Bagnell champions Watson Lake

Larry Bagnell will chair Watson Lake's new commission for economic revitalization. As such, the former MP will have a broad mandate over the next year to ensure the southern Yukon highway town cashes in on mining plays near it.

Larry Bagnell will chair Watson Lake’s new commission for economic revitalization.

As such, the former MP will have a broad mandate over the next year to ensure the southern Yukon highway town cashes in on mining plays near it.

Yukon Zinc’s Wolverine mine is boosting production. And Selwyn Resources is, with Chinese backing, proving up its massive lead and zinc play.

Bagnell, 62, was a natural choice, said Mayor Richard Durocher. “We wanted someone with a high profile,” he said. “We all want a guy like Larry Bagnell on our team.”

Bagnell will continue to live in Whitehorse, but he’ll make monthly trips to Watson Lake. He also expects to make trips Outside to meet with mining honchos.

Bagnell’s no stranger to economic development. Before his decade-long stint as Yukon’s Liberal MP, Bagnell served as the executive director of the Association of Yukon Communities and, earlier, as Industry Canada’s territorial boss.

The commission’s work is supposed to start in January, but Bagnell said he’s already begun to meet with mining officials. The commission’s half-dozen members have yet to be appointed.

Bagnell has kept busy since narrowly losing the territorial election to Ryan Leef. On November 9, his wife, Melissa Craig, gave birth to a boy, Dawson. He’s their second child. Their daughter, Aurora, is three.

Contact John Thompson at

johnt@yukon-news.com.