NDP rallies behind ombudsman

The territory should rethink its plans to open up for competition the job of the Yukon's ombudsman, says NDP Leader Liz Hanson. The five-year term for Tracy-Anne McPhee expires in April.

The territory should rethink its plans to open up for competition the job of the Yukon’s ombudsman, says NDP Leader Liz Hanson.

The five-year term for Tracy-Anne McPhee expires in April. Her job as ombudsman is to ferret out unfairness in government. She also serves as the territory’s access to information and protection of privacy commissioner.

She may be doing too good a job, said Hanson.

“If the incumbent, Ms. McPhee, has made some people uncomfortable, by her support for whistleblower legislation and making government more open and accountable, isn’t that exactly what you want?” Hanson said.

“It’s not a good message to be delivering, early in the mandate of a new premier, who said he was into a new way of doing business.”

McPhee learned in a Jan. 9 letter that the all-party, government-controlled members’ services board would put the job up for competition. No reasons were provided.

“While I am disappointed in the board’s decision, I am confident that the next ombudsman will continue to provide a strong voice for Yukoners and take action on the issues that matter to them,” McPhee said in a statement. She declined an interview request.

It remains unclear whether she will reapply for the job.