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WHITEHORSE – The Yukon Legislative Assembly has passed a motion from the Yukon Party Official Opposition directing the Premier to seek the advice of the Conflict of Interest Commissioner in relation to the dealings of the former Minister of Health and Social Services in regard to a project in Old Crow.
The motion, brought forward by Pelly-Nisutlin MLA Stacey Hassard reads as follows:
THAT this House urges the Premier of Yukon to seek the advice of the Conflict of Interest Commission regarding whether or not the former Minister of Health and Social Services, Pauline Frost, contravened the Conflict of Interest (Members and Ministers) Act in regard to the Old Crow health and wellness centre.
One day prior to the snap 2021 election, the former Minister of Health and Social Services signed off on the contract for the construction of the Old Crow health and wellness centre. Months later, the former Minister accepted a job with the winning bidder, and met with government officials about the project.
Section 10(4) of the Conflict of Interest Act states:
A former Minister shall not make representations to the Government of Yukon in relation to a transaction or negotiation to which the Government is a party and in which the former Minister was previously involved as a Minister if the representations could result in the conferring of a benefit not of general application.
The Yukon Party Official Opposition wrote to the conflicts commissioner on the matter and the commissioner responded that the Premier is the only member of the assembly that could seek the advice of the conflicts commissioner in matters involving former Ministers.
All Yukon Party MLAs voted in favour of the motion. All Liberal MLAs voted against having the Premier consult the Conflict of Interest Commissioner.
This motion encompasses any new Premier, so any candidate seeking the Liberal leadership should indicate if they would respect the will of the Yukon Legislative Assembly and seek the advice of the conflicts commissioner on this matter.