Hopeful and optimistic Yukoners gather for record-breaking Yukon NDP convention

150 upbeat Yukoners took part in discussions and listened to leading Yukon and national New Democrats at the Yukon NDP’s annual convention, held this weekend at the Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre. The election year gathering highlighted the benefits of progressive communities, and the positive role a Yukon NDP government would have in shaping a fairer and a more sustainable territory.

The convention included productive discussions led by leading New Democrats like Niki Ashton, NDP Member of Parliament for the northern Manitoba riding of Churchill—Keewatinook Aski and Brian Stokes, a former Alberta NDP executive director. Delegates also took part in platform development and nomination candidate question-and-answer sessions as the party showcased its pre-election readiness.

“Conventions are a special opportunity for us to come together as a political family to celebrate our accomplishments – and to look ahead to the future,” said Yukon NDP Leader Liz Hanson to the convention during a speech that mapped out her party’s vision for the territory. “And this is no normal year.”

The Yukon NDP is preparing for the 2016 territorial election that will offer Yukoners the chance to elect a government that chooses good jobs, access to health care and government transparency instead of economic stagnation and backroom decision-making. As Yukon’s premier, Liz Hanson is asking Yukoners to choose hope and optimism over fear and despair. Yukon NDP governments have been responsible for some of modern Yukon’s most important achievements including the cooperation with First Nation governments that led to the signing of the Umbrella Final Agreement, the building of important community infrastructure like the Yukon Arts Centre and the Yukon College’s Ayamdigut campus, and paved year-round paved access to the Alaskan port at Skagway.

Convention delegates also heard about the Yukon NDP caucus’ accomplishments over the past year in the Yukon Legislative Assembly. These initiatives included successful motions to create a territorial holiday on National Aboriginal Day, enshrine the legal rights of trans* Yukoners in the Human Rights Act and support victims of domestic violence by helping them access safe and stable housing without financial penalties.

“I’m proud of the work that we have accomplished with the support of progressive Yukoners. Even in a majority legislature, the Yukon NDP has gotten things done,” added Hanson during her address. “But you and I both know that our work is not done.”
“This fall, that opportunity for renewed hope, respect and goodwill is exactly what we are going to offer Yukoners.”