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WHITEHORSE – The Yukon Party was saddened that the Liberal-NDP government voted against recognizing several Yukoners from military and RCMP personnel to first responders, teachers, long-term care workers and others with rare Platinum Jubilee medals.
This year marks the Platinum Jubilee for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. However, the Canadian government has chosen not to commemorate the 70 years on the throne with the traditional medal presentation.
Former Commissioner, Order of Canada recipient, and current Yukon Party MLA Geraldine Van Bibber brought forward a motion in the Legislative Assembly requesting the Yukon government either press the Canadian government to mark the occasion, or have the territory award a commemorative medal to frontline workers and provide funding for a community celebration. This is an idea supported by the Royal Canadian Legion.
The governing Liberals and Third-Party NDP dismissed the idea, contrary to working in the spirit of cooperation. Their opposition contradicts the growing support amongst groups across Canada for medals to be presented, including the support of 96 Liberal MPs – one of which was the Yukon’s own Brendan Hanley - in Ottawa. Groups such as the Royal Canadian Legion, and Monarchist League of Canada support the idea. There was even a petition presented on two occasions in the House of Commons.
The motion reads as follows:
THAT this House urges the Government of Yukon, in recognition of the Platinum Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, to celebrate with Yukoners by:
(1) creating a one-time Queen’s commemorative medal to present to deserving Yukoners and front-line workers in recognition of significant contributions they have made to their community or to the Yukon; and
(2) providing funding to interested communities for the purpose of holding a community tea or celebration on June 2, 2022, in honour of Her Majesty’s 70-year reign.
“Throughout her life, Queen Elizabeth II has risen above the fray and continues to represent herself, her family and her Commonwealth with dignity and grace,” said Van Bibber. “This would have been a prime opportunity, after the pandemic and a gloomy couple of years, to raise awareness of our Head of State and to make memories for all.”