POLITICS
10/11/2011 04:00 EDT | Updated 12/10/2011 05:12 EST

Yukon Election: Premier Darrell Pasloski Hopes For Third Term In Canada's Smallest Territory

Flickr: US Mission Canada

WHITEHORSE - It's election day in Canada's smallest territory.

Yukon Premier Darrell Pasloski hopes to lead his Yukon Party to its third consecutive majority government.

He took over as head of the right-of-centre party in May when longtime premier Dennis Fentie announced his retirement.

The Yukon Party will have five incumbents on the ballots Tuesday.

Liberal Leader Arthur Mitchell will have four incumbents while NDP leader Liz Hanson is the lone veteran MLA representing that party.

The standings at dissolution were: Yukon Party 10, Liberals 5, and three seats for the NDP.

Pasloski will be looking to get elected for the first time in the newly created Mountainview riding of Whitehorse.

Liberal Leader Arthur Mitchell has served for six years in the legislature, first winning a byelection in 2005.

Liz Hanson, leader of the NDP, won a byelection in Whitehorse Centre last December when she filled former leader Todd Hardy's seat after his death from leukemia.

There are 19 seats up for grabs, with 10 needed to form a majority government.

Some of the issues facing the Yukon's three main parties include affordable housing, mining royalties and the protection of the Peel River watershed.

Thousands of mineral claims have been staked in the region during the last five years as First Nations and environmentalists have fought to save the area.

A booming Yukon economy, thanks to record high mineral prices, has also raised the issue of royalty rates, which the New Democrats propose should be raised to fund education and health care.

The Yukon Party and the Liberals are opposed to such a plan. And the Yukon Chamber of Mines has said raising mining royalties would threaten the industry

The Liberal Party and the NDP support withdrawing a portion of the Peel River Watershed from staking and mining after an extensive land-use planning process over several years.

The Peel Watershed Commission is recommending 80 per cent of the 67,000-square kilometre central Yukon wilderness area be protected from development.

The Liberals' promises include connecting the territory to the North American electrical grid to provide residents with a more reliable power source.

Party leader Arthur Mitchell said the territory needs a system that also allows the sale of surplus energy.

The Green Party and the First Nations Party each has two candidates running in the election.

There are also two independent candidates, including Elvis Aaron Presley. His slogan is "Don't be a hound dog. Vote Elvis Aaron Presley." (The Canadian Press, CKRW)