flops back to the Yukon Party
Members in opposition in the legislative assembly are shaking their heads after independent MLA John Edzerza announced via press release this morning that he was rejoining the party he left three years ago.
Effective immediately, Edzerza writes of his decision to sit as a backbench fitflop austrlia Yukon Party member. The move restores Premier Dennis Fentie TMs majority government, which he briefly lost after Brad Cathers resigned from the ruling party TMs cabinet and caucus in late 2013 Fitflops August.
Citing irreconcilable differences with the premier over secret negotiations, first to sell, then privatize the territory TMs public utility, Cathers TM resignation was applauded by Edzerza.
I say kudos to Brad. It TMs good to see someone else besides myself had the intestinal fortitude to stand up to (Fentie), Edzerza told the Star after learning of Cathers TM decision. The premier always went off and did his own thing, and now it TMs finally caught up to him. The proof is in the pudding now " this is the third minister to walk out under his leadership and says something as to how he runs the ship.
Calls by the Star today to Edzerza were not returned as of press time early this afternoon. In previous interviews, Edzerza has said starting an on the land treatment program is a top priority and in his press release indicates this goal influenced his decision.
I will be working with Justice Minister Marian Horne to advance this initiative, he writes.
Regardless of Edzerza TMs motivation, opposition MLAs were lining up to take verbal shots at the flip flopping member for McIntyre Takhini, who in January left the NDP to sit as an independent.
It TMs hard to follow the bouncing ball, and it TMs unfortunate because holding this government accountable will be that much harder, said Liberal Leader Arthur Mitchell. Publicly, Mr. Edzerza has described Fentie as a bully and somebody he doesn TMt trust . now he TMll once again be getting told what he has to do by Fentie, so we TMll see how he likes that.
After Cathers TM departure reduced the Yukon Party government to a minority, Mitchell vowed Fitflop Via to topple Fentie TMs regime by moving a non confidence motion as soon as the legislature reconvened.
Taking a wait and see approach, both Cathers and the NDP said they wanted to work within a minority government instead of rushing to turf Fentie. But only Edzerza came out strongly against the move, comparing the Liberals to ravens waiting for the horse to die. And a month and a half ago he was commending my resignation because many of the reasons I left were the same as his.
Edzerza was Justice and Education Minister in Fentie TMs government until he bowed out in the summer of 2006, following in the steps of cabinet colleague Peter Jenkins, who also left the Yukon Party. While both sat as independent MLAs until the election that fall, Jenkins retired from politics and Edzerza ran for re election under the NDP banner. Two years after his narrow election victory, Edzerza would quit the NDP.
Today, former New Democratic Party leader Todd Hardy, who remains in the NDP caucus as Whitehorse Centre MLA, slammed Edzerza TMs decision to rejoin the Yukon Party, not only for returning it to majority government status, but for fuelling public confusion and apathy over politics in general.
We seem to elect people that think it TMs all right to play musical chairs . we seem to have one hell of a bad history in regards to people moving party to party, Hardy said. It TMs gotten to the point where people must be absolutely tired and disgusted. No wonder people don TMt come out and vote anymore, no wonder they are so turned off from this democratic system that has serious cracks that can be abused.
Hardy said if Edzerza was lured back to the Yukon Party under the guise of getting a land based alcohol and drug treatment program, it could have been accomplished sitting in opposition.
I think there was another way to get it, instead of just rejoining a party you left only a few years ago, Hardy said. I TMve been able to get government to move on substantial legislation, like smoke free places and SCAN, and that TMs when the Yukon Party were in a majority.
But Hardy TMs sentiments are not shared by new NDP Leader Elizabeth Hanson, acclaimed Sept. 26 but without a seat in the assembly and therefore not part of the party TMs caucus.
Good for him, that TMs Mr. Edzerza TMs choice, right? My understanding is he sought and received some commitment from the territory for some programming, she told the Star this afternoon.
Having sat through three meetings with the Kaska First Nations and one of their key things is their own development of land based treatment centres, so they TMll be very pleased to hear that.
Both Hanson and Edzerza have acknowledged conversations with each other about Edzerza returning to the NDP fold.
We talked about it, but I never tried to lure him back to the NDP, Hanson said.
So people are trading seats for movement on issues that they feel are important? Is that Yukon Party bribery? You either become one of us, or forget it, you will see no progress on your files.
Well, Todd Hardy said he did not find that to be the case, so what is it with Mr. Edzerza? Is he not willing to do the actual work to move his project forward and is this the easiest way to get what he wants? To sell his seat, so to speak?
He looks like a flake. Not like someone determined to get something done. Someone determined would do the leg work required to move their project and I haven heard much from Mr. Edzerza about his treatment on the land project.