Independent Commission on Electoral Reform members appointed
July 15, 2019
Three Yukoners have been appointed to form the territory’s first ever Independent Commission on Electoral Reform: Jessica Lott Thompson, Beverly Buckway and Jean-Sébastien Blais. Thompson has been appointed as Chair of the Commission.
The Commission is responsible for investigating and assessing options on three main areas of electoral reform: the system we use to elect the territorial government; the ways Yukoners participate in democracy both during and between elections; and how territorial political parties and elected officials operate before, during and after elections. The Commission’s work will also be informed by the priorities of Yukoners as identified through a public engagement on electoral reform that took place in the fall of 2018.
The Commission will receive administrative and research support to carry out their mandate from the Electoral Reform Secretariat. The Secretariat comprises public servants who will receive their guidance and direction from the Commission.
The Commission will be responsible for setting its own work schedule in order to provide a final report with recommendations by January 31, 2020.
Thank you to the Commission members for offering their valuable time, passion and energy to further improve our democracy. I am very pleased to have three qualified and respected leaders from our territory to take on the important and complex task of working with Yukoners on their priorities for electoral reform. I look forward to receiving the final report with recommendations for how to strengthen Yukon’s democratic systems.
Premier Sandy Silver
The Independent Commission on Electoral Reform is keenly aware of this responsibility and the historic importance of our inquiry into the fundamental elements of our democratic system in Yukon; as well as the essential need for our inquiry and engagement process to be broad, robust, open, transparent, inclusive, and accessible. We will exercise our duties with care, diligence and impartiality, on behalf of all Yukoners.
Independent Commission on Electoral Reform Chair Jessica Lott Thompson
- Jessica Lott Thompson is the Director of the Yukon Human Rights Commission, president of the Yukon Branch of the Canadian Bar Association, and holds an LL.M. Master of Laws in Constitutional Law. She is a former criminal prosecutor, has worked as an international election observer and is an experienced mediator.
- Beverly Buckway is the former Executive Director of the Association of Yukon Communities. She served as the Mayor of Whitehorse from 2006 to 2012 and as a Whitehorse city councillor from 2003 to 2006. She holds a Master of Arts in Professional Communication and her experience includes executive governance roles on a number of local, territorial and national bodies.
- Jean-Sebastien Blais is Président of the Commission Scolaire Francophone du Yukon and a policy analyst with the Yukon Housing Corporation. He has served as the Vice-President of the Association franco-yukonnaise. He holds a Master of Arts in Political Science and is a joint author of a published article on governance innovation.
Communications, Executive Council Office
Secretariat Analyst, Independent Commission on Electoral Reform