Former PPC candidate launches Yukon Freedom Party as 'voice for the people'

·2 min read
Joseph Zelezny cites electoral reform and eliminating the carbon tax as key issues for his newly-registered Yukon Freedom Party.  (Kaila Jefferd-Moore - image credit)
Joseph Zelezny cites electoral reform and eliminating the carbon tax as key issues for his newly-registered Yukon Freedom Party. (Kaila Jefferd-Moore - image credit)

Becoming an official political party in the Yukon is faster than expected, according to Joseph Zelezny.

The former People's Party of Canada (PPC) candidate has just registered a new territorial party — the Yukon Freedom Party.

"It took less time than anticipated to get the party registered so that was kind of a surprise — but a good surprise," said Zelezny.

The Yukon Freedom Party is now one of four registered parties in the territory, along with the Liberals, the Yukon Party and the NDP.

In March, the Green Party was de-registered in Yukon because it did not field any candidates in the most recent territorial election. That's one of the requirements to maintain official status, according to Elections Yukon guidelines.

Zelezny ran as Yukon's PPC candidate in the 2019 federal election. He described himself then as a "regular Joe" who'd held a number of jobs.

He finished fifth in that election, with 284 votes. In fourth place was the Green Party candidate with 2,201 votes.

Zelezny says that campaign was a stepping stone and a way for him to "plant the seeds." He cites electoral reform and eliminating the carbon tax as key issues for The Yukon Freedom Party.

Jackie Hong/CBC
Jackie Hong/CBC

He says Yukoners need an alternative option to represent them at the legislative assembly.

"This is just another step, another tool and another voice," he said. "There is no time like the present to essentially have a voice for the people that don't have one."

Registering a party in Yukon

To register a party in Yukon, interested candidates need to submit an application package to Elections Yukon, including 100 written signatures from members of the party who are eligible electors, Canadian citizens over 18 years of age who have lived in the Yukon at least a year.

The registration package also asks for the party's information — not the platform — and a list of the administrative members and their roles.

According to Yukon's chief electoral officer, Maxwell Harvey, there is a two- to three-week period between submitting an application and getting verified.

One of the benefits of running with a registered party includes having the party's name on the printed ballots.

"If they were not registered, even though they were a political party, they would not be able to put the party name. They would have to go as an independent," explains Harvey.

According to Harvey, registered parties have access to a list of all the electors by district, the ability to receive monetary donations and issue receipts, and be part of any Elections Yukon briefing.

Parties must also endorse at least two candidates in a general election in order to maintain status as a registered party.

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