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Piers McDonald

From Academic Kids

Piers McDonald (born 1955) is a Yukon politician and trade unionist. McDonald, a miner by profession, was vice-president of the Yukon Federation of Labour from 1981-1982. He won election to the Yukon legislature on behalf of the NDP in 1982 and became minister of education and minister of community and transport when Tony Penikett led the NDP to power in 1985. In 1989, McDonald became minister of finance and served in that position until 1991 when he again became minister of education until the NDP's defeat in the 1992 election.

McDonald succeeded Penikett as NDP leader and leader of the opposition in 1995 and led the NDP back to power in the 1996 election winning 11 of the territory's 17 seats but in 2000 his government was defeated and McDonald narrowly lost his seat in the legislature. While his government left a $60 million budget surplus and earned a good reputation for promoting social programs and protecting the environment, it had suffered from a decline in the territory's economy due to a fall in world metal prices and the closure of several mines. This became a major campaign issue along with the resulting mass exodus of people from the Yukon with 10% of the population leaving between 1996 and 2000. Soon after his electoral defeat McDonald resigned as party leader.

In 2003, he supported Bill Blaikie's campaign to become leader of the federal New Democratic Party.

Preceded by:
John Ostashek
1992-1996

Yukon Premier
1996-2000

Succeeded by:
Pat Duncan
2000-2002

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