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WHITEHORSE – The Yukon Party Official Opposition is calling on the Premier to seek the advice of the Yukon’s Conflict of Interest Commissioner regarding a matter involving the former Health and Social Services Minister.
Section 10(4) of the Conflict of Interest Act says
“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 former Minister of Health was responsible for the project and awarded the contract days before the 2021 territorial election was called. Now as an employee of the contractor that was awarded the project, she reached out to government officials and has made representations on behalf of her new employer to the government regarding this project for which she was previously responsible. In the Yukon Legislative Assembly, the current Minister of Highways and Public Works has confirmed that numerous meetings occurred between the former Minister and his Department.
The Yukon Party Official Opposition first brought up this matter in the spring. The Minister of Highways and Public Works said if there was an issue, to take it to the Conflict of Interest Commissioner. The Yukon Party did just that, and the Commissioner cited Section 17(b) of the act in response. The section does not provide that another member may make a request for such advice, but ‘that prerogative, however, lies with the Premier.’
“This is a concerning situation involving the former Minister of Health and Social Services,” said Leader of the Official Opposition Currie Dixon. “The government has challenged us to make a complaint on the matter. We have tried to seek the advice of the conflicts commissioner and he responded only the Premier could make such a request. So it is the responsibility of the Premier to ask the conflicts commissioner for advice regarding the former Minister of Health and clarify for Yukoners if the Conflict of Interest Act has been contravened in any way.”