Hospital board to keep jacked up paycheques

Yukon Hospital Corporation board members who were overpaid for six months won't return the money they were given, Craig Tuton said Wednesday.

Yukon Hospital Corporation board members who were overpaid for six months won’t return the money they were given, Craig Tuton said Wednesday.

Between December 2009 and June 2010, as much as $17,600 was issued to the board in breach of a government order in council.

The board’s keeping the money, said Tuton.

“Everything is the same as it was before,” he said.

It’s the Yukon government’s job to demand the money be reimbursed, he said.

“The government hasn’t asked us to,” he said.

And the government isn’t talking.

Since Wednesday morning, the News requested comment from Pat Living, spokesperson for the Health and Social Services Department, and Glenn Hart, the department’s minister. “We’re still looking for someone from Hart’s department to respond,” said Emily Younker, head of cabinet communications.

Hospital board members are keeping their money because it’s easier this way, said Tuton.

“It’s practicality,” he said. “It’s the way it is.”

Along with Tuton, there are 10 people who sit on the hospital corporation’s board.

The breach of government rules was revealed six weeks ago in interviews with Tuton and corporation president Joe MacGillivray. Multiple follow-up calls to both men were not returned following revelation of the overpayment. Tuton only picked up his phone this week.

On Wednesday, Tuton confirmed members received fatter cheques contrary to rules established by cabinet. This is a contravention of the Yukon Hospital Act, which allows the board to set wages only in the absence of an order in council.

And, for years, that was the case.

From 1993 until December 2009, there were no orders-in-council and the board set its own wages. And, in late 2009, the board gave itself a huge raise.

Tuton’s honoraria for each board meeting went from $300 to $600, while board members wages went from $200 to $400. The chair was also granted $300 for meeting preparation and a $2,000 monthly stipend.

Because the board meets 12 times a year, Tuton’s wage rose to $34,800 a year from $3,600 a year.

However, about the same time government waded into the board wage issue.

In December, cabinet issued its first order-in-council on hospital board wages in years, pegging it at the old rate.

For six months, against cabinet’s order, the board continued to receive its pumped up wages.

In June 2010, the government released a second order, allowing the board-approved raises.

During the six-month breakdown in communication, the board wasn’t avoiding the government orders, said Tuton.

“We didn’t neglect to enforce anything,” he said. “We indicated there was a huge discrepancy between what that OIC said and what the board was paying. And obviously the government relooked at it.”

Asked if the board lobbied the government to change its order, Tuton wasn’t sure.

“I think we asked them to review (the wages),” he said.

Tuton, who returned from vacation Tuesday, wouldn’t elaborate on why there was so much confusion between the corporation and the government. Tuton has worked on campaigns for the Yukon Party, currently in power, for decades.

“I’m right up in my ears in alligators and I’m going to have to get you to take that as an answer.”

Adeline Webber, Millie Johnson, Clark LaPrairie, Richard Durocher, Dr. Sherillynne Himmelsbach, David Borud, Tanya Solberg, Donna Hogan, Wes Wirth and Frances Woolsey also sit on the corporation’s board.

Contact James Munson at

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

Just Posted

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley gives a COVID-19 update during a press conference in Whitehorse on May 26. The Yukon government announced two new cases of COVID-19 in the territory with a press release on Oct. 19. (Alistair Maitland Photography)
Two new cases of COVID-19 announced in Yukon

Contact tracing is complete and YG says there is no increased risk to the public

Yukon Energy in Whitehorse on April 8. Yukon Energy faced a potential “critical” fuel shortage in January due to an avalanche blocking a shipping route from Skagway to the Yukon, according to an email obtained by the Yukon Party and questioned in the legislature on Oct. 14. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Yukon Energy faced ‘critical’ fuel shortage last January due to avalanche

An email obtained by the Yukon Party showed energy officials were concerned

Jeanie McLean (formerly Dendys), the minister responsible for the Women’s Directorate speaks during legislative assembly in Whitehorse on Nov. 27, 2017. “Our government is proud to be supporting Yukon’s grassroots organizations and First Nation governments in this critical work,” said McLean of the $175,000 from the Yukon government awarded to four community-based projects aimed at preventing violence against Indigenous women. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Yukon government gives $175k to projects aimed at preventing violence against Indigenous women

Four projects were supported via the Prevention of Violence against Aboriginal Women Fund

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: You don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone

When I was a kid, CP Air had a monopoly on flights… Continue reading

EDITORIAL: Don’t let the City of Whitehorse distract you

A little over two weeks after Whitehorse city council voted to give… Continue reading

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

Northwestel has released the proposed prices for its unlimited plans. Unlimited internet in Whitehorse and Carcross could cost users between $160.95 and $249.95 per month depending on their choice of package. (Yukon News file)
Unlimited internet options outlined

Will require CRTC approval before Northwestel makes them available

Legislative assembly on the last day of the fall sitting in Whitehorse. Yukon’s territorial government will sit for 45 days this sitting instead of 30 days to make up for lost time caused by COVID-19 in the spring. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Legislative assembly sitting extended

Yukon’s territorial government will sit for 45 days this sitting. The extension… Continue reading

Today’s mailbox: Mad about MAD

Letters to the editor published Oct. 16, 2020

Alkan Air hangar in Whitehorse. Alkan Air has filed its response to a lawsuit over a 2019 plane crash that killed a Vancouver geologist on board, denying that there was any negligence on its part or the pilot’s. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Alkan Air responds to lawsuit over 2019 crash denying negligence, liability

Airline filed statement of defence Oct. 7 to lawsuit by spouse of geologist killed in crash

Whitehorse city council members voted Oct. 13 to decline an increase to their base salaries that was set to be made on Jan. 1. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Council declines increased wages for 2021

Members will not have wages adjusted for CPI

A vehicle is seen along Mount Sima Road in Whitehorse on May 12. At its Oct. 13 meeting, Whitehorse city council approved the third reading for two separate bylaws that will allow the land sale and transfer agreements of city-owned land — a 127-square-metre piece next to 75 Ortona Ave. and 1.02 hectares of property behind three lots on Mount Sima Road. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Whitehorse properties could soon expand

Land sale agreements approved by council

Most Read