year ago.

Jonas Smith has spent his time since then visiting Yukon communities. Affordability is an issue all over, he said.

"You know housing is a very big issue in every single community," said Smith.

"There's a lot of people that care deeply about the environment in the Yukon, he said. "That's why many of us choose to live here, but they don't think charging us more with a carbon tax is going to do anything to save it."

Smith said efforts to protect the environment should be focused on developing alternative energy sources like hydro, bio-mass and solar.

NDP: Justin Lemphers

Justin Lemphers says affordability, food security and climate change are issues important to Yukoners. (Dave Croft/CBC)

Yukoners are giving up on the Liberals and Conservatives, said Justin Lemphers, the Yukon's NDP candidate.

He said affordability, food security and climate change are issues he's hearing about.

"I'm hearing a number of things," Lemphers said.

"I've heard about permafrost slumps up in the north. There was a gentleman in Old Crow I was speaking to who's had to winch his hunting cabin back from the Old Crow River every year for the last several years," he said.

Lemphers says some people are wondering if a warming climate will open opportunities to grow more food in the territory.

Liberal: Larry Bagnell 

Liberal Larry Bagnell celebrates his win on election night, Oct. 19, 2015. This is his seventh election campaign. He's won five. (Nancy Thomson)

Yukon's Liberal incumbent MP, Larry Bagnell, is running in his seventh federal campaign. He's won five of them so far.

Bagnell said he's been reminding Yukoners in recent months what he's helped accomplish for them. He said the economy is booming and there are better relations between the federal government and First Nations in the territory.

He doubts any of the candidates will make their campaigns personal in a negative way.

"Anytime anyone's made a foray into making really sort of negative or personal comments in the past, Yukoners aren't like that, they don't appreciate that," said Bagnell.

"And if it had occurred in the past it didn't last very long for that very reason," he said.

People's Party of Canada: Joseph Zelezny

Joseph Zelezny, Yukon riding candidate for the People's Party of Canada, says he has supporters in the territory, but they are worried about becoming targets if they speak out. (Joseph Zelezny)

People's Party of Canada candidate Joseph Zelezny said he may skip opening an office and instead devote most of his campaign efforts to being out and about in the territory.

He said there is support for the party in Yukon, but people are reluctant to be public about it because of controversy over the party's stance on various issues.

"There's even more of a hesitance here for people to speak up because they don't want to put their families through what comes with having any sort of commentary like that," he said.

On climate change, Zelezny said everybody wants to protect the environment, but activists and the media are creating alarmism and panic about it.