Liberals, NDP fill slates, and Greens a no-show as nominations close in Yukon election

·2 min read
Party campaign signs are posted in Whitehorse's Riverdale neighbourhood. (Chris Windeyer/CBC  - image credit)
Party campaign signs are posted in Whitehorse's Riverdale neighbourhood. (Chris Windeyer/CBC - image credit)

The ballots are set for Yukon's upcoming territorial election, with only the Liberals and the NDP running a full slate of candidates — and the Green Party withered on the vine.

The nomination deadline for candidates in the April 12 election passed Monday afternoon, 10 days after the election was called.

A total of 57 people are campaigning in Yukon's 19 electoral districts this year. The Liberals and NDP have candidates in all districts, and the Yukon Party has candidates in all but one.

Yukon's northernmost riding, Vuntut Gwitchin, will have just two names on the ballot — Liberal incumbent Pauline Frost, and the NDP's Annie Blake. In the last territorial election, in 2016, the late Darius Elias ran for the Yukon Party and lost to Frost by just seven votes.

The only candidate in any riding this year who's not affiliated with one of the three major parties is running as an independent in Mountainview — Coach Jan Prieditis.

And for the first time in more than a decade, the Green Party is a non-entity in the campaign. The party has no candidates this time around.

In 2016, five people ran as Greens under Leader Frank De Jong, and in the 2011 election the party had two candidates. None came close to winning a seat.

This year there are only two electoral districts without an incumbent candidate — Mayo-Tatchun, where Don Hutton won as a Liberal in 2016, and Whitehorse Centre where former NDP leader Liz Hanson held the seat for years.

Hutton — who recently left his party to sit as an independent — decided not to run again, and Hanson announced earlier this year that she was retiring from politics.

Men and women are almost equally represented among the candidates this year, with 30 men running and 27 women. Three ridings — Porter Creek North, Vuntut Gwitchin and Watson Lake — will have only women on the ballot.

The ballot order for each electoral district is determined by a random draw that also took place Monday.

Meanwhile, the hunt is still on for elections workers. Chief electoral officer Max Harvey says Elections Yukon so far has about half of the 200 workers it will need.