Elizabeth Hanson

Elizabeth Hanson (born 1951), also known as Liz Hanson, is a Canadian politician from the Yukon. She was the leader of the Yukon New Democratic Party from 2009 until 2019, and represented the electoral district of Whitehorse Centre in the Yukon Legislative Assembly from 2010 to 2021.

Elizabeth Hanson
Liz Hanson.jpg
Leader of the Official Opposition of Yukon
In office
October 11, 2011 – December 3, 2016
Preceded byArthur Mitchell
Succeeded byStacey Hassard
Leader of the Yukon New Democratic Party
In office
September 26, 2009 – May 5, 2019
Preceded byTodd Hardy
Succeeded byKate White
Member of the Yukon Legislative Assembly
for Whitehorse Centre
In office
December 13, 2010 – March 12, 2021
Preceded byTodd Hardy
Succeeded byEmily Tredger
Personal details
Born1951 (age 71–72)
Edmonton, Alberta
Political partyNew Democrat
Residence(s)Whitehorse, Yukon
Alma materUniversity of Calgary

On November 22, 2018, Hanson announced her intent to resign as leader of the Yukon NDP.[1]

Early lifeEdit

Prior to attending university, Hanson's resume included involvement with high school student council, youth groups and community social action/justice movements including organizing committee(s) Miles for Millions, Arusha Cross Cultural Centre. Hanson attended the University of Calgary and obtained degrees in political science and social work.

After graduating university, Hanson took a job as a social worker in Souris, Prince Edward Island.

In Yukon, Hanson first worked as a regional social worker for the Department of Indian and Inuit Affairs, with a region that spanned from Old Crow, Yukon to Good Hope Lake, British Columbia. She subsequently worked for INAC in Nanaimo, British Columbia and in Ottawa, returning to Yukon in 1989 to lead a federal self-government negotiations team.

She served as Yukon director of land claims and Indian government for the federal government until 2003, when she became the regional director general of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada in the Yukon, charged with reorganizing the department's regional presence to reflect the federal presence "post land claims and devolution". She retired from this position in 2007.

Hanson and her family completed a federal interchange to Canberra, Australia, with the Aboriginal and Torres Islander Commission.

She owns a property at Crag Lake, Yukon

Political careerEdit

After her retirement from INAC, Hanson became actively involved with the Yukon New Democratic Party and became president of the party.[2]

On September 26, 2009, Hanson was acclaimed as leader of the Yukon NDP, following the resignation of previous leader Todd Hardy, who had resigned due to an ongoing struggle with leukemia.[3] Following Hardy's death on July 28, 2010, Hanson won the resulting by-election on December 13, 2010 in Whitehorse Centre by a large margin. She retained her seat comfortably in the 2011 election,[4] leading the Yukon New Democrats from third party status to Official Opposition, with six of the legislature's 19 seats.[5]

During both the 32nd and 33rd Legislative Assemblies, Hanson served on the Members’ Services Board and the Standing Committee on Public Accounts. She Chaired the Standing Committee on Public Accounts in the 33rd Legislative Assembly (2011-2016).[6]

Hanson sought re-election again in 2016 election, and although she was narrowly successful in her own riding, Hanson's party lost four of its six seats to the Yukon Liberals and was reduced to third party status - it was also the Yukon New Democrat's worst electoral showing since 1978.[7] The Yukon Liberals, formerly the Third Party, formed a majority government. Hanson has stayed on as New Democrat leader since the election. She is currently a member of the Members' Services Board, the Standing Committee on Public Accounts, and the Standing Committee on Rules, Elections and Privileges. Additionally, she serves as the New Democrat caucus critic for the Department of Finance, the Executive Council Office, the Department of Energy, Mines and Resources, the Department of Economic Development, the Department of Justice, the Department of Highways and Public Works, the Public Service Commission, the Department of Tourism and Culture, the Yukon Workers Compensation Health and Safety Board, and the Yukon Liquor Corporation.[8]

Hanson announced her intent to resign as leader of the Yukon New Democrats in November 2018, though she remained as MLA for Whitehorse Centre.[9] A leadership convention to replace her on May 4, 2019 selected Kate White as the next leader of the Yukon NDP.[10]

Hanson endorsed Ontario Member of Parliament Charlie Angus for leader of the federal New Democrats in the race to replace outgoing leader Thomas Mulcair. Hanson cited Angus' "commitment to reconciliation, and understanding economic inequalities that are only amplified in the North", in addition to their history of collaboration, as reasons for her endorsement.[11] Angus ultimately lost to Ontario MPP Jagmeet Singh.

Electoral recordEdit

2016 general electionEdit

Whitehorse Centre[12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
  NDP Liz Hanson 487 43.8% -18.3%
  Liberal Tamara Goeppel 432 38.9% +23.6%
Yukon Party Doug Graham 193 17.4% -6.5%
Total 1,112 100.0%

2011 general electionEdit

Whitehorse Centre[13]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
  NDP Liz Hanson 525 62.1% +9.6%
Yukon Party Marian Horne 202 23.9% +3.2%
  Liberal Patrick Singh 104 12.3% -13.9%
Total 846 100.0%

2010 by-electionEdit

Whitehorse Centre[14]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
  NDP Liz Hanson 356 51.6% +5.0%
  Liberal Kirk Cameron 181 26.2% -1.3%
Yukon Party Mike Nixon 150 21.7% -3.1%
Total 690 100.0%


  1. ^ "Liz Hanson to step down as Yukon NDP leader". CBC North. November 22, 2018. Retrieved 2019-02-02.
  2. ^ "New hat thrown into NDP race". Yukon News. July 31, 2009. Retrieved 2015-05-23.
  3. ^ "Hanson named Yukon NDP leader". CBC News. September 28, 2009. Retrieved 2015-05-23.
  4. ^ "Yukon Party wins third majority". Toronto Sun. October 12, 2011. Retrieved 2015-05-23.
  5. ^ "Yukon Party wins three-peat". Yukon News. October 12, 2011. Retrieved 2015-05-23.
  6. ^ "Liz Hanson". Yukon Legislative Assembly. Retrieved 2017-02-23.
  7. ^ "Yukon Liberals win majority government". CBC North, November 7, 2016.
  8. ^ "Liz Hanson". Yukon Legislative Assembly. Retrieved 2017-02-23.
  9. ^ "Liz Hanson to step down as Yukon NDP leader". CBC North. November 22, 2018. Retrieved 2019-02-02.
  10. ^ "Political journey takes MLA to leadership bid". Whitehorse Star. February 1, 2019. Retrieved 2019-02-02.
  11. ^ Niki Ashton gains support of Manitoba NDP leader, Charlie Angus woos Yukon leader The Hill Times (Chelsea Nash), May 10, 2017. Access May 10, 2017.
  12. ^ Unofficial Results, Whitehorse Centre Elections Yukon, November 7, 2016. Retrieved February 3, 2017.
  13. ^ Report of the Chief Electoral Officer of Yukon on the 2011 General Election Elections Yukon, 2011. Retrieved January 21, 2017
  14. ^ Report of the Chief Electoral Officer of Yukon on a By-election in the Electoral District of Whitehorse Centre Elections Yukon, 2011. Retrieved February 3, 2017.

External linksEdit