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Mandate letter for Minister Dendys

Download Minister Dendys' mandate letter  1.5 MB

January 6, 2017

The Honourable Jeanie Dendys
Minister of Tourism and Culture
Minister responsible for the Women’s Directorate
Minister responsible for the Workers’ Compensation Health and Safety Board

Dear Minister Dendys:

I am honoured to welcome you to your role as the Minister of Tourism and Culture and Minister responsible for the Women’s Directorate and the Workers’ Compensation Health and Safety Board.

Yukoners have entrusted us with a mandate to govern the territory. In fulfilling this serious responsibility, we must lead with respect, courage and compassion. We must work every day to earn the trust of the people we serve and respond to their needs and aspirations for a better Yukon.

This letter is to provide you with guidance in implementing our commitments to Yukoners looking at both what we do and how we do it.

We are clear about our priorities. Our government will help create jobs, balancing efforts to strengthen and diversify our economy with environmental stewardship. We will work collaboratively with Yukon First Nations for their benefit and the benefit of all Yukoners. We will build thriving Yukon communities recognizing local needs, local interests and local solutions. We will help Yukoners lead healthy, productive, happy lives through accessible, integrated programs and services tailored to their needs.

As we advance these priorities, we will work as a cohesive team respecting the collective nature of Cabinet decision making and recognizing that issues do not exist in silos. They are inter-related and often complex, requiring a ‘one government’ approach. We will also focus on delivering results that improve people’s lives. We will monitor progress on achieving these results and report to, and seek feedback from, Yukon citizens on this progress.

At the same time, we will live within our fiscal means. We must make thoughtful and careful decisions about spending to support meaningful, effective investments in jobs, in people and in communities across the territory.

The limits of financial resources require a measured approach in fulfilling our commitments. Some initiatives will take more time to accomplish and we will need to account for emerging needs during the mandate. In order to deliver results in a paced manner, I want you to work in the near term on specific goals linked to our priorities.

As Minister of Tourism and Culture, your overarching strategic priority is to market and help grow Yukon tourism, while protecting and promoting Yukon’s rich cultural heritage, its history, and diverse forms of artistic expression enjoyed by visitors and residents alike. Tourism is a key component of our economy and there are opportunities to expand the winter market for visitors. Working with Yukon First Nations, communities and industry stakeholders on innovative investments in tourism supports the development of a stronger economy and vibrant communities. Revitalizing, maintaining and celebrating First Nations knowledge, languages, culture and promoting First Nations arts contribute to the full expression of life in modern Yukon.

In particular, I expect you to work with your colleagues and community partners in the near term to deliver on key goals:

  • Increase visitors to Yukon through enhanced investments in marketing
  • Host a Yukon summit on winter tourism development to help define opportunities and investments for sustained growth
  • Initiate development of a broad-based arts and culture policy to support growth in the cultural industries sector
  • Work with the Minister of Education to engage Yukon First Nations, Yukon College and community partners in developing an Indigenous fine arts program at the Yukon School of Visual Arts
  • Work with the Minister of Economic Development to increase the benefits to Yukon from research conducted in the territory

As Minister responsible for the Women’s Directorate, your key priority is to build safer communities by increasing government’s efforts to reduce violence against women. Our national government has responded to calls from across the country, including Yukon, to take action on the high incidence of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls in Canada. You are to work with your colleagues and community partners to ensure Yukon plays an effective role in the inquiry including developing responses that improve community safety and address key concerns.

In addition, I expect you to work with your colleagues, First Nations and community groups to:

  • Make existing program funding for the prevention of violence against Indigenous women more readily accessible to communities
  • Improve services for victims of violence and sexual assault in Yukon, in conjunction with the Ministers of Justice and Health and Social Services
  • Work with the Minister of Justice and other colleagues to conduct a review of legislation, policies and practices to ensure the Yukon government meets the rules and social standards for LGBTQ non-discrimination

As Minister responsible for the Workers’ Compensation Health and Safety Board, you are to work with the Board and stakeholders to:

  • Include presumptive provisions for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in first responders by developing legislative amendments to the Workers’ Compensation Act

Through discussions in Cabinet, caucus and in the Yukon Legislative Assembly, we will further define what goals we will advance to deliver on our mandate.

As a member of Cabinet, you are to follow the requirements of governance processes to ensure decisions are well considered, implications well understood and planned outcomes clear.

Your deputy ministers are a key source of non-partisan advice and support. You are to foster an effective, positive and respectful working relationship with your deputies and with the public service generally. The efforts of the dedicated, professional public service in providing research, expertise and evaluation are fundamental to our reaching fair, evidence-based and balanced decisions.

We promised Yukoners we will be inclusive in acting on our public responsibilities. This means listening to and understanding the value of all opinions. It means respecting the diversity and equality of our citizens and how their cultures, heritage and languages contribute to the social fabric of Yukon. We committed to being open and transparent when making decisions, balancing the needs of society and serving the broad public interest. We said we will be accountable for the decisions we make – in other words, we will do what we say we will do.

We want the Yukon Legislative Assembly to be a place of respect, accountability, inclusiveness and transparency, working for the betterment of Yukon. In this regard, you are expected to work cooperatively with all Members of the Assembly towards these objectives. You are to take the business of the Assembly seriously. You are to be prepared to answer questions and to explain decisions in a manner that is responsive to the principle of Ministerial accountability.

You, along with other members of Cabinet, are keepers of the public trust charged with working in the public interest. This responsibility carries with it the expectation that you will meet the highest standards of ethical behavior, consistently demonstrating personal and professional integrity in your actions to serve Yukon.

You are to respect the letter and spirit of the Conflict of Interest (Members and Ministers) Act, including the Code of Ethics for Cabinet Ministers, the Executive Council Code of Conduct and the Ministerial Gift Policy. If questions arise about how your personal interests may affect or appear to affect your public responsibilities, you are to seek guidance from the Yukon Conflict of Interest Commission at the earliest opportunity and abide by the advice given.

I appreciate your commitment in taking on your new Ministerial responsibilities. I expect you to carry them out diligently, with careful deliberation and a strong sense of purpose. I look forward to working with you to make positive change for Yukon.



Sandy Silver