Yukon’s Fixed-Date Elections Law


Between 2001 and 2021, all the federal parliament and the legislatures in all provinces and territories enacted fixed-date election laws. British Columbia started the trend in 2001. Yukon held out to December 2020, and Nova Scotia fell on 5 November 2021. These laws have now completed their long march through the institutions of power. The Fog of the Pandemic that many of us have experienced over the last 21 months shrouded these last two sets of debates and concealed them from my limited attention, which I now turn to them in retrospect and examine them in chronological order. 

The Law Itself & the Debates

On 6 October 2020, Premier Silver introduced a government bill to amend Yukon’s Elections Act to provide for fixed-date elections.[1] The bill underwent Second Reading on 16 November and passed on division, with the Liberals and New Democrats in favour and the Yukon Party, the centre-right Official Opposition, against.[2] The Legislative Assembly never made any amendments, and the bill sailed through the Committee of the Whole and Third Reading and received Royal Assent in its original form on 22 December 2020.[3]

The federal and provincial fixed-date election laws all preserve the authority of the Governor General and Lieutenant Governors to dissolve parliament and the legislatures, on and in accordance with the constitutional advice of the Prime Minister and Premiers, because otherwise these mere statutes would contravene the supreme law of the Constitution of Canada and become invalid. “The office of the Queen, the Governor General and the Lieutenant Governor of a province” under section 41(a) of the Constitution Act, 1982 includes the authorities of those offices, such as summoning, proroguing, and dissolving parliament. The Commissioners of the three territories serve as analogues to the Lieutenant Governors of the ten provinces in practice; however, in law, the territories remain creatures of the Parliament of Canada and unlike the provinces are not constitutionally entrenched as a separate order of government, which means that the territorial Commissioners themselves remain subject to the Government and Parliament of Canada. Where the federal and provincial fixed-date election laws must adhere to section 41(a) of the Constitution Act, 1982, the territorial fixed-date election laws must take into account the foundational federal statutes through which the Parliament of Canada established the territorial Commissioners and Legislatures. Yukon’s territorial Elections Act must therefore keep in line with the higher authority of the federal Yukon Act that established the Commissioner of Yukon.[4]

 Section 50.01 of the Elections Act now contains Yukon’s fixed-date election law: a non-derogation clause preserving the authority of the Commissioner and the schedule along which fixed-date elections will take place starting in November 2025.

50.01 Fixed Election Date

(1) Nothing in this section affects the powers of the Commissioner to order the chief electoral officer to issue a writ of election at the Commissioner’s discretion.

(2) Subject to subsection (1), a general election is to be held

(a) on Monday, November 3, 2025; and

(b) thereafter, on a date that is the first Monday in November in the year that is the fourth calendar year after the date of the previous election.[5]

Yukon’s Elections Act has lowered the maximum lifespan of Yukon’s Legislatures from five years under section 4(1) of the Constitution Act, 1982 and section 11(1) of the Yukon Act to four years.

4(1) No House of Commons and no legislative assembly shall continue for longer than five years from the date fixed for the return of the writs of a general election of its members.[6]

11 (1) No Legislative Assembly shall continue for longer than five years after the date of the return of the writs for a general election, but the Commissioner may dissolve it before then.[7]

Silver opened Second Reading with a brief speech outlining the rationale of the bill. He focused on the non-derogation clause, and he implicitly acknowledged that fixed-date election laws do not prevent the Premier from advising the Commissioner from dissolving the legislature early but that they do set the maximum life of a parliament. He saw scheduling Yukon’s general elections on the first Monday in November as “the least likely to conflict with statutory holidays or with fixed dates of Yukon[’s] municipal elections, which are held on the third Thursday in October every three years, or with a federal election, which is held on the third Monday in October every four years.”[8] Silver continued:

However, given that it is difficult to predict and to account for all circumstances, there may be an occasion in a year in which the fixed date is not suitable for polling. That is why the proposed legislation confirms that the Commissioner retains the ability to call an election at the Commissioner’s discretion, which could be at a date that is earlier, but not later, than the fixed date.[9]

Silver acknowledged that Yukon in November 2020 remained “one of only two jurisdictions in Canada” without a fixed-date election law – the other was Nova Scotia – and touted the measure as making Yukon “consistent with the federal government and most other Canadian territories and provinces that have fixed dates and four-year cycles.”[10] He concluded that fixed-date elections would help Elections Yukon administer general elections more efficiently and “strengthen the overall democratic process” and provide “fairness, transparency, and accountability.”[11] But Silver glossed over a key piece of information here: he delivered this speech on 16 November 2020 on why he supports four-year legislatures, but Yukon held its previous general election on 7 November 2016. The bill would therefore only shorten the maximum life of a future legislature and not the current 34th Legislature.

Brad Cathers of the Yukon Party stated that his party supported fixed-date elections in principle but opposed the manner in which the Silver ministry had proceeded with the bill, having bypassed consultations with the opposition through the Members’ Service Board.[12] Cathers also criticised the substance of the legislation, noting: “It doesn’t apply to them. It doesn’t bind the current government. It sets out a timeline for five years down the road, binding a future government.”[13] Cathers presciently noted that the legislation might not even apply to the next 35th Legislature either: “In fact, depending on the nature of the next Legislative Assembly, it could potentially be past yet another election cycle if a minority government were to be elected and not make it a full term.”[14] The Yukon Party’s House Leader Scott Kent suggested that the Legislative Assembly could amend the bill in the committee of the whole so that the first fixed-date election would happen earlier than November 2025, but the bill passed without amendment.[15]

Cathers also quoted from Floyd McCormick, Clerk of the Legislative Assembly from 2007 to 2019, and introduced his analysis into Hansard to bolster his case. McCormick pointed out that only about 60% of all general elections which have taken place in Canada since a jurisdiction adopted its fixed-date elections law took place on the original schedule four years after the previous election. Furthermore, all minority parliaments were dissolved before the next scheduled election. McCormick cautioned against setting the date in November.[16]

The New Democrats seemed more amenable to the bill. Liz Hanson said that she and her other New Democratic colleague would vote in favour of the bill because “we support clear four-year terms for government” – apparently oblivious that the 34th Legislature had already reached the age of four years. More bizarrely still, Hanson quoted Stephen Harper unironically, even though he famously called a snap election in 2008 notwithstanding the federal fixed-date election law, on why the New Democrats would support the bill: “Fixed election dates prevent governments from calling snap elections for short-term political advantage […]. They level the playing field for all parties and the rules are clear for everyone.”[17] Kate White, the Leader of the New Democratic Party, spoke directly after Hanson and sounded more sceptical; she objected that the law would not enter into force until November 2025:

The Premier himself just recently said that a fixed election date is more transparent and accountable. So, why does this bill set a fixed election date only in 2025? Why are we talking about the future, and why is the Premier excluding the upcoming election in 2021 from this bill and keeping the next election date secret?[18]

Finally, Premier Silver closed the debate at Second Reading. He implied that he would allow the 34th Legislature to live the full five years and go to an election in November 2021 and explained that he did not want impose a four-year term on the current parliament; in reality, of course, he could not because the 34th Legislature had already surpassed four years.

When you move forward in the election process and you know that there are going to be people running in each riding from each party, knowing that it’s a five-year term, it would be very hard to change that to a four-year term and not get the scrutiny of the opposition, saying, “You changed this from a five-year term to a four-year term. All of our candidates knew that it was going to be a five-year term and now you changed it.” In that case, we would get the same type of scrutiny from the opposition. So, we felt that it would be smarter for us to make sure that we have the ability to move forward after this term and have four-year terms after that. We are changing the rules for that.[19]

Silver then claimed that the Yukon Liberals had “made good on a platform commitment to Yukoners” from 2016. The Liberals’ platform did not specify four years, but Silver mentioned a “four-year cycle” more than once in his statements to the assembly. He continued:

the proposed changes will set those fixed dates for the territorial elections to the first Monday in November every four years. Currently, the government determines the timing of the election within a five-year period, and that is not what happens in all the other jurisdictions that have gone to fixed election dates. That is why we made this decision. The first election date, as we said, is going to be on Monday, November 3, 2025.[20]

Intriguingly, Silver claimed that his predecessor, Yukon Party Premier Darrell Pasloski, had continued the 33rd Legislature beyond its maximum life of five years.

We know that the Yukon Party didn’t have a lot to say in terms of changing from five-year terms or getting out of the practice. We know that they’ve gone to the very last day and beyond, and that has caused problems. We saw problems with severance payouts to the MLAs. With moving over one day of that five-year term, the new Leader of the Yukon Party personally benefitted to the tune of more than $29,000 more in severance […].[21]

Silver seems to allege here that Pasloski allowed the previous legislature to exceed its maximum life in 2016 by one day. But that, by definition, is impossible because parliaments and legislatures in Canada dissolve automatically by efflux of time at five years from the date named for the return of writs of the previous general election, as opposed to the normal procedure where the Commissioner dissolves the Legislature on the Premier’s advice. Yukoners elected the 33rd Legislature on 11 October 2011,[22] and Commissioner Douglas Philips dissolved the 33rd Legislature dissolved on 7 October 2016 “on the recommendation of the Premier and pursuant to subsection 11(1) of the Yukon Act (Canada).”[23] The same day, the Commissioner also directed the Chief Electoral Officer to issue the writs of election for polling day on 7 November 2016, though the Gazette does not record the Chief Electoral Officer’s proclamation.[24] The Chief Electoral Officer’s report on the 2011 election indicates that the writs in 18 out of the 19 ridings were returned on 17 October 2011 (the one riding requiring a recount returned its writ on 15 October), so it stands to reason that the proclamation named 17 October 2011.[25] This would have made 17 October 2016 the last day of the 33rd Legislature, contrary to what Silver claimed in the Legislative Assembly.

The bill passed Second Reading on division, 11 to 5[26], but it passed Third Reading on division by a smaller margin of 9 to 7.[27]

Analyses and Conclusion

The Silver ministry’s legislation made Yukon an outlier: all the other 13 fixed-date election laws, when first enacted, applied to the next election and thus applied to the legislature or parliament which adopted these statutes. But Yukon’s did not. The Silver ministry’s decision ultimately comes down to the fact that fixed-date election laws in Canada lower the maximum lifespan of a legislature from five years under section 4(1) of the Constitution Act, 1982 to something between 4 and 5 years under the new regular statutory provision. The 34th Legislature adopted the fixed-date election law in the fall sitting of its 3rd session in December 2020; the 3rd session re-convened for a short spring sitting in March 2021, and the Commission then dissolved the legislature on Silver’s advice on 12 March 2021 for an election on 12 April 2021.[28] If Yukon had followed the precedent of all 12 fixed-date election laws which legislatures across Canada first enacted between 2001 and 2014, the 34th Legislature would have made the upcoming 35th general election the first scheduled election, in other words, the election which had to happen by November 2021 when the 34th Legislature reached its maximum life of five years under section 4(1) of the Constitution Act, 1982. The fixed-date election provision would then have scheduled subsequent elections for x day in November every four years after the previous general election, making an election in November 2025 the second scheduled general election. Yet this is not what the 34th Legislature did. Instead, the fixed-date election law declared that the first scheduled general election would occur in November 2025 and then on the first Monday in November every four years thereafter.

Drafting the legislation in this strange way – taking effect for the next-next election (presuming majority legislatures) instead of the next election – therefore gave Premier Silver the option of either letting the 34th Legislature live out its maximum of five years to November 2021 or instead deciding the hold the next election earlier in 2021, all while saving face and avoiding the political embarrassment of setting the scheduled election for November 2021 and then holding it earlier anyway. Silver opted for the latter; Yukoners went to the polls in April 2021. The Yukon Liberals won a parliamentary majority on 7 November 2016 on a platform that promised simply to “legislate fixed election dates.”[29] The platform did not specify that elections should occur every four years, but the political context in Yukon strongly implied a four-year timeline because the previous two general elections had occurred five years part in October 2006 and October 2011. But Yukon Liberals and the Silver ministry waited too long; by the fall 2020, four years had already elapsed since the previous election in November 2016. Yukon’s fixed-date election law contains this strange and unique wording because the Silver ministry did not table this legislation early enough in the 34th Legislature. Between 2001 and 2014, all the other provinces, except Nova Scotia, enacted fixed-date election laws and set the first scheduled election at least two years in advance. In all provinces except Manitoba, a new ministry tabled the fixed-date election legislation as a government bill within its 2nd year in office. Gary Doer, the New Democratic Premier of Manitoba, provides the sole exception; he became premier in 1999, two years before Gordon Campbell’s Liberals started this whole trend in British Columbia in 2001, and did not table legislation until 2008. But even then, three years remained until Manitoba’s first scheduled general election in 2011. If the Silver ministry had fulfilled its campaign promise sooner and tabled its legislation in, say, 2017 or 2018, then it would likely have set the first scheduled election for November 2021 after all. But the Yukon Liberals missed their opportunity. Finally, the Silver ministry probably did not set the first scheduled election in April and then every x day in April every four years thereafter because then territorial elections would have coincided with Easter in some years.

In the normal course of events, the election held in November 2025 would probably have been the 36th general election, but the outcome of the 35th general election in April 2021 has raised another complication: a minority legislature. On 12 April 2021, Yukoners elected the 35th Legislative Assembly and returned a hung parliament, with 8 Liberals, 8 MLAs for the Yukon Party (the Conservatives), and 2 New Democrats.[30] However, the incumbent Liberal MLA and cabinet minister tied with the New Democratic candidate at 78 votes each in the riding of Vuntut Gwitchin, which Elections Yukon settled by drawing lots (one of the 156 ballots out of a container) on 19 April; New Democratic candidate Annie Blake won and became the MLA-elect.[31] This result gave the New Democrats 3 seats and deprived the Liberals of the chance of winning a parliamentary majority of one (though that would still have made electing the Speaker a game of brinkmanship) in a Legislative Assembly of 19 seats. The incumbent Silver ministry remained in office as caretaker while the parties sorted themselves out in the fortnight after election. Then on 28 April 2021, Premier Silver, as leader of the Yukon Liberals, and New Democratic leader Kate White announced in a joint press conference that their parties had struck a confidence-and-supply agreement effective until 31 January 2023.[32]

And therein lays the problem. The two other precedents on confidence-and-supply agreements struck in minority legislatures (British Columbia in 2017 and Ontario in 1985) suggest that Yukon’s 35th Legislature will not last its full life until 3 November 2025; Silver could still adhere to the agreement and call a snap election in 2023. David Peterson, the Liberal Premier of Ontario, called snap election for 19 September 1987 soon after his confidence-and-supply agreement with Bob Rae’s New Democrats expired on 26 June 1987.[33] In May 2017, John Horgan’s New Democrats and Andrew Weaver’s Greens formed a confidence-and-supply agreement, which gave them leverage and helped prevent an early dissolution after the incumbent Liberals lost the vote on the Address-in-Reply to the Speech from the Throne a few weeks later. The agreement should have lasted “for four years, or until the next fixed date election as set by the BC Constitution Act”;[34] however, Weaving left the Greens in January 2020[35], and Horgan called a snap election for 24 October 2020 – fully twelve months earlier than the election scheduled under British Columbia’s fixed-date election law.[36] What made Horgan’s snap election seem more brazen still is that his government had introduced the legislation in 2017 to re-schedule British Columbia’s general elections from every fourth May to every fourth October, in this case, from May 2021 to October 2021.[37] This legislation would have extended the life of the 41st Parliament of British Columbia by five months.

The Liberal-New Democratic confidence-and-supply agreement remains silent on the fixed-date election law. But if Silver decides to call a snap election after the agreement expires in January 2023 but before November 2025, or if the Legislative Assembly itself defeats the Silver ministry on crucial vote or passes a motion of non-confidence within the same period, then Yukoners would still have to go to the polls again in November 2025 unless the legislature amends the law. Given that minority parliaments in Canada usually last two years, an election in 2023 and another in November 2025 falls within the realm of possibility. Even if Silver’s Liberals won a majority in 2023, then would still have to go to another election in November 2025 unless the legislature (in practice, the Liberal majority) extends its own life by amending the fixed-date election law and changing the schedule to 2027.

The Campbell ministry in British Columbia kicked off the trend of the Canadian model of fixed-date election laws in 2001 in its first legislative session and pioneered the non-derogation clause which allows these statutes to conform to section 41(a) of the Constitution Act, 1867. New governments of all three main political parties followed suit and tabled fixed-date election bills of their own over the next seven years, with Newfoundland & Labrador in 2004, Ontario in 2005, New Brunswick and Canada in 2007, and Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Prince Edward Island in 2008. This grouping represents the first wave of fixed-date election laws. The early federal election in May 2011, necessitated by a vote of non-confidence, put the next scheduled federal election in October 2015 and thus caused it to overlap with the original scheduled provincial elections in Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Prince Edward Island and kicked off a second wave of remedial fixed-date election amendments in the provinces which had already enacted the laws and forced the provinces which adopted their laws for the first time in this period to take this experience into account. Manitoba and Saskatchewan in 2012 and Prince Edward Island in 2013 all enacted amendments that would postpone their general elections from October to the following April so that they would no longer overlap and coincide with the federal election. Ontario avoided this fate when Premier Wynne called a snap election in June 2014 and then introduced legislation to change Ontario’s schedule from October to June 2018. In 2011, Alberta enacted its fixed-date elections law but scheduled it within a range of three months to avoid conflicts with holidays, natural disasters, or federal or municipal elections. Quebec adopted its law in 2013 and from the outset included the same provisos that Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Prince Edward Island enacted as remedial amendments.

Yet despite all these precedents – readily apparent to anyone who pays the slightest attention to politics in Canada, which politicians presumably do – the Silver ministry kicked off the third wave of fixed-date elections legislation in 2020 by tabling a bill in the form of those enacted in the first wave between 2001 and 2008, as if the intervening twelve years had not passed and none of these precedents had happened or mattered at all. Silver insisted in the Debates that scheduling polling day for the first Monday in November would avoid overlap with federal and municipal elections; while the polling days would not overlap, the writs still could. Section 52 of Yukon’s Election Act says that a general election must last, at minimum, 31 days.[38] This means, for example, that the writ for an election on Monday, 3 November 2025 would begin on Friday, 3 October 2025. If a scheduled federal election were held in 2025, it would fall on Monday, 20 October; the federal and territorial writs can therefore overlap, even though the polling days would not. Other provinces deemed any overlap of the writ, not merely polling day, unacceptable and enacted legislation accordingly. But Silver and his ministry seem not even to have considered this strong possibility at all.

All this means that another legislature, perhaps even the current 35th Legislature, will have to pass remedial amendments to Yukon’s fixed-date election law simply to take into account these contingencies that the provinces have already faced over the last decade. The Silver ministry put very little thought into its government bill, ignored multiple relevant precedents that would have improved it, and rushed it through in the penultimate sitting of the previous legislature after it had already lasted for more than four years.

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[1]Sandy Silver, “First Reading: Bill No. 13, An Act to Amend the Elections Act” in Yukon Legislative Assembly, Hansard, 34th Legislature, 3rd Session, No. 42, Tuesday, 6 October 2020, 1255.

[2]Yukon Legislative Assembly, “Second Reading: Bill No. 13, An Act to Amend the Elections Act,” Hansard, 34th Legislation, 3rd Session, No. 62, Monday, 16 November 2020, 1868-1884. The vote on division appears on page 1884.

[3]Yukon Legislative Assembly, “Committee of the Whole, Third Reading, and Royal Assent: Bill No. 13, An Act to Amend the Elections Act,” Hansard, 34th Legislation, 3rd Session, No. 84, Tuesday, 22 December 2020, 2539-2541.

[4]Yukon Act S.C. 2002, c.7, s.4(1), s.8. The first recital of the preamble of the Yukon Act says “Whereas Yukon is a territory that has a system of responsible government that is similar in principle to that of Canada.” This deliberately mimics the first recital of the preamble of the British North America Act, 1867. The Yukon Act thereby affirms that Yukon choose to adopt the same Responsible Government as the ten provinces and Canada in 1978.

[5]Elections Act, RSY 2002, c. 63, s. 50.01.

[6]Canada, Department of Justice, A Consolidation of the Constitution Acts, 1867 to 1982 (Ottawa: Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, 1 January 2001), 61.

[7]Yukon Act S.C. 2002, c.7, s. 11(1).

[8]Sandy Silver, “Second Reading: Bill No. 13, An Act to Amend the Elections Act,” in Yukon Legislative Assembly, Hansard, 34th Legislation, 3rd Session, No. 62, Monday, 16 November 2020, 1868.

[9]Sandy Silver, “Second Reading: Bill No. 13, An Act to Amend the Elections Act,” in Yukon Legislative Assembly, Hansard, 34th Legislation, 3rd Session, No. 62, Monday, 16 November 2020, 1868.

[10]Silver “Second Reading,” 1868-1869.

[11]Silver “Second Reading,” 1868.

[12]Brad Cathers, “Second Reading: Bill No. 13, An Act to Amend the Elections Act,” in Yukon Legislative Assembly, Hansard, 34th Legislation, 3rd Session, No. 62, Monday, 16 November 2020, 1869.

[13]Cathers “Second Reading,” 1869.

[14]Cathers “Second Reading,” 1870.

[15]Scott Kent, “Second Reading: Bill No. 13, An Act to Amend the Elections Act,” in Yukon Legislative Assembly, Hansard, 34th Legislation, 3rd Session, No. 62, Monday, 16 November 2020, 1879.

[16]Cathers, “Second Reading,” 1873-1874. McCormick had written the following:

“Bill No. 13, Act to Amend the Elections Act (2020) proposes ‘the first Monday in November in the year that is the fourth calendar year after the date of the previous election’ as the fixed date for Yukon general elections beginning on Monday, November 3, 2025 … Nine provinces (excluding NS), NWT, NU & Parliament have fixed-date election laws. 39 general elections have been held in Canada pursuant to fixed-date election laws (1st in BC in 2005). 24/39 (61.5%) actually occurred on the prescribed ‘fixed’ date… Six (15.4%) happened earlier or later to avoid conflict with a federal election (NL 2015 & 2019, MB 2016, PEI 2015, SK 2016, NWT 2015); 6 (15.4%) happened early by choice of a First Minister of a minority govt (Canada 2008 & 2011, ON 2014, QC 2014, NB 2020, BC 2020)… and 3 (7.7%) happened early by choice of a Premier of a majority govt (AB 2015, MB 2019, PEI 2019). So, the extent to which a date is ‘fixed’ depends on the govt. The odds of an election occurring on the fixed date are high (but not 100%) if you have a majority govt… If you have a minority govt the probability, historically speaking, is 0%. But no assembly has continued past the fixed date except to avoid conflict with a federal writ period. So, the ‘fixed’ date is really an end date. Elections can always occur earlier.”

[17]Liz Hanson, “Second Reading: Bill No. 13, An Act to Amend the Elections Act,” in Yukon Legislative Assembly, Hansard, 34th Legislation, 3rd Session, No. 62, Monday, 16 November 2020, 1881.

[18]Kate White, “Second Reading: Bill No. 13, An Act to Amend the Elections Act,” in Yukon Legislative Assembly, Hansard, 34th Legislation, 3rd Session, No. 62, Monday, 16 November 2020, 1882.

[19]Silver “Second Reading,” 1883.

[20]Silver “Second Reading,” 1883.

[21]Silver “Second Reading,” 1883.

[22]Yukon, The Report of the Chief Electoral Officer of Yukon on the General Election Held October 11, 2011 (Whitehorse: Chief Electoral Officer, 8 December 2011)

[23]The Yukon Gazette, Volume 35, Number 11, “Commissioner’s Order 2016/01, filed 7 October 2016,” in Part II: Regulations (Whitehorse: 15 November 2016), page 5.

[24]The Yukon Gazette, Volume 35, Number 11, “Commissioner’s Order 2016/02, filed 7 October 2016,” in Part II: Regulations (Whitehorse: 15 November 2016), page 5.

[25] Yukon, The Report of the Chief Electoral Officer of Yukon on the General Election Held October 11, 2011 (Whitehorse: Chief Electoral Officer, 8 December 2011), 7-43.

[26]Yukon Legislative Assembly, “Second Reading: Bill No. 13, An Act to Amend the Elections Act,” Hansard, 34th Legislation, 3rd Session, No. 62, Monday, 16 November 2020, 1884.

[27]Yukon Legislative Assembly, “Committee of the Whole, Third Reading, and Royal Assent: Bill No. 13, An Act to Amend the Elections Act,” Hansard, 34th Legislation, 3rd Session, No. 84, Tuesday, 22 December 2020, 2540.

[28]John Last & Chris Windeyer, “Yukon Voters Will Head to the Polls on 12 April,” CBC News, 12 March 2021.

[29]Yukon Liberals, The Change Yukon Needs, 25 October 2016), 16.

[30]CBC News, Yukon’s Election Is a Tie: What Happens Now?” 13 April 2021.

[31]CBC News, Yukon NDP win final riding by rare drawing of lots, maintaining Liberal, Yukon Party tie in assembly,” 19 April 2021.

[32]CBC News, Yukon Liberals, Reduced to Minority, Embrace the NDP,” 28 April 2021; Sandy Silver and Kate White, “2021 Confidence and Supply Agreement between the Yukon Liberal Caucus and the Yukon NDP Caucus,” 28 April 2021.

[33]David Peterson and Bob Rae, “An Agenda for Reform: Proposals for Minority Parliament,” May 1985. The Liberals and the New Democrats agreed that their arrangement would last “for two years from the day that the Leader of the Liberal Party assumes the office of Premier.”

[34]John Horgan and Andrew Weaver, “2017 Confidence and Supply Agreement between the BC Green Caucus and the BC New Democrat Caucus,” 29 May 2017.

[35]Karin Larsen, “Andrew Weaver Says He’ll Step Down as B.C. Green Party Leader,CBC News, 7 October 2019;

[36]Justin McElroy, “B.C. Voters Heading to the Polls as Snap Election Called for Oct. 24,CBC News, 21 September 2021.

[37]David Elby in [“Bill 5 – Constitution Amendment Act, 2017”] in British Columbia, Legislative Assembly, Hansard, 41st Parliament, 2nd Session, no. 29, 4 October 2017, 794; Constitution Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, chapter 66, s. 23(2).

[38]Elections Act, RSY 2002, c. 63, s. 52.


About J.W.J. Bowden

My area of academic expertise lies in Canadian political institutions, especially the Crown, political executive, and conventions of Responsible Government; since 2011, I have made a valuable contribution to the scholarship by having been published and cited extensively. I’m also a contributing editor to the Dorchester Review and a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Parliamentary and Political Law.
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