Yukon Party wins historic 3rd majority

The Yukon Party has made political history, winning its third majority government with 11 of the territory's 19 seats.
Yukon Party Leader Darrel Pasloski celebrates his party's victory Tuesday night in Whitehorse.

The Yukon Party has made political history, winning its third majority government with 11 of the territory's 19 seats.

Its leader, Darrell Pasloski, won his first seat in the legislature. He took over the leadership of the party last May and was under a lot of pressure to win his riding and lead the party to victory.

But three of his cabinet – Health Minister Glenn Hart, Economic Development Minister Steve Nordick and Justice Minister Marian Horne – all went down to defeat. Hart lost to NDP Jan Stick in Riverdale South and Steve Nordick lost the Klondike riding to Liberal Sandy Silver.

The NDP won six seats, including its leader "Landside Liz" Hanson who handily held onto Whitehorse Centre, defeating Marian Horne. Hanson was first elected last December in a byelection.

But Liberal Leader Arthur Mitchell was downed by a 26-year-old Yukon Party policy adviser, Currie Dixon, and before the hour was out had tendered his resignation. His colleagues Eric Fairclough, who has held the riding of Mayo-Tatchun since 1996, and Don Inverarity, of Porter Creek South, also lost their seats.

Vuntut Gwitchin Liberal incumbent Darius Elias, who defeated his only opponent, Yukon Party candidate Garry Njootli, will be one of the two remaining Liberals.

Ex-premier Dennis Fentie's former riding of Watson Lake  will stay with the party as Patti McLeod beat out her nearest competitor, NDP candidate Liard McMillan. Other Yukon Party victors include newcomers Porter Creek South candidate Mike Nixon, Porter Creek North candidate Doug Graham, Porter Creek Centre David Laxton, Riverdale North candidate Scott Kent, Kluane candidate Wade Istchenko and Pelly-Nisutlin candidate Stacey Hassard.

Incumbents Brad Cathers, of Lake Laberge and Elaine Taylor, of Whitehorse West, also will return to the legislature.

The NDP's new MLAs are Mount Lorne-Southern Lakes candidate Kevin Barr, Riverdale South's Jan Stick, Takhini-Kopper King candidate Kate White, Copperbelt South's Lois Moorcroft and Mayo-Tatchun candidate Jim Tredger.

When all was said and done, the Liberals were completely shut out of 11 Whitehorse ridings, winning two of the eight rural seats. The Yukon Party took four rural seats while the NDP won the other two.

In the end, 76.2 per cent of the territory's eligible voters cast a ballot.