Chief veterinarian post created

Should a flu pandemic ever hit the Yukon, it's chief medical officer Brendan Hanley's job to figure out what to do. But what if our dogs start dropping dead from parvovirus? Our ravens start keeling over from avian flu?

Should a flu pandemic ever hit the Yukon, it’s chief medical officer Brendan Hanley’s job to figure out what to do.

But what if our dogs start dropping dead from parvovirus? Our ravens start keeling over from avian flu? Our deer are wiped out by chronic wasting disease?

“A chief veterinary officer,” will now handle such things.

For $320,000, the Yukon will get one chief veterinary officer and a technical support staff, ready to maintain tabs on animal disease and keep “wild and domestic animal populations healthy and viable,” according to a Department of Environment release issued on Tuesday.

Monitoring animal health is closely linked with ensuring good human health, as any Black Plague or SARS victim would eagerly tell you – if they could.

“There’s a lot of issues where there is a common interest between the animal world and the human world,” said Hanley.

When it comes to something like “rabies surveillance,” having a direct line to a veterinary expert can be critical, he said.

Just to the south, BC’s chief veterinary officer has been busy managing mysterious outbreaks of avian flu in British Columbia’s Fraser Valley.

Among other Canadian jurisdictions, the Yukon is a latecomer to the chief veterinary officer initiative.

Hiring a veterinarian-in-chief has been a long time coming, said Hanley.

A standing body of animal health watchdogs is particularly useful for the territory’s increase in domestic “animal food sources.”

With global warming, every year sees more cows and sheep introduced to Yukon farms.

Should a livestock epidemic, like mad cow disease, be allowed to sweep in unchecked, the economic effects could be devastating.

A chief veterinary officer “improves our ability to support the production of Yukon-grown food,” said Brad Cathers, minister of Energy, Mines and Resources.

Warming temperatures may spur agriculture, but it also threatens the Yukon’s wild beasts.

Among other threats, West Nile virus and winter ticks are trekking north and without proper management an ecological catastrophe could catch us unprepared.

Contact Tristin Hopper at


“No one wants to deny help for the people that are really in a crisis right now. That’s a ridiculous choice (Stephen Harper’s) putting on Canadians.

Yukon MP Larry Bagnell discusses why the Liberal Opposition won’t defeat the stimulus-packed budget to nix radical pay-equity changes contained in the 400-page document.

Page 5



Our shame

Under the Conservatives, Canada finds itself abetting injustice and torture.



Daring to hope

In Afghanistan fleeing a brutal husband has traditionally meant more beatings, or even death for the abused wife, but Kabul is finally experimenting with women’s shelters.




American pilots are training new Afghani pilots to fly old Russian helicopters in an attempt to make Afghanistan self-sufficient.


Business Environment

Uphill to the minesite

North American Tungsten hopes to exploit its Mactung deposit northeast of Ross River, but first there’s a little matter of $400 million.


The Arts

Don’t worry, be happy

Movie theatres are becoming a haven for those attempting to flee their financial fears.



Skid onto the screen

If you are one of the Yukon’s worst drivers, here’s your chance for some TV fame.



Sprinting from the shadows

Talented young Yukon mushers must travel far afield to find enough sprint races to keep in form, thanks to the dominance of long-distance events at home.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Crystal Schick/Yukon News
Calvin Delwisch poses for a photo inside his DIY sauna at Marsh Lake on Feb. 18.
Yukoners turning up the heat with unique DIY sauna builds

Do-it-yourselfers say a sauna built with salvaged materials is a great winter project

Wyatt’s World

Wyatt’s World for March 5, 2021.

Yukonomist: School competition ramps up in the Yukon

It’s common to see an upstart automaker trying to grab share from… Continue reading

The Yukon government responded to a petition calling the SCAN Act “draconian” on Feb. 19. (Yukon News file)
Yukon government accuses SCAN petitioner of mischaracterizing her eviction

A response to the Jan. 7 petition was filed to court on Feb. 19

City councillor Samson Hartland in Whitehorse on Dec. 3, 2018. Hartland has announced his plans to run for mayor in the Oct. 21 municipal election. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Councillor sets sights on mayor’s chair

Hartland declares election plans

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley receives his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine from Public Health Nurse Angie Bartelen at the Yukon Convention Centre Clinic in Whitehorse on March 3. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
State of emergency extended for another 90 days

“Now we’re in a situation where we see the finish line.”

The Yukon government says it is working towards finding a solution for Dawson area miners who may be impacted by City of Dawson plans and regulations. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Miner expresses frustration over town plan

Designation of claims changed to future planning

Team Yukon athletes wave flags at the 2012 Arctic Winter Games opening ceremony in Whitehorse. The 2022 event in Wood Buffalo, Alta., has been postponed indefinitely. (Justin Kennedy/Yukon News file)
2022 Arctic Winter Games postponed indefinitely

Wood Buffalo, Alta., Host Society committed to rescheduling at a later date

Housing construction continues in the Whistle Bend subdivision in Whitehorse on Oct. 29, 2020. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Yukon Bureau of Statistics reports rising rents for Yukoners, falling revenues for businesses

The bureau has published several reports on the rental market and businesses affected by COVID-19

Council of Yukon First Nations grand chief Peter Johnston at the Yukon Forum in Whitehorse on Feb. 14, 2019. Johnston and Highways and Public Works Minister Richard Mostyn announced changes to the implementation of the Yukon First Nations Procurement Policy on March 3. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Third phase added to procurement policy implementation

Additional time added to prep for two provisions

Crews work to clear the South Klondike Highway after an avalanche earlier this week. (Submitted)
South Klondike Highway remains closed due to avalanches

Yukon Avalanche Association recommending backcountry recreators remain vigilant

RCMP Online Crime Reporting website in Whitehorse on March 5. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Whitehorse RCMP launch online crime reporting

Both a website and Whitehorse RCMP app are now available

A man walks passed the polling place sign at city hall in Whitehorse on Oct. 18, 2018. The City of Whitehorse is preparing for a pandemic-era election this October with a number of measures proposed to address COVID-19 restrictions. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
City gets set for Oct. 21 municipal election

Elections procedures bylaw comes forward

Most Read