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WHITEHORSE - The Yukon Party is raising concerns about the appointment of a former Liberal Party candidate as the Chief Medical Officer of Health. This follows the recent decision of the Yukon’s former Chief Medical Officer of Health revealing his own partisanship and becoming a Liberal MP in the 2021 election. In making this appointment the Yukon Liberals have continued their trend of politicizing the supposedly independent office while undermining public confidence in the office.
“When we look to the United States’ experience with the COVID-19 pandemic, we see what can happen when public health systems and officials become politicized,” said Official Opposition Leader, Currie Dixon. “This American-style politicization of public health is not in the best interests of Yukoners and only serves to undermine public trust in our essential institutions.”
The role of Chief Medical Officer of Health (CMOH) needs to be independent and non-partisan. The decision by the former CMOH to use the office as a springboard into politics damaged the credibility of that office, and the recent appointment of another explicitly Liberal partisan to the position will only further damage the credibility and independence of that office.
Following this, the Yukon Party Official Opposition is calling on the territorial Liberal government to change the appointment process for the CMOH and adopt a process similar to those used for independent officers of the Legislative Assembly such as the Ombudsman and the Child and Youth Advocate. While this would be unprecedented in Canada, it has become necessary to repair the damage that the Liberals have done to the independence and credibility of this important office.