Looking out for Yukoners, like Nielsen

Looking out for Yukoners, like Nielsen In my 40-odd years living in Yukon, politics has not been my thing. Frankly, I find the competitive nature of our political process offputting. When I first came up here in 1970, we didn't have political parties a

In my 40-odd years living in Yukon, politics has not been my thing.

Frankly, I find the competitive nature of our political process offputting.

When I first came up here in 1970, we didn’t have political parties and this for me worked much better with greater respect for those we were electing, and also, they for each other.

It was in 1972 I attended a meeting hosted by Erik Nielsen. One of the things he said caught my attention.

“If you are concerned about the direction of your society, get involved.” So I did Ð with Nielsen.

We became friends at the time, and I ended up being his manager for a period.


Well, what impressed me about him was he spoke his truth without ego.

His priority was always what he honestly felt was best for his Yukon family.

In the time I spent with him here, or when I was occasionally with him in Ottawa, he was direct, clear but always unassuming. He seemed to carry his own authority. That was just the way he was.

Now, in a very real way, I see these rare attributes in Elizabeth Hanson that I did with Erik and, as I also did, with Audrey McLaughlin.

Almost above political wrangling Ð speaking out for what she (Elizabeth, or as she’s better known now, Liz) feels is best for her Yukon family.

As an example I have been greatly impressed with her and her staff’s selfless efforts to stand up for Dr. Xiu-Mei Zhang when our local medical board revoked her licence to practise here.

Another example that impressed me was again a selfless effort to help that young girl who had raised herself out of the ashes, but who was sadly sent back to corrections because her adopted family could no longer afford to keep her.

No other party or politician made any effort at the time, that I am aware of, in these two case examples.

So, it is these simple selfless and compassionate acts that I saw in Erik Nielsen and I also now see in Elizabeth Hanson, a rare commodity indeed within our existing and often childish political gamesmanship, and it is this that has tempted me to make this public comment.

I’m giving credit where credit is well earned.

Michael Brine,


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