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2021 Federal Election: Barbara Dunlop - Conservative Party

Barbara Dunlop says she has the experience needed to lead Yukoners. Photo by John Kennedy / CKRW

Dunlop says she wants to help Yukoners achieve their best lives and bring the territory out of the pandemic.

With the Federal Election boiling away across Canada, Yukon's Conservative Candidate is making herself known to the public. 

Long-time Yukoner Barbara Dunlop says she's ready to represent Yukoners on the federal stage, bringing her experience from the public sector to help her if she's elected. Dunlop previously specialized in business development, with a best-selling series of romance novels as well. 

The Conservative candidate sat down with RUSH News' John Kennedy to discuss the campaign and some of the main issues that will be debated throughout the election. 

What was the nomination process like after the Conservative party announced they had dropped their previous candidate?

"I was recommended by the local conservative party to the national campaign, the national campaign did their usual vetting of the candidates and approved me. That's how I ended up with my name on the ballot. Running at the federal level is a new thing for me, I have previous experience with the Yukon Government. I have significant experience in Government and my time as a cabinet policy analyst with YG gave me a lot of experience in the decision-making process."

There's a very noticeable housing crisis in the country, and particularly in the Yukon. How can you, as MP, work to ensure that the territory's housing concerns are heard by the Federal Government for those who need affordable rental housing, and first-time homebuyers as well?

"Under Canada's rescue plan, the platform of the Conservative Party of Canada, there is a northern housing strategy. What is exciting for me about the platform, in general, is the provisions for partnerships with the Yukon and the provisions for respectful relationships. The party will be looking at working with jurisdictions to see how particular problems with those jurisdictions can be solved. For myself, I was the director of the branch of the Yukon Government that undertook the trade negotiations across Canada. I have some experience with framing Yukon issues and presenting those issues to people in Ottawa and southern Canada and helping them understand the unique context of the Yukon."

Climate change is an issue that is extremely prevalent in the north. What steps are you expecting the Conservative government to take to help the territory come out on the right side of the climate crisis?

"There's no denying climate change. There are, in the Canada recovery plan, provisions for innovation and a robust section on climate change. From the perspective of the Yukon, we need to be looking at local solutions so that we can reduce our carbon footprint. There's been a lot of interest in electric cars, but at the same time, we have a fairly precarious electricity grid here. We've all enjoyed the blackouts together, so in the plan, there is a large project for renewable energy in the Yukon. I think that will help us stabilize our energy grid and make that move towards electric cars."

As our MP, what would you do to ensure public health is at the forefront of your agenda and that healthcare needs and basic access to healthcare services are available for even the most remote communities?

"In the Conservative Party Platform, there is an increase of $60 billion to healthcare. There is a focus on mental health, a focus on having jurisdictions deliver healthcare in the way that makes the most sense for their jurisdictions. There is significant support for healthcare going forward."

How will you work as MP to ensure that the Yukon emerges from the pandemic relatively unscathed with support from Ottawa?

"As we turn the corner, one of the next things we need to focus on is improving the economy in the Yukon. In my previous position as Director of Business and Industry Development with the Yukon Government, I worked with industry organizations and individual businesses. A lot of our focus was on individualized supports from Government to businesses depending on what they needed. Whether they were an individual start-up or a mining organization, we worked with them and tried to be flexible. At the federal level, infrastructure is one of the most important pieces we could bring to ensure safety is at the forefront. 

One of the main topics of discussion for this election is reconciliation with Indigenous Canadians. What can you do to ensure progress towards reconciliation continues in the territory?

"Everything has to be First Nations-led. We've all been alerted to some of the horrific backgrounds of residential schools and as we move forward, I would be seeking to talk to Yukon's First Nations to understand what supports they would need and how I can get that for them."

Dunlop says Yukoners deserve authentic representation in Ottawa, straight talk representing Yukon interests, and optimism for the future.

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