On October 10th, voters in the Yukon decided to stick with their existing provincial government. On that day, they re-elected Dennis Fentie, leader of the Yukon Party. The win makes two in a row for the party, something that hasn’t happened in the Yukon Territory since 1989 when the New Democratic Party pulled off a consecutive win. The Yukon Party is thrilled to retain its status. Party representatives state they will move forward with the party platform over the next four years.
Dennis Fentie has outlined four basic areas that his party has committed to in the official policy. The areas are: a better quality of life, the environment, the economy and practising good government (Yukon Party, 2006). The government wants to continue its success in dealing with particular social issues and expand the Yukon economy. It has plans to promote the arts and culture in the Yukon Territory, protect families and deal with alcohol and drug abuse. Since the party took power, there has been a decline in joblessness and financial strain across the territory, and this is undoubtedly what the voters took note of.
As for the environment, the Yukon Party is the only real contender for conserving northern wildlife and climate (aside from the NDP), and that is saying a lot. Northerners are understandably concerned about not only their way of life, but also the arctic ecosystem itself. These core cultural values are reflected in the winning Party’s policy. The Party policy document states it will, “maintain and enhance the quality of the Yukon’s natural environment for present and future generations through eco-system based management, conservation of resources and protection and maintenance of biodiversity [and] meet Yukon’s obligation to establish Special Management Areas and Habitat Protection Areas under the land claims settlements” (Ibid., p. 19).
Economic policies include promoting northern pipelines and forestry, working on energy self-sufficiency and making land available for all Yukoners. Fentie hopes that, by adhering to these principles, Yukon will stay strong and independent, with citizens able to find jobs, homes and family support without leaving the area.
Finally, Fentie has promised to keep “practising open, accountable, fiscally responsible government” (Ibid., p. 34). With a majority win of over 47%, with the Liberals obtaining 34.83% and the NDP 23.33%, it looks like Yukoners believe in the party.
Yukon Party (2006). Building Yukon’s future together: A clear vision for a bright future, imagine tomorrow. Retrieved from http://www.yukonparty.ca/documents/YP%20Platform%202006.pdf.
CBC News (2006, October 11). Yukoners decided not time for change: Fentie. CBC News. Retrieved from http://www.cbc.ca/canada/yukonvotes2006/story/2006/10/11/yv-majority.html.