McPhee to Health, McLean to Education as Yukon premier names new cabinet

·3 min read
Premier Sandy Silver takes a selfie with members of his new Cabinet during the swearing in ceremony on Monday. (Philippe Morin/CBC - image credit)
Premier Sandy Silver takes a selfie with members of his new Cabinet during the swearing in ceremony on Monday. (Philippe Morin/CBC - image credit)

Premier Sandy Silver and the new Yukon government cabinet were sworn in by the Commissioner of Yukon on Monday.

The ceremony was different than in 2016 with participants wearing masks, fewer people, and microphones wiped down between speakers.

Silver's cabinet had a slight shuffle from last assembly.

Tracy-Anne McPhee will keep her Justice portfolio but is now deputy premier and minister of Health and Social Services.

Speaking to reporters on Monday, Silver said though the role could have gone to any member of his team, he chose McPhee as deputy premier because of her ability to navigate the Justice portfolio along with her other duties.

"The Herculean task that the department of Justice has done under her leadership, not only in legislation but in regulation as well. And then her duties as House leader, working with the two other parties as well as Education," said Silver.

"If I only had to look at her individually then it would be an obvious choice, of course there's a whole bunch of great people and talented individuals who are here as well."

Ranj Pillai, who previously held the role of deputy premier, keeps Economic Development and adds Culture and Tourism and the Housing Corporation. Pillai will also be the minister responsible for Yukon Liquor Corporation, and the minister responsible for Yukon Lottery Commission.

John Streicker is now minister for Energy, Mines and Resources along with being the minister responsible for Yukon Development Corporation, minister responsible for Yukon Energy Corporation, minister of the Public Service Commission, and minister responsible for the French Language Services Directorate.

Jeanie McLean is now the minister of Education and will keep her role as minister responsible for the Women's Directorate.

Richard Mostyn will be the minister of Community Services, and minister responsible for the Workers' Compensation Health and Safety Board.

Former Speaker Nils Clarke is now Environment minister as well as minister of Highways and Public Works.

Silver will also take on the role of minister responsible for the Executive Council and the department of Finance.

"We have such strength in our team. Such a dedicated group of individuals here," said Silver.

The premier announced Tuesday that he asked the Commissioner of Yukon to convene the first sitting of the 35th Yukon Legislative Assembly on May 11 at 1 p.m. It will begin with a speech from the throne.

Premier Sandy Silver also announced Monday that he intends to nominate Jeremy Harper for the office of the Speaker of the Yukon Legislative Assembly.

Harper was elected to the Yukon Legislative Assembly in the Mayo-Tatchun riding.

"I am honoured Premier Silver would consider me for this position. Should I become the Speaker, I will do my part to ensure all members are heard and treated equally," said Harper in a Monday evening release.

The Speaker represents, speaks for and enforces the rules and conventions of the Legislative Assembly.

Premier Sandy Silver and the new Yukon government Cabinet were sworn in by the Commissioner of Yukon on Monday.
Premier Sandy Silver and the new Yukon government Cabinet were sworn in by the Commissioner of Yukon on Monday.(Philippe Morin/ CBC)

The Liberal minority government was elected on April 12, with a total of eight members.

Last week, Silver struck a deal with NDP Leader Kate White to keep his Liberal minority government in power until at least January 2023, in exchange for some NDP policy initiatives.

The agreement between the two parties says that an NDP MLA will be Deputy Speaker.