Deputy premier Ranj Pillai in the legislative assembly on March 7, 2019. Pillai is being tested for COVID-19 and will self-isolate until the results are clear. Premier Sandy Silver, right, will not be attending the First Ministers’ Meeting this week. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)

Yukon minister Ranj Pillai being tested for coronavirus

Premier Sandy Silver formally announced the situation on March 11

Yukon deputy premier Ranj Pillai is being tested for COVID-19 after attending a mining conference in Toronto where another attendee later tested positive for the virus.

Premier Sandy Silver made the announcement in a statement March 11.

“I understand that the Public Service Commission is also reaching out to employees who attended this event to share relevant information,” it says.

“Yukoners, I urge you to remain calm and to follow the advice of credible medical professionals.”

Pillai is quarantining himself until tests come back, the statement says.

According to the Globe and Mail, a Sudbury, Ont. man in his 50s tested positive for the virus after attending the annual conference of the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada on March 2 and 3.

Both Pillai and Silver were at the conference.

Pillai, who is also minister of energy mines and resources as well as economic development, was absent from the legislative assembly on March 11. Silver was present.

Pauline Frost, minister of health and social services, repeatedly dodged questions from reporters about his absence after question period earlier in the day.

“I’m not going to respond to that question right now,” she said. “What I can say is there were some 40 Yukoners that attended PDAC and the chief medical officer is working with those individuals. At this point in time what she’s advising is those individuals that were at PDAC to self-quarantine for three days and get themselves tested.”

In a statement today acting chief medical officer Dr. Catherine Elliott said that conference attendees who do not show symptoms can go about their regular day-to-day activities.

However, if they develop symptoms including cough, fever or shortness of breath they should stay home and contact Yukon Communicable Disease Control to arrange for testing.

Silver also announced he will not be meeting with counterparts in Ottawa at the First Ministers’ Meeting this week.

“At this time, I feel my efforts are needed here at home,” he says in the statement.

“Obviously, this is an extremely rare situation and this is a precautionary measure. We see great value in these meetings and merit in attending. Today I spoke directly with the Prime Minister and am confident Yukon priorities will be shared at the meeting.”

Silver has repeatedly said this week that the risk of the virus in the Yukon remains low. There are no confirmed cases in the territory.

Contact Julien Gignac at julien.gignac@yukon-news.com

Just Posted

Whether the dust jacket of this historical novel is the Canadian version (left) or the American (right), the readable content within is the same. (Michael Gates)
History Hunter: New novel a gripping account of the gold rush

Stampede: Gold Fever and Disaster in the Klondike is an ‘enjoyable and readable’ account of history

XX
WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World for May 14, 2021.… Continue reading

Copies of the revised 2021-22 budget documents tabled in the legislature on May 14. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Liberals introduce new budget with universal dental and safe supply funding

The new items were added to secure the support of the NDP.

Community Services Minister Richard Mostyn speaks to reporters on May 13. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Cap on rent increases will take effect May 15

The rollout of the policy is creating ‘chaos,’ says opposition

Yukon News file
A 21-year-old man is in custody after a stabbing in Porter Creek on May 14.
One man in hospital, another in custody, after alleged stabbing in Porter Creek

A police dog was used to track the suspect who was later arrested in a wooded area.

Safe at home office in Whitehorse on May 10, 2021. (John Tonin/Yukon News)
Federal government provides $1.6 million for Yukon anti-homelessness work

Projects including five mobile homes for small communities received funding.

Drilling at Northern Tiger’s 3Ace gold project in 2011. Randi Newton argues that mining in the territory can be reshaped. (Yukon government/file)
Editorial: There’s momentum for mining reform

CPAWS’ Randi Newton argues that the territory’s mining legislations need a substantial overhaul

At its May 10 meeting, Whitehorse city council approved the subdivision for the Kwanlin Dün First Nation’s business park planned in Marwell. (Submitted)
KDFN business park subdivision approved

Will mean more commercial industrial land available in Whitehorse

Main Street in Whitehorse on May 4. Whitehorse city council has passed the first two readings of a bylaw to allow pop-up patios in city parking spaces. Third reading will come forward later in May. (Stephanie Waddell/Yukon News)
Whitehorse council pursuing restaurant patio possibilities

Council passes first two readings for new patio bylaw

Neil Hartling, the Tourism Industry Association of the Yukon president, left, said the new self-isolation guidelines for the Yukon are a ‘ray of hope’ for tourism operators. (Ian Stewart/Yukon News file)
Yukon tourism operators prepared for ‘very poor summer’ even with relaxed border rules

Toursim industry responds to new guidelines allowing fully vaccinated individuals to skip mandatory self-isolation.

A lawsuit has been filed detailing the resignation of a former Yukon government mine engineer. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
A year after resigning, former chief mine engineer sues Yukon government

Paul Christman alleges a hostile work environment and circumvention of his authority led him to quit

Former Liberal MLA Pauline Frost speaks to reporters outside the courthouse on April 19. One of the voters accused of casting an invalid vote has been granted intervenor status in the lawsuit Frost filed last month. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Voters named in Pauline Frost election lawsuit ask to join court proceedings

The judge granted Christopher Schafer intervenor status

Most Read