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Contact the Commissioner
Tel:
867.667.5121
Fax: 867.393.6201
Email: commissioner@gov.yk.ca

412 Main Street
Whitehorse, YT Y1A 2B7

 

Welcome

Exploring the role of the Commissioner of Yukon 

Ever wonder what the role of the Commissioner of Yukon is? Let us take you on a brief journey through Yukon’s history of self-government and the evolving role of the Commissioner, Yukon’s representative. Enjoy the video below.

 


The Commissioner's Klondike Ball

  Photos of the recent Commissioner's Tea and Ball are now up on our Flickr page, check them out here.

Former commissioner Jim Smith passes away

It is with sadness we note the passing of former Yukon Commissioner Jim Smith. Smith who was 97, acted as commissioner from 1966 to 1976.

Current Commissioner of Yukon Doug Phillips paid tribute to Mr. Smith Friday, calling him “the father of responsible government in Yukon.”

“Jim Smith had a passionate belief that the control and management of Yukon’s land, resources and constitutional affairs should be in the hands of elected Yukoners. He worked tirelessly to achieve that end and for that, all Yukoners are in his debt,” Phillips said.

During his tenure, Commissioner Smith was effectively the premier of the territory, acting as head of the Government of Yukon.

In 1970 Yukon took a big first step towards responsible government. Acting on the advice of Mr. Smith, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development Jean Chretien established an executive committee that included two elected members of the Yukon Legislative Assembly to assist the commissioner to run the territory.

“This was the first direct participation of the elected Yukoners in the executive functions their government,” Phillips said. “Jim Smith felt that the commissioner’s role should be changed to become like that of the Lieutenant-Governor of a province rather than as a premier.”

Responsible government in Yukon was finally achieved on October 9, 1979, when the then-Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development Jake Epp issued new instructions to Commissioner Ione Christensen to create the first wholly elected Cabinet government in Yukon.

Commissioner Phillips expressed his condolences to Jim’s wife Dorothy and to the members of their family. Flags at the Taylor House, Yukon’s Government House, will fly at half-mast until after the funeral service.


A message from Commissioner Doug Phillips

On January 1, a large crowd helped me welcome the New Year with the annual Commissioner's New Year's Levee. Together, we also marked the beginning of Canada’s 150th birthday. Canada 150 is an opportunity to reflect on our country’s journey and our vision for Canada’s future. As events celebrating our sesquicentennial take place across Canada and here in Yukon, I encourage you to connect with your fellow Canadians. We have much to be proud of, and much further to go.

This month marks the beginning of my last year as Commissioner of Yukon and I am looking forward to a very busy year. This spring I plan to visit each Yukon community and speak with the children of Yukon about what being Canadian means to them. We will be celebrating this theme all year with our annual events. Check out the Office of the Commissioner’s Facebook page for information about upcoming events. I certainly hope to see all of you there.

Happy New Year and best wishes to all Yukoners.