WHITEHORSE - Dixon says members of party are like "overly-obsessed teenagers"
An artist's impression of how Yukon Party MLAs Wade Istchenko and Stacey Hassard view Yukon's premier Sandy Silver
On Sunday evening, the Yukon Liberal Party made public a series of crude text messages sent in a group discussion that included Yukon Party MLAs Stacey Hassard and Wade Istchenko.
Yukon premier Sandy Silver was inadvertently included in the group which is how the Liberal Party got its hands on the messages.
The messages made vulgar comments about all three of Yukon's political party leaders, including references to their genitalia.
Yukon Party leader Currie Dixon has so far declined to meaningfully punish Hassard and Istchenko, instead saying that they feel bad about what they did and will attend anti-harassment training.
The two MLAs have been barred from legislative committees and shadow cabinet which means they will be doing less work than before.
"Think of them as teenagers watching a Twilight movie" Dixon said of Hassard and Istchenko at a media event on Friday morning. "They are guilty of being overly-obsessed by someone they think is hot. That's hardly something that warrants serious punishment."
Dixon's comments are a reference to the latest batch of text messages that were made public by the Yukon Liberal Party on Thursday evening. The messages suggest that Hassard and Istchenko have a crush on the current Yukon Premier.
The latest batch of text messages released by the Yukon Liberal Party on Thursday evening
All of the Yukon Party's MLAs, including Hassard and Istchenko, have declined to speak publicly about the text messages despite Dixon's statement on Thursday that he had not muzzled them. The silence has reinforced the perception held by many Yukoners that the party is morally bankrupt.
By taking no real action to address the attitudes towards bullying, misogyny and gender-based violence within his party, Dixon is ensuring that Hassard and Istchenko will continue to receive full salary without any suspension.
According to the Members' Salaries and Benefits page of the Yukon Legislative Assembly website, the two MLAs will each receive an annual income of $146,881 this year.
In addition, according to a document called '2018 Report on MLA Salaries and Benefits' on the same webpage, any MLA who serves six years is eligible for a lifelong pension upon retirement. Hassard and Istchenko have both served more than 6 years.
Editors' note: This story was published in the 'Satire' section of our website. It is inspired by real news and based on true facts as per the links provided.