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Media advisory: Grand Chief Peter Johnston, Premier Ranj Pillai and Minister Dan Vandal to hold media availability following the closing of the Yukon Intergovernmental Forum

From: Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada

Ottawa, Ontario — Please be advised that Peter Johnston, Grand Chief of the Council of Yukon First Nations; the Honourable Ranj Pillai, Premier of the Yukon; and the Honourable Dan Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs will be available to answer questions from the media following the closing of the Yukon Intergovernmental Forum, which will be hosted in Ottawa for the first time.

Media participation:

Virtual participation is available to members of the media through the link below.

Press conference Zoom link:

Meeting ID: 956 5559 6294
Passcode: 845630

Date: Monday, December 4, 2023

Time: The media availability will begin at 3:30 p.m. ET (1:30 p.m. MT)

Location: National Arts Centre, 1 Elgin Street, Ottawa, Ontario, K1P 5W1
and a virtual (Zoom) forum


For more information:

Carson Debert
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Dan Vandal
Minister of Northern Affairs and Minister responsible for PrairiesCan and CanNor

CIRNAC Media Relations

Jordan Owens
Cabinet Communications
Government of Yukon

Council of Yukon First Nations Media Relations
Lael Lund


The Government of Yukon and health care partners are working together to support hospital services


The Government of Yukon is providing additional funding to ensure the Yukon Hospital Corporation can address the immediate pressures impacting surgeries and medical imaging programs in the territory.

At the direction of the Minister of Health and Social Services, additional investments are being made to ensure that Yukoners have timely access to the care and health services they require. This will ensure that imaging and surgical services will continue without disruption.

Recognizing that there is a regularly scheduled slowdown of surgical services planned for mid-December to early January, the Government of Yukon is working collaboratively with the Yukon Medical Association and the Yukon Hospital Corporation to ensure that services return to the previously anticipated levels from that point on.

Improving access to our health care system is a top priority for the Department of Health and Social Services and our partners. We continue to work together to ensure Yukoners have access to sustainable, person-centred health care. We deeply appreciate the dedication and commitment of the healthcare professionals in providing Yukoners with excellent care.

Minister of Health and Social Services Tracy-Anne McPhee

Supporting the capacity of surgical services and medical imaging is key to improving health outcomes and bettering the experiences of patients, physicians and their healthcare team members. Working together with our partners to reduce wait times and ensure staffing levels meet the demands of the system will greatly benefit the health and well-being of all involved.

President of the Yukon Medical Association Dr. Alex Kmet

With these joint efforts underway, we are strategically addressing the immediate pressures in our healthcare system, particularly in surgical services and medical imaging, while supporting our people and teams. Our aim is to reduce growth in wait times and service delays and we are working with our teams and system partners to develop plans to return to previously expected service levels. Going forward, we will need to be responsive as the environment continues to evolve.

Chair of the Board of Trustees, Yukon Hospital Corporation, Allan Lucier

Quick facts

  • Imaging services, such as x-rays, CT Scans and mammograms, and surgical services such as hip and joint replacement and cataract removal will continue to be prioritized.
  • People waiting for surgery or medical imaging services are encouraged to continue working with their health care provider to manage symptoms. If their physical status changes significantly, they should contact their health care provider immediately to discuss their condition. If they have a medical emergency, they should go to the nearest emergency room or call 911.
  • The Yukon Hospital Corporation’s resources and funding support up to 3,200 surgeries per year, including planned and unplanned surgeries. At the end of the 2022–23 fiscal year, 3,841 surgeries were completed.
  • A Health Human Resources Steering Committee, jointly led by the Government of Yukon and the Yukon Hospital Corporation, has been formed to help address the Yukon’s health human resource challenges. The steering committee is actively developing a Health Human Resources Strategy to explore bold and innovative solutions to address immediate health care challenges and prepare for long-term systemic needs. The strategy will be released soon.

Media contact

Renée Francoeur
Cabinet Communications

Kim Sheridan
867-334- 8832

Jessica Apolloni
Communications, Yukon Hospitals


Premier Pillai and delegation wrap up Europe mission


Premier Ranj Pillai and a Yukon government delegation have completed a mission to Europe where they attended several mining conferences and held meetings with government and business leaders to promote opportunities in the Yukon, notably as a secure and stable supply for the critical minerals that the world needs to support the clean energy transition.

In Frankfurt, Premier Pillai gave a keynote presentation at the Deutsche Goldmesse (German Gold Show) and participated in investor meetings.

The Premier and delegation travelled to London for speaking engagements, meetings and events tied to the 3rd Annual Critical Minerals Association Conference and the Mines and Money @ Resourcing Tomorrow Conference.

While in London, Premier Pillai held discussions with two United Kingdom (UK) Members of Parliament who are directly charged with critical minerals and trade. He also met with Canadian teams operating in the UK, including an in-depth discussion on the Yukon’s interests with the High Commissioner for Canada to the UK Ralph Goodale.

In addition, the Premier was received at the headquarters of Rio Tinto, delivered remarks at several sessions to Resourcing Tomorrow and connected with mining industry leaders in bilateral meetings.

This mission was a valuable step for the Government of Yukon to promote innovation and collaboration in critical minerals and create lasting relationships to increase investments in the territory. It also provided opportunities to emphasize First Nations involvement in the Yukon’s mining industry and to share updates on the progress of the co-development of new minerals legislation, which supports a modern and sustainable mining industry.

This mission was an opportunity to share Yukon opportunities with UK and European governments and key leaders in the mining industry. It also provided opportunities to promote collaboration and innovation in critical mineral as well as the necessity of First Nations involvement. The first step for any mining initiative needs to be a direct meeting with affected Yukon First Nations. Building relationships is the way to increase investments and create the connections necessary to support critical mineral projects and prospects. I look forward to seeing the positive outcomes from this tour.

Premier Ranj Pillai

Media contact

Renée Francoeur
Cabinet Communications


Iqaluit food bank seeks rebate on property taxes – Nunatsiaq News

Dec 1, 2023

Qajuqturvik Community Food Centre executive director admits ‘oversight’ in not filing for reduction

Qajuqturvik Community Food Centre is asking for a retroactive property tax rebate from the City of Iqaluit.

In 2022, the city revised a bylaw so selected non-profit organizations could pay reduced property taxes.

However, Qajuqturvik mistakenly failed to apply for a property tax rebate this year, executive director Rachel Blais told city council at its Nov. 28 meeting.

Qajuqturvik is an Iqaluit non-profit organization that aims to improve access to food. It offers free daily meals, country food boxes, classes in cooking and financial literacy as well as on-the-land youth programs.

Read More:

Yukon Government and Chamber of Mines give awards – Yukon News

December 1, 2023

Environmental stewardship, social responsibility and leadership in community engagement recognized

The Yukon territorial government is recognizing a mineral exploration company that operates east of Mayo for its exemplary site cleanup.

Snowline Gold received the 2023 Robert E. Leckie Award for Excellence in Environmental Stewardship at the 51st Annual Geoscience Forum and Trade Show banquet. The annual forum was held Nov. 19 to 22.

“The company’s mineral exploration work about 220 kilometres east of Mayo stands as an excellent example of progressive reclamation, cleaning up as you go. In addition, they have made efforts to clean up historic exploration camps on their properties,” a Nov. 21 Yukon government notice reads.

The award is named in honour of Robert E. Leckie, a Mayo mining inspector who is described as an innovator dedicated to developing progressive land-use practices for mining.

Read More:

The application deadline to showcase your artwork at the PWNHC has been extended

November 30, 2023

The Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre (PWNHC) is accepting submissions from NWT artists, craftspeople, curators, and groups to display their art in the Mezzanine Gallery art exhibit space in 2024.

The deadline for applications is January 15, 2024.

Submissions are evaluated by the Art Selection Committee, which is made up of PWNHC staff and community members. The PWNHC will pay artists a standard exhibition fee and cover shipping expenses.

Applications can be submitted here. For more information about the Mezzanine Gallery art exhibition space and the application process, contact or 867-767-9347 ext. 71245.

For media requests, please contact:
Briony Grabke
Manager, Public Affairs and Communications
Department of Education, Culture and Employment
Government of the Northwest Territories
867-767-9352  Ext. 71073


Statement from Minister McPhee on the 9-8-8 Suicide Crisis Helpline


Minister of Health and Social Services Tracy-Anne McPhee has issued the following statement:

“Today marks an important milestone for mental health and suicide prevention. The Government of Canada has introduced the national 9-8-8 Suicide Crisis Helpline, a simple three-digit number that anyone can now call or text for help 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“This service offers support in both English and French and is sensitive to different cultural needs. It’s available to anyone experiencing suicidal thoughts or overwhelming feelings of hopelessness and despair about the future, here in the Yukon and across Canada.

“Funded by the Government of Canada and delivered in collaboration with the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health and their partners, the 9-8-8 Helpline supports our commitment to helping people who are going through a hard time, no matter where they are. In the Yukon, this service is being delivered by the Canadian Mental Health Association, Yukon Division, ensuring that the support provided is tailored to the unique needs of the territory.

“Suicide is a public health issue that affects all of us. Tragically, Canada sees an average of 12 suicides per day, with certain groups being disproportionately impacted. The 9-8-8 Suicide Crisis Helpline is here to help, offering timely and compassionate support.

“It’s important to remember that we can help protect our youth from suicide. Key factors include having a supportive adult in their lives, feeling connected to their school and community, delaying use or staying away from drugs and alcohol, building positive friendships, and maintaining good mental health. These factors can make a big difference in a young person’s life, helping them feel safe, valued and heard.

“The crisis responders answering the 9-8-8 Helpline are trained to provide a safe and confidential place for people to talk about their feelings and get help. They listen with kindness and understanding, making sure everyone who calls or texts feels heard and supported.

“Other important sources of help remain available. The Reach Out Support Line, which Yukoners can call at 1-844-533-3030 any time, is one of them. Run by the Canadian Mental Health Association, Yukon Division, this line offers confidential and supportive help from trained volunteers for any kind of problem, big or small.

“Other vital resources are the Hope for Wellness Helpline for Indigenous Peoples at 1-855-242-3310 and Kids Help Phone – at 1-800-668-6868 or text CONNECT at 686868 – a great resource for young people. These services are now part of the 9-8-8 network, making support for everyone even stronger.

“For local support in the Yukon, Mental Wellness and Substance Use Services Rapid Access Counselling is available by appointment Monday through Friday in-person, virtually or by phone at 867-456-3838 or toll free at 1-866-456-3838.

“I encourage Yukoners interested in learning how to offer suicide first aid to join the Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training – ASIS 002 – at Yukon University. This two-day workshop is a chance to learn important skills. It teaches how to recognize people who might be at risk of suicide and understand their struggles and make plans to help keep them safe.

“The introduction of the 9-8-8 Suicide Crisis Helpline is a key step in supporting our dedication to mental health and suicide prevention. It ensures that anyone facing a crisis can find the help they need. I encourage all Yukoners to share information about the 9-8-8 Helpline, as we strive to create a community that is both caring and resilient.”

Media contact

Renée Francoeur
Cabinet Communications


Iqaluit education authority takes Nunavut gov’t to court over blocking support workers – CBC

Nov 30, 2023

‘This seemed to be a way to get the government to talk,’ says lawyer

The Iqaluit District Education Authority is taking the Government of Nunavut to court, alleging the territory’s Department of Education blocked access to assessment services it wanted to provide for students.

The education authority says it received $120,000 from the federal Inuit Child First Initiative earlier this year to screen 28 children for emotional and behavioural challenges.

The group claims the GN barred some support workers from helping students in need by preventing professionals from entering schools to conduct assessments and encouraging the contractor of the services to withdraw its contract.

The Department of Education told CBC News it would respond to a request for comment by the end of the day Thursday.

Anne Crawford, the education authority’s lawyer, said the group wants the Nunavut Court of Justice to review the situation through mediation.

Read More:

West Baffin Cooperative gears up for 65th anniversary – Nunavut News

November 29, 2023

Kinngait’s West Baffin Cooperative will be celebrating its 65th anniversary in 2024 with more than a dozen exhibitions of local art and related events across the globe, including the United States, Italy, Korea, England and France.

The launch of festivities will, however, take place in early December, in partnership with Canada Goose and their pop-up store in Miami. It will showcase the work of Kinngait Studios artist Saimaiyu Akesuk.

January 2024 will feature an exhibition of work at The Perimeter in London by Shuvinai Ashoona, which will be the second solo exhibition for the artist in England. The same month, the national touring exhibition Kenojuak Ashevak: Life and Legacy will see its ninth venue at Beaverbrook Art Gallery in Fredericton, N.B.

“Established in 1959 by its Inuit community, the West Baffin Cooperative has provided a substantial economic benefit to hundreds of local artists promoting sales and exhibitions of their work across Canada and internationally. In 2018, the administrative offices and Kinngait Studios relocated to a state-of-the-art facility, the Kenojuak Cultural Centre, a venue built with more than $13 million in private and public sector support,” reads the press release.

Read More:

New regulations under Public Utilities Act approved

November 28, 2023

The Government of Yukon has approved two new regulations under the Public Utilities Act that will allow the Yukon’s public utilities to purchase renewable electricity generated in British Columbia.

The change enables the Yukon’s utilities to buy power from Tlingit Homeland Energy Limited Partnership’s hydroelectric expansion project in Atlin and the Daylu Dena Council’s solar farm located in Lower Post.

This approach is consistent with a similar regulatory change allowing the sale of electricity from the Yukon’s independent power producers and micro-generators to the Yukon’s utilities.

The Yukon’s public utilities are now able to access additional sources of electricity from outside the territory to help meet local demands for affordable, reliable and clean electrical energy. Renewable energy projects both inside and outside the territory are important to address climate change, reduce fossil fuel use and increase renewable electricity available in the Yukon.

Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources John Streicker

Securing new sources of dependable winter electricity remains a top priority for Yukon Energy. These amendments are another key step towards connecting these sources to the Yukon grid.

Interim President and Chief Executive Officer of Yukon Energy Corporation Chris Milner

ATCO Electric Yukon welcomes the approval of these regulatory changes. We look forward to introducing more renewable energy onto the Watson Lake grid, a crucial step in reducing reliance on diesel-powered electricity and embracing cleaner alternatives.

Vice President of Northern Development and Indigenous Relations of ATCO Electric Yukon Jay Massie

Quick facts

  • The Government of Yukon adopted the two new regulations under the Public Utilities Act per Order-in-Council 2023/143.
  • If and when completed, the Atlin hydroelectric expansion and the Lower Post solar projects could help achieve the Our Clean Future commitments of reducing the use of fossil fuels for electricity generation and increasing renewable electricity in the Yukon.

Media contact

Renée Francoeur
Cabinet Communications

Holly Dalrymple
Communications, Energy, Mines and Resources


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