Meet the Yukon's candidates: Brendan Hanley seeks a career change

·2 min read
Dr. Brendan Hanley announces that he is taking leave as Yukon's chief medical officer to run as the territory's Liberal candidate in the next federal election, Aug. 10, 2021. (Julien Gignac/CBC - image credit)
Dr. Brendan Hanley announces that he is taking leave as Yukon's chief medical officer to run as the territory's Liberal candidate in the next federal election, Aug. 10, 2021. (Julien Gignac/CBC - image credit)

This is part of a series of profiles of Yukon's five federal election candidates. Another will be published each day.

All candidates were asked the same questions. Answers have been edited for length and clarity.

Brendan Hanley may be best known as the territory's chief medical officer of health, but he's now taking leave from his post to run as the Liberal Party's candidate in the upcoming federal election.

Hanley is banking on his experience overseeing the Yukon's pandemic response, and its resulting name recognition, to vault him to Ottawa.

What about your background makes you an ideal candidate in this election?

I've learned, I think, a lot in my background as chief medical officer of health. Not just from the last year and a half of the pandemic, but from 13 years of being involved in many, many issues in public health and how that overlaps with so many societal issues.

If I can bring this experience and my leadership skills and all that I've learned from working in Yukon over the past 25 years as a physician, then I think I have something to offer, especially in those key areas of climate change, of reconciliation and of mental health and addiction.

Why did you want to run in this election?

I think this is a pivotal time for Canada in view of the mounting climate change crisis. Of course, we're looking towards pandemic recovery ahead of us and of the urgent need to continuing to advance reconciliation and meaningful ways with Indigenous peoples. COVID-19 has also provided proof that there are opportunities for rapid societal change.

If you win, what's the first issue you want to tackle?

I think climate change is a big one. And that may be the single biggest issue or should be the single biggest issue in this election. We've had the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report. There's literally no time to waste. We know that in the North, climate change is occurring at twice the pace as it is in the South. And so I think there's urgency to address this, to look at the next steps, to look at the goals and how we're going to stay on track towards prevention and zero emissions. But also what are the urgent mitigation measures that we really need to keep pushing for?

If you could transport magically to any concert any time, who would you see and where?

I'm a classical music nerd, as you may know. I love all kinds of music. I think of jazz and big rock shows, but I guess my dream would be to see the Berlin Philharmonic playing a big Mahler symphony. So there you go. That would be in Berlin of course.

Profiles of Yukon's other federal candidates will be published through the week:

Wednesday: Jonas Smith, Independent

Thursday: Lenore Morris, Green Party

Monday: Lisa Vollans-Leduc, NDP

Tuesday: Barb Dunlop, Conservatives

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