Former Yukon commissioner Ken McKinnon photographed in 2014. Yukon Speaker Nils Clarke announced March 14 that McKinnon had died. (Alistair Maitland/Yukon News file)

Former Yukon Commissioner, Yukon College chancellor Ken McKinnon dies

McKinnon is being remembered for his numerous contributions to the territory.

Former Yukon Commissioner and Yukon College chancellor Ken McKinnon has died.

Yukon Speaker Nils Clarke made the announcement in the House on March 14.

McKinnon served as Commissioner of the Yukon from 1986 to 1995. He was also the Whitehorse North MLA from 1961 to 1964 and from 1967 to 1978, before becoming the chancellor of Yukon College from 2000 to 2004.

Among McKinnon’s achievements, according to a Yukon College press release, were serving four terms on the Yukon Territorial Council beginning in 1961, becoming the youngest person to be elected to the council; being the first president of the Arctic Winter Games’ International Committee and the first chair of the Yukon Anniversaries Commission; and being involved in the creation of Kluane National Park.

The college’s statement said its community was “saddened” by McKinnon’s death.

“Ken achieved many firsts and made significant contributions to Yukon throughout his life … Ken was a passionate supporter of Yukon College before, during and after his time as chancellor,” the statement said. “We are grateful for his tireless contributions to our lives and work. He will be missed.”

Premier Sandy Silver also expressed his condolences in a March 14 press release.

“It was with great sadness that my colleagues and I learned of the passing of long time Yukoner, and former Commissioner Ken McKinnon,” Silver said.

“Ken was a businessman, politician and advocate for Yukon … He was a smiling face and warm ambassador for the Yukon his entire life. His passing is a loss many Yukoners will feel deeply.”

Contact Jackie Hong at jackie.hong@yukon-news.com

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