WHITEHORSE — Peter Jenkins, Yukon's former deputy premier and one of the territory's longest-serving politicians, has died at the age of 77.
Jenkins was first elected the mayor of Dawson City in 1980 and held the position for 14 years before being elected to the legislature in 1996.
He served as minister for several portfolios under a Yukon Party government, including environment and health ministries, and was also the interim leader of the party for two years.
Yukon Party Leader Currie Dixon says Jenkins will be missed by many and the party is greatly indebted to him for "almost single-handedly keeping the party alive during those difficult years" when Jenkins was its lone MLA.
A statement from Yukon Premier Sandy Silver says Jenkins was always happy to share his insights and knowledge with others and he values the advice Jenkins offered to him when he was first elected.
Silver says Jenkins will be remembered fondly by many Yukoners for his desire to give back to his local community.
“In memory of his lengthy public service, flags at the government of Yukon main administration building will be flown at half-mast for seven days. I encourage all Yukoners to reflect on Peter’s legacy as a passionate leader of the Yukon," Silver's statement says.
Jenkins was also a successful entrepreneur and hotel owner, the statement says.
A statement from Dixon says Jenkins was someone you could always count on for sage advice or to crack a joke.
“Peter was a force of nature not only in politics but in the community of Dawson and throughout the territory, the business community and the community-at-large."
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 4, 2021.
The Canadian Press