Health minister critical of NDP

Health minister critical of NDP The government's health minister is accusing the NDP of taking credit for an inquest into the deaths of two women who had been treated at The Watson Lake Community Hospital.

The government’s health minister is accusing the NDP of taking credit for an inquest into the deaths of two women who had been treated at The Watson Lake Community Hospital.

Teresa Ann Scheunert, 47, died June 21, 2012 and Mary Johnny, 60, died less than two months later on Aug. 9.

Earlier this week, Yukon Chief Coroner Kirsten Macdonald called a single inquest into the two deaths.

This came after the government refused opposition pressure to call its own public inquiry into the facts.

“(The coroner’s office) is an independent office, it has the responsibility to determine the facts around unexplained or unexpected deaths. It’s her job to give recommendations,” Heath and Social Services Minister Doug Graham said. “I’ve said over and over that we don’t interfere this those operations, that we believe the coroner’s office will do the right thing.”

An inquest’s jury has the option of making recommendations regarding how to prevent similar deaths in the future. They do not assign guilt or legal responsibility.

Despite not calling an inquiry, Graham said he’s not surprised Macdonald called an inquest.

“I think that she sees that there probably are some unexplained issues in Watson Lake and that a coroner’s inquest is the best way to explain or unravel all of the facts surrounding those deaths.”

He criticized the Official Opposition.

“The opposition is claiming some sort of credit. That is so sad. They’re saying that unless they had done this, the coroner wouldn’t have made this decision. That’s insulting to the coroner, it’s inappropriate,” Graham said.

“I think that if everyone had taken a step backwards two weeks ago, this decision would still have been reached by the coroner because in hindsight, there’s no doubt in my mind it’s the right thing to do.”

Just Posted

Turn that frown upside down: New radar monitors drivers’ speed

The sign, complete with emojis to tell you how you’re doing, will move between 10 locations in Whitehorse

Canadian justice system can benefit from Indigenous practices, MMIWG chief commissioner says

The Canadian justice system would benefit from learning about and adopting Indigenous… Continue reading

Below-average salmon season forecasted for transboundary rivers

Fisheries and Oceans Canada has forecasted a largely below-average season for salmon… Continue reading

Yukon government discontinues lawsuit over Dawson wastewater treatment plant

A government lawyer filed a notice of discontinuance to Yukon Supreme Court Feb. 19.

Photos: Rendezvous 2020

Some shots from this year’s festivities

History Hunter: Yukoners honoured for their contributions to Yukon history

The Yukon Historical and Museums Association handed out the 36th Annual Yukon Heritage Awards

Yukonomist: Whitehorse through the eyes of an app

You probably don’t use an app to decide where to dine out… Continue reading

Today’s mailbox: free transit

Letters to the editor published Feb. 26

Local skiers compete in 2020 Yukon Cross Country Ski Championships

The event included dozens of racers competing in mass-start skate races

Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in to hold general election in April

On top of voting for chief, three councillors, citizens will vote for a deputy chief for first time

Yukon’s minimum wage set to increase by $1 to $13.71 in April

The increase will make the Yukon’s minimum wage the fourth-highest in the country

City news, briefly

Some of the decisions made at the Whitehorse council meeting on Feb 17

Yukonomist: Three questions on Yukon Zinc and China

The case heard recently in Yukon Supreme Court is particularly troubling

Most Read