Environment office loses manager

Federal cuts to the Environment department have cost the territory a management job and may weaken oversight.

Federal cuts to the Environment department have cost the territory a management job and may weaken oversight.

Environment Canada’s Yukon manager of environmental protection operations no longer exists, the News has learned.

The loss will result in a totally different reporting relationship with Ottawa, according to sources within Environment Canada.

The environmental protection office in Whitehorse will now report to a manager based in Vancouver, said Paula Franchellini, Environment Canada’s spokesperson.

The decision to terminate the position, effective September 15th of this year, was part of a strategy to “refine” the reporting process, said Franchellini.

She would not confirm who lost their job. However, sources in the Whitehorse office confirmed manager Dan Lindsey’s position had been eliminated.

Franchellini also skirted questions about whether other similar management positions in the rest of the country have been terminated. No job losses have taken place, she said in an e-mail.

The entire directorate of environmental protection operations has been undergoing re-organization since the late summer of 2007, said Chantal Lecours, spokesperson for the Professional Institute of the Public Service.

The institute has been in consultation with Environment Canada over the changes, she said. Lindsey is not part of the union.

Franchellini made no mention of any re-organization plan, instead only using the word “refine” to describe the changes being made.

These events usually come from senior levels of the government, such as deputy ministers, said sources at Environment Canada, but there was no confirmation from Franchellini about who approved the termination.

There have been several changes in reporting relationships in the region, said Lecours.

Despite the new structure coming into place on September 15th, Whitehorse staff have yet to receive formal letters on their new reporting relationships, added Lecours.

Environmental protection operations officials are still trying to sort out which division of the federal department will take over the roles previously held by the protection manager, according to sources in Environment Canada.

Lindsey oversaw environmental assessment reports dealing with large impact projects, including the possible construction of an Alaskan natural gas pipeline, fossil fuel exploration in the Beaufort Sea, wildlife protection for species, such as the Porcupine caribou herd, and various mining operations, said sources.

The manager also dealt with environmental emergencies in the territory and was also in charge of overseeing permits associated with contaminated sites, such as the tailings in Faro.

Lindsey also advised the Yukon Territory Water Board and agencies overseeing wildlife management, added sources.

The job operates at the discretion of regulations in the Canadian Environmental Protection Act as well as the Fisheries Act, said sources.

The act includes regulations that assess the risk to the environment from emissions, fuels and hazardous waste, according Environment Canada’s website.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper visited Iqaluit last week to announce his plans to ease regulation of northern natural resource projects if elected into power.

 “Current development and regulatory structures in the North are overly complex and often are major barriers to growth,” said the news release.

Environmental protection has achieved a new cachet during this federal election.

On Thursday, Green Party Leader Elizabeth May told the Toronto Star editorial board that environmental groups in Canada are being muzzled by fear that they will lose funding or their charitable status if they criticize Ottawa.

“That is why I went into politics, because every group in this country is being muzzled at the very time that they need to get their voices raised the loudest,” said May.

Just Posted

Lorraine Kuhn is seen with one of the many volleyball teams she coached. (Photo submitted by Sport Yukon)
The Yukon Sports Hall of Fame inducts the late Lorraine Kuhn

Lorraine Kuhn became the newest member of the Yukon Sports Hall of Fame for her work in growing volleyball amongst other sports

File Photo
A Yukon judge approved dangerous offender status for a man guilty of a string of assaults in 2020.
Yukon judge sentences dangerous offender to indefinite prison term

Herman Peter Thorn, 51, was given the sentence for 2020 assaults, history of violence

Crystal Schick/ Yukon News A former residential school in the Kaska Dena community of Lower Post will be demolished on June 21. Crystal Schick/ Yukon News
Lower Post residential school demolition postponed

On June 21, the old residential school in Lower Post will be demolished and new ground on a multi-cultural centre will be broken

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley announced 29 new COVID-19 cases on June 19 and community transmission among unvaccinated individuals. (Yukon News file)
Yukon logs record-high 29 new COVID-19 cases

F.H. Collins prom attendees and some Porter Creek Grade 9 students are instructed to self-isolate as community transmission sweeps through unvaccinated populations

Willow Brewster, a paramedic helping in the COVID-19 drive-thru testing centre, holds a swab used for the COVID-19 test moments before using it on Nov. 24. The Yukon government is reopening the drive-thru option on June 18. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Drive-up COVID-19 testing opening June 18 in Whitehorse

The drive-up testing will be open from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. everyday and increase testing capacity by 33 spots

Whitehorse City Hall (Yukon News file)
City news, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council at its June 14 meeting

Murray Arsenault sits in the drivers seat of his 1975 Bricklin SV1 in Whitehorse on June 16. (Stephanie Waddell/Yukon News)
Bringing the 1975 Bricklin north

Murray Arsenault remembers his dad’s Bricklin, while now driving his own

A presumptive COVID case was found at Seabridge Gold’s 3 Aces project. (file photo)
Presumptive COVID-19 case reported at mine in southeast Yukon

A rapid antigen rest found a presumptive COVID case on an incoming individual arriving at the 3Aces project

Jonathan Antoine/Cabin Radio
Flooding in Fort Simpson on May 8.
Fort Simpson asked for military help. Two people showed up.

FORT SIMPSON—Residents of a flooded Northwest Territories village expected a helping hand… Continue reading

A woman was rescued from the Pioneer Ridge Trail in Alaska on June 16. (Photo courtesy/AllTrails)
Alaska hiker chased off trail by bears flags down help

ANCHORAGE (AP)—An Alaska hiker who reported needing help following bear encounters on… Continue reading

Two participants cross the finish line at the City of Whitehorse Kids Triathlon on June 12 with Mayor Dan Curtis on hand to present medals. (Stephanie Waddell/Yukon News)
2021 Kids’ Triathlon draws 76 young athletes

Youth ages five to 14 swim, run and bike their way to finish line

NDP MP Mumilaaq Qaqqaq rises in the House of Commons, in Ottawa on May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
‘Unacceptable’ that Inuk MP felt unsafe in House of Commons, Miller says

OTTAWA—It’s a “sad reflection” on Canada that an Inuk MP feels she’s… Continue reading

Lily Witten performs her Canadian Nationals beam routine on June 14. John Tonin/Yukon News
Three Yukon gymnasts break 20-year Nationals absence

Bianca Berko-Malvasio, Maude Molgat and Lily Witten competed at the Canadian Nationals – the first time in 20 years the Yukon’s been represented at the meet

Most Read