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Premier Sandy Silver

Department of Finance gets new DM

Premier Sandy Silver has appointed a career bureaucrat from Ontario as the new deputy minister for the Department of Finance.

By Whitehorse Star on January 9, 2020

Premier Sandy Silver has appointed a career bureaucrat from Ontario as the new deputy minister for the Department of Finance.

Scott Thompson will join the Yukon government on March 2 – a full year after Chris Mahar became the acting deputy minister.

She assumed that role after the resignation of Katherine White, who had been recruited by then-Yukon Party premier Darrell Pasloski in 2015.

Thompson worked for the Ontario government for 33 years.

He was the deputy minister for multiple ministries, including finance, transportation, and infrastructure.

Throughout his career, Thompson has maintained a strong commitment to improving public policy development and decision-making, the Yukon government said Wednesday, and helping to guide public servants into being the leaders of tomorrow’s public sector.

He was a member of the Public Service Commission of Ontario and served as the board chair for the Ontario Financing Authority.

Thompson has a bachelor of environmental studies in urban and regional planning from Ontario’s University of Waterloo, and did graduate studies in transportation planning at the University of Illinois before joining the Ontario government.

Most recently, he served as the chief executive officer of the Institute of Public Administration of Canada.

Mahar, meanwhile, will be retiring but will remain with the department until April to provide a smooth leadership transition.

“Scott Thompson brings a wealth of leadership experience and a deep knowledge of government finance,” Silver said.

“Not only does he have the subject matter expertise, but he also has a track record as a leader who supports and develops others. We are excited to have him join the Yukon government,” Silver added.

Deputy ministers are the most senior public servants in government departments. They are responsible for the department’s budget, day-to-day operations and program development.

They serve at the pleasure of the premier and take direction from the minister responsible for their department.

“I am happy that Chris will join her partner in retirement, but am very sad to see her go,” Silver said.

“With her decades of experience across government, her absence will be felt. In typical and true Chris fashion, she put the Finance department team’s needs ahead of all else, and has agreed to stay on until April to ensure a smooth transition.

“It is this type of selfless action that has earned Ms. Mahar the respect of my cabinet colleagues as well as her peers in the public service. I am grateful for her tutelage and dedication to her role,” Silver said.

Comments (25)

Up 14 Down 0

Yukon Cornelius on Jan 20, 2020 at 9:49 am

Any Deputy Minister joining the Liberal Yukon Government should understand Sandy Silver's record on appointed Deputy Ministers. Case in point: Rob Wood was appointed as Deputy Minister of Education by Sandy Silver effective September 20, 2017 - only to be turfed 9 months later in June of 2018.

I have cheddar cheese in my refrigerator that's aged longer than 9 months!

It's worthy noting that 'corporate culture' is a reflection of leadership, and judging by the sheer number of scandals that have plagued the Sandy Silver Liberal Yukon Government, we can expect more traffic through the revolving door of YG's Executive Branch.

Up 12 Down 5

Juniper Jackson on Jan 15, 2020 at 5:03 pm

Steve: We exist because of the rest of Canada? Hmmm. I have heard that before and it was silly then too. Canada owns the land that comprise the 3 territories. In 1867 the United States bought Alaska from the Russian's. The Russian's settled the land and laid claim to it because it was deserted. (FN didn't count back then). The Yukon and NWT were deserted too except for a few trappers and miners, that didn't count either.. When the gold rush started it became prudent on Government to see the lands occupied. Clear settlements.
So, we don't exist at the pleasure of the rest of Canada. We actually protect this land with our presence from would be poachers. We do border the US and Russia. Trudeau could sell off the land if he so chose.. https://canadians.org/blog/trudeau-government-may-privatize-canadas-airports He is going to privatize our international airports.. so, yeah..he could consider selling off the land mass. I kinda resent your 'Yukoners' don't like anyone comment. I can't speak for others, but for myself, the only newcomers I really don't like are the ones that bring their garbage from the south with them and impose it on us. It's kind of like..if you don't want to eat meat..fine.. don't..but the instant you start telling me what I can and can't eat..we've got a problem.. and that's what I see newcomers bringing.
Besides my feeling that Silver is peppering the territory with as many Liberal votes as he can. The biggest thing I hate to hear is: here/there they do it like this.. As for our new DM, it's a pretty cushy job, I can think of 5 people that could do it.. but, it is what it is.. and we are stuck with a person that doesn't provide an encouraging history. Bringing us up to date with Ontario standards?

Up 14 Down 2

Wilf Carter on Jan 15, 2020 at 2:43 pm

Liberal members talked about local hire for local work and they go to Ontario for a DM

Up 10 Down 2

Wilf Carter on Jan 15, 2020 at 2:42 pm

All DM and senior management should come from Yukon. No where else. That means we have to have a program to train locals for the jobs. Only common sense.

Up 38 Down 1

Yukon Cornelius on Jan 15, 2020 at 7:50 am

The 'appointment' of a Deputy Minister (DM) is done by the Premier. There is no 'job competition' per se. The individual is literally appointed to the position by the Premier and although a DM reports to the Minister, a DM exists at the pleasure of the Premier. As the most senior position in the Executive Branch of the Yukon Government, a DM can and should provide technical, strategic and tactical guidance to his/her Minister - particularly where party ideology runs contrary to the public interest or the law.

Given Mr. Thompson's distinguished 33-year career with the Ontario Public Service and given Ontario's spiralling $350 Billion debt and debt-to-GDP ratio of 37 per cent, other than to provide Mr. Thompson with the opportunity 'double-dip' (collect both an Ontario Public Service and Yukon Public Service pension), what is to be gained by appointing someone whose economic stewardship is evinced by such deplorable statistics.

Up 39 Down 3

Yukonerrrr on Jan 14, 2020 at 1:55 pm

After paying tens of thousands of dollars to move another Liberal DM recruit from Australia to Whitehorse, only to fire him and pay out massive (MASSIVE) severance, perhaps it would be worth asking how much it is costing the taxpayer to move this new DM here from Ontario?

Up 33 Down 4

Atom on Jan 14, 2020 at 11:26 am

There was a time, before some posters here arrived, that YG hired people from Yukon. Then the Cons decided to open up every job to posting to the Outside.
We got a whole bunch of real smart people immigrating but haven't lost any unqualified Yukoners...housing shortage, inflated prices due to shortage, no ability to develop new land because....that's not how we did it in ________?
I'd hate to be a restaurant owner in Whitehorse, who can afford a nice meal out since the southern tax arrived?

Up 20 Down 24

BnR on Jan 14, 2020 at 10:27 am

The usual pap from the usual commenters.
First of all, Mr. Thompson was a career bureaucrat, not a politician, so assuming he has any political affiliation whatsoever is a guess at best. Given that he worked for the Ontario provincial government for the past 33 years, he would have worked for the Liberals, Conservatives and the NDP.
Secondly, Ontario is the largest contributor to the federal coffers by a long shot, so the anti-Ontario sentiment comes across as pure hypocrisy from a jurisdiction that literally owes its existence to transfer payments.
Finally, he was deputy minister. DMs don't chart the course, they follow the course set for them by the politicians, so blaming any perceived economic issues in Ontario on him is laughable.

Up 22 Down 8

Y. Oda on Jan 13, 2020 at 7:01 pm

Actually Steve, you have. Everyone knows who this person is and what he is associated with. These are not xenophobic comments but rather informed comments based on known variables. Give your head a shake.

Up 31 Down 6

Yukon Justice on Jan 13, 2020 at 5:01 pm

Don't worry he will be gone in two years like the rest of them

Up 14 Down 34

Miles Epanhauser on Jan 13, 2020 at 1:22 pm

I say give him a chance and stop bashing people who move here from Ontario.
I hope that we will see the new DM implement more appropriate expenditures for many files.

The new DM can perhaps find a way to fund nuclear energy and trim the public service by about 5%.

Up 15 Down 30

Anie on Jan 13, 2020 at 12:26 pm

Steve, well said. My adult memory of Yukon goes back about 50 years, and the same comments that are posted here have been said during all those years. Some people seem to think we should just put up barricades on the highway with signs saying "stay out, we are stuck in the past, no new ideas allowed "

Up 37 Down 4

Eric Blair on Jan 13, 2020 at 11:27 am

I suspect many former employees of the Kathleen Wynne Liberal government are now looking for employment following the wholesale government cleansing the electorate gave them. Energy costs and debt management became too much for Ontario taxpayers.

Up 39 Down 5

Interesting Choice on Jan 13, 2020 at 9:27 am

Very interesting choice Mr. Silver. I wonder what your long term plans are in the liberal party? I'm sure this appointment has zero bearing on any future cushy positions for yourself, hmmm?
Anyhow, we get over $1b a year in transfer payments from the feds, who better to burn through those funds than the past deputy minister of finance under the Kathleen Wynne liberals. They did such an amazing job in Ontario it's debt is over $300 billion. Anyhow, business as usual, no one notices no one cares, the right people get paid, the concerned ones get silenced and that is the problem my friends. Good luck to us.

Up 18 Down 39

Steve on Jan 13, 2020 at 7:42 am

I have never read a more zenophobic bunch of comments. Do you even hear yourselves? This Territory sure has a hate-on for Ontario, or really anyone that isn't "a Yukoner". Unless you're First Nation, screw you, you all came here from Outside, just like the rest of us. You've just been here long enough for everyone who knows you to have died or forgotten where you came from.

Everyone thinks the Gov't just keeps bringing in their friends... but maybe the job was posted and no one "local" was qualified... ever think of that? No, because you only think of your little Yukon bubble.

News Flash: Most positions are posted Nation-wide, especially the high-level ones. If someone applies from Ontario (or wherever) and they are the most qualified for the job, guess what? They get the job! Because that's fair. All of you bitch and moan about nepotism, but you're sure horny for it once it suits your own purposes.

Get a grip. The only reason this Territory exists is because of the rest of Canada.

Up 64 Down 12

Yukon Cornelius on Jan 11, 2020 at 8:45 am

This is how the Liberals reward 'good Liberals' - by appointing them to positions in favour of locals who are better qualified and have local knowledge. I can't wait for the next Liberal YG scandal.

Up 27 Down 8

Jack Saunders on Jan 10, 2020 at 7:50 pm

Welcome Mr. Thompson everyone deserves a chance before being pre-judged. Thank you for your excellent service and dedication Mse Mahar. Now that we've got this department transitioning to smooth operation we could start an overhaul on the archaic administration at Yukon Housing corporation. The operations of this inept bureaucracy could be described as somewhere between bizarre and ludicrous. Definitely a big-stick government department with no sense of rules and fairness but authoritarian and Russia like. If you have a legitimate complaint and you let your name stand you will feel the neanderthal administrations big whack with the big stick. Sandy point your compass in this direction the sooner the better. A few futures need freeing up.

Up 51 Down 10

Max Mack on Jan 10, 2020 at 7:31 pm

How utterly disappointing that Silver couldn't find it in himself to appoint a long-time Yukoner. Instead, we get another liberal, big city Ontario transplant with so-called "progressive" ideas -- the very ideas that bankrupted Ontario. And to add insult, this guy probably already has a very comfy pension . . .

Silver's Liberals - setting the standard for every other employer in the Yukon. Why should any other employer hire local?

Up 57 Down 6

Charlie's Aunt on Jan 10, 2020 at 5:25 pm

My big question is why after 33 years with Ont gov would someone want to move to YT when close to retirement? Must be a big fat incentive offered. Maybe Sandy offered the silver spoon? Almost everyday seems to be April Fool's Day for us.

Up 78 Down 9

Matthew on Jan 10, 2020 at 7:27 am

Huh? Ontario is a huge mess! Good idea bringing one of them up here to make a bigger mess..

Up 78 Down 13

Jack on Jan 10, 2020 at 1:02 am

So much for appointing a Yukoner......says much about what Silver thinks of our own people that he has to bring in a washed up Liberal party crony all the way from Ontario.

There should be an investigation into this appointment at once.

Up 60 Down 16

Crunch on Jan 9, 2020 at 11:39 pm

A liberal with an enhanced knowledge of finance!! Bring it on. Join the rest of them who has a little clue other than deceiving the public purse. Let me know what it feels like to be hated by your kids in 30 years.

Up 64 Down 14

Guncache on Jan 9, 2020 at 8:15 pm

An Ontario Liberal with Liberal ideas. Any bets how long it will be before Mr. Down South Ontario brings forth an Ontario idea?

Up 86 Down 11

Groucho d'North on Jan 9, 2020 at 2:13 pm

Reading the Premier's positive words about Chris Mahar in her role as DM of finance, I wonder what Mr. Thompson brings to the role other than being yet another Liberal from Ontario?

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