The welcome to Yukon sign between British Columbia and Yukon in May 2019. The Yukon government is reporting that 15 people have been refused entry to the territory since enforcement officers have been present at the borders. (Shelly Font/Submitted)

Fifteen people turned away at Yukon border

No charges or arrests reported

The Yukon government says that 15 people have been refused entry to the territory since enforcement has been present at the border.

Diana Dryburgh-Moraal, an information officer for the Department of Community Services, gave some enforcement numbers to the News on April 27 and 28.

As of April 28, 15 people have been denied access into the territory due to not meeting the criteria for entry. Under current emergency orders, to enter you must either be a Yukon resident, an immediate family member of a Yukon resident, a critical/essential worker, travelling home to a neighbouring jurisdiction or exercising an aboriginal treaty right.

There is no information available on the reasons travellers were trying to enter the Yukon, as officials are not keeping a record.

“We aren’t keeping track of personal information of people that are denied entry to Yukon,” Dryburgh-Moraal said.

She adds that no charges or arrests have been made under the Civil Emergency Measures Act.

Keely Bass, also a spokesperson for community services, said there has been 44 complaints called in thus far about COVID-19 measures violations, with most happening in Whitehorse.

Dryburgh-Moraal said the primary goal of enforcement is to get voluntary compliance. The process begins with education and could lead to arrests or fines.

She said officials are stationed at two road entrances to the Yukon from B.C., on the Alaska Highway south of Watson Lake and on the Stewart-Cassiar Highway. These officials include conservation officers and natural resource officers, and are monitoring the highways at all times.

Canada Border Services Agency is monitoring the Yukon’s borders with Alaska.

Officers are also stationed at Erik Nielsen Whitehorse International Airport. Dryburgh-Moraal said the government is working with airlines and airports to make sure passengers are aware of travel restrictions.

She adds that flights to Yukon communities stop in Whitehorse before carrying on. This allows a chance for passengers to meet with officers when entering the territory by air.

She said she could not share how many officials are stationed along the border or airports.

“For safety reasons, we cannot share the exact number of officers providing this coverage but there is an enforcement team meeting all incoming flights.,” Dryburgh-Moraal said.

Contact Gord Fortin at gord.fortin@yukon-news.com

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