Darius Elias

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Darius Elias
Leader of the Yukon Liberal Party
(Interim)
In office
2011–2012
Preceded by Arthur Mitchell
Succeeded by Sandy Silver
MLA for Vuntut Gwitchin
In office
2006–2016
Preceded by Lorraine Peter
Succeeded by Pauline Frost
Personal details
Political party Yukon Party (since July 8, 2013)
Other political
affiliations
Liberal (2006–2012)
Independent (2012–2013)

Darius Mortimer Elias is a Canadian politician. He represented the rural Yukon electoral district of Vuntut Gwitchin in the Yukon Legislative Assembly from 2006–2016 as a member of both the Yukon Liberal Party and the Yukon Party.[1]

Political career[edit]

32nd Legislative Assembly[edit]

Elias defeated two-term incumbent New Democrat Lorraine Peter in the Old Crow riding of Vuntut Gwitchin in 2006, ending the New Democrat's ten-year hold on the riding. His win marked the Yukon Liberals' first election win in that riding. Elias served as Official Opposition caucus chair, as well as Liberal critic for the Environment, Tourism and Culture, and the Women's Directorate portfolios.[2]

33rd Legislative Assembly[edit]

Elias was re-elected in the 2011 election, but that election saw the Yukon Liberals reduced to just two rural seats and third party status. Yukon Liberal leader Arthur Mitchell was defeated in his re-election campaign and resigned on election night. As the only Liberal MLA with experience (the other being then-rookie MLA Sandy Silver), Elias became interim leader of the party.

On August 17, 2012, Elias resigned from the post of interim Liberal leader and from the party caucus to sit as an Independent MLA.[3] Eleven months later, on July 8, 2013, Elias crossed the floor to join the caucus of the governing Yukon Party.[4] The move was controversial not only in that a former party leader defected,; Elias' defection also granted the Yukon Party a majority on the Select Committee on Hydraulic Fracturing, which was struck to examine the role of fracking in the Yukon.[5]

In 2014, he was fined $1,000 for refusing a breathalyzer test and using a cellphone while driving. His license was temporarily suspended and he publicly admitted to having an alcohol problem.[6]

Elias was appointed Government House Leader and Caucus Chair of the Yukon Party caucus in 2015.[7] Following the sudden resignation of David Laxton, Speaker of the Yukon Legislative Assembly, in May 2016, Elias briefly assumed the position of Deputy Speaker of the Legislative Assembly when his predecessor, Patti McLeod, became Speaker.[8]

He announced his intention to seek re-election in the 2016 election, but was defeated by Liberal candidate Pauline Frost by seven votes.

Personal life[edit]

Elias has a diploma in renewable resources management and is a former Vuntut National Park warden.[9]

He is the son of Vuntut Gwitchin chief and former New Democrat MLA Norma Kassi.[10][11]

Election record[edit]

Yukon general election, 2016[edit]

Vuntut Gwitchin
Party Candidate Votes % ±
  Liberal Pauline Frost 77 51.3% -12.8%
Yukon Party Darius Elias 70 46.7% +10.8%
  NDP Skeeter Miller-Wright 3 2.0% +2.0%
Total 145 100.0%

Yukon general election, 2011[edit]

Vuntut Gwitchin
Party Candidate Votes % ±
  Liberal Darius Elias[12] 93 64.1% +18.1%
Yukon Party Garry Njootli 52 35.9% +9.9%
Total 145 100.0%

Yukon general election, 2006[edit]

Vuntut Gwitchin
Party Candidate Votes % ±
  Liberal Darius Elias 65 45.8% +22.0%
  NDP Lorraine Peter 40 28.2% -19.3%
Yukon Party William Josie 37 26.0% -2.7%
Total 142 100.0%

References[edit]

  1. ^ Darius Elias announces re-election campaign, refuses to answer questions about drinking Yukon News (Maura Forrest), May 4, 2016. Retrieved June 4, 2016.
  2. ^ Liberals construct their shadow cabinet Whitehorse Star (October 25, 2006).
  3. ^ Elias quits the liberals
  4. ^ Elias joins the Yukon Party
  5. ^ Elias joins the Yukon Party Yukon News (Jesse Winter), July 8, 2013. Retrieved June 17, 2017.
  6. ^ Darius Elias announces re-election campaign, refuses to answer questions about drinking Yukon News (Maura Forrest), May 4, 2016. Retrieved June 4, 2016.
  7. ^ Brad Cathers demoted, Scott Kent boosted in Yukon cabinet shuffle CBC News, January 16, 2016. Retrieved June 13, 2017.
  8. ^ Laxton departs Yukon Party shortly after announcing re-election bid Yukon News (Maura Forrest), May 11, 2016. Retrieved April 2, 2017.
  9. ^ RIDING PROFILE | Vuntut Gwitchin — Darius Elias, Pauline Frost, Skeeter Wright CBC North (Nancy Thompson), October 24, 2016. Retrieved November 3, 2016.
  10. ^ A Near Rematch in Old Crow Yukon News (Roxanne Stasyszyn), August 5, 2011. Retrieved June 14, 2017.
  11. ^ Liberals construct their shadow cabinet Whitehorse Star (October 25, 2006).
  12. ^ "Elias to Seek the Confidence of Vuntut Residents". Yukon Liberal Party. April 16, 2010. Retrieved June 28, 2011.