Dawson City councillor Jay Farr announces Yukon NDP nomination bid in Klondike

City of Dawson Councillor Jay Farr has announced that he’s running for the Yukon NDP’s Klondike nomination. The high-profile announcement comes as the Yukon NDP call for a new chapter in Dawson City’s mining history by updating Yukon’s outdated mining laws which allow the application to the Surface Rights Board to move an entire Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in neighbourhood off their own land.

Farr has a long history of community service. In addition to his role as a municipal official, he has also served as the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in First Nation’s deputy chief. Farr has worked at Diamond Tooth Gertie’s for close to 10 years; he is an avid trapper and has been a fixture on Dawson’s ice rink as a referee for 30 years.

“As a born-and-raised Dawsonite, our community’s success is something that’s been very close to my heart as both a First Nation government leader and a city councillor,” said Farr. “While our municipality and our First Nation are in good hands, the territorial government needs a shake-up. It is not acting in Dawson City’s best interests, and a Yukon NDP government would be the partner the community needs to continue to thrive.”

Farr says that the Yukon government needs to be a more reliable community partner by working to develop more affordable and student housing, including specific targets for unit construction as part of a Yukon-wide affordable housing strategy. On the environmental front, Farr takes pride in the fact that the Yukon NDP is the only political party that has unequivocally supported the Final Recommended Peel Watershed Land Use Plan from day one. He also wants to be part of a government that takes a principled position against hydraulic fracturing (also known as ‘fracking’).

Farr points to recent incidents in Dawson’s mining community as a sign that the Yukon government needs to table successor legislation that ensures a fair balance of access to natural resources and the protection of community and private space. He notes that the Yukon NDP is the only party that has consistently called for successor legislation, echoing the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in government, and that setting the precedent of negotiating compensation for miners with claims under residential property is a dangerous slippery slope.

“Mining is at the core of Dawson City’s modern history, but tomorrow’s projects can’t be governed by yesterday’s rules,” said Farr. “Yukon has to get with the times and update the laws that mandate how miners access the Klondike’s mineral bounty.”