Whitehorse Daily Star

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Photo by Tim Giilck

WELL-VERSED WITH CHALLENGES – In his 13 years in public health, says Dr. Brendan Hanley, he has dealt with and provided leadership on many issues of urgent importance.

Hanley: time to transfer skills to public service

Ed. note: here, in random order, the Star profiles the territory’s five candidates for Monday’s federal election.

By Tim Giilck on September 17, 2021

Ed. note: here, in random order, the Star profiles the territory’s five candidates for Monday’s federal election.

The most polarizing candidate in the race to replace Larry Bagnell as the Yukon’s MP says he’s not concerned about that perception.

“It is unfortunate and disappointing that some people have tried to undermine my credibility with false accusations,” Liberal candidate Brendan Hanley told the Star.

“I am pleased that when conversing directly with voters, they understand and support my reasons to serve Yukoners in this new way.

“In whatever career path I have taken, I have been someone who listens, collaborates, and builds partnerships. That is my natural approach, and that is the skill set that I would offer as Yukon’s MP,” Hanley said.

“Integrity and a strong ethical approach are critical values to me, just as they are to the vocation of medicine. Those are values that will never leave me, regardless of what position I hold in society.”

Hanley is the longtime Yukon chief medical officer of health (CMOH), and star of the pandemic response here in the Yukon. He’s leaning heavily on that experience and record in his campaign.

“I will let my record of 13 years as CMOH working under multiple different governments speak for itself,” he said.

“I served eight years as CMOH under a Yukon Party government, and five years under a Liberal government. At no time did partisan politics ever influence my approach, decision-making or recommendations.

“Every decision made as CMOH was advice provided as a medical professional, based on careful listening to advice from a variety of sources, and based on the best evidence available at the time,” Hanley said.

He’s hoping to leverage that high public profile to springboard into a new career as a federal politician.

That’s rankled quite a few people in the Yukon – although he’s also being cheered on by others.

Foremost of those critics is Yukon Party Leader Currie Dixon. He has demanded that Hanley resign from his position as chief medical officer, citing what he referred to as a clear conflict of interest.

Hanley has taken an unpaid leave of absence from his position to run for office. He told the Star he had only taken out a Liberal membership when he decided to seek the party’s nomination.

“I chose to put my name forward for nomination and join the Liberal Party (which only occurred during the nomination process) because this was an opportunity to bring a strong northern voice to the national table,” he said.

“My values include equal opportunity, reconciliation, fighting climate change, and protecting public health. These are values which I hold in whatever role I have taken or will take, whether as citizen, CMOH, or as MP.”

If he wins the seat, he would take a considerable pay cut from his medical salary. That’s something that has left many people puzzled. Hanley explains his rationale like this.

“To me, federal politics represents an arena for real action and change. I was interested in this opportunity to bring my experience and skills in public health to a decision-making table, and ensure that the Yukon’s voice and perspective is well-represented,” he said.

“In my 13 years of public health, I have dealt with and provided leadership on many issues that are of urgent importance today: climate change action, advancing our progress in reconciliation, helping to solve Yukon’s housing challenges, addressing mental health and addictions, and helping to forge the path through recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

With Bagnell’s decision to retire, Hanley said “a moment presented itself. I was approached by several people who encouraged me to put my name forward.

“When I thought about what was at stake for Canada, I thought this was a chance for me to offer to bring a strong and experienced voice to ensure that Yukon’s voice was heard at the national table, at a time when there are so many critical issues to resolve.

“Climate change and its increasing threat to our way of life, the need for a clear path through COVID recovery, and the increasing needs to mental health and addictions support, all made it clear to me that we need strong leadership in this position.”

Hanley said he believes people will see that he has something more than worthwhile to offer.

“I am known as a leader and a problem solver, and one who can bring partners together to solve complex issues,” he said.

“This is what I have been doing for years in my role as CMOH. The priorities I have identified are based on what I have heard over the past decade as CMOH. Mental health and addictions, climate change, and reconciliation are issues that have been validated through countless conversations on the doorsteps of Yukoners, from around Whitehorse as well as in each community that I have visited during this campaign.

“Politics to me is about listening, and about bringing a voice to Canada that represents the reality of the Yukon and that is based on science and evidence,” he added.

Hanley is also saying he would rely heavily on what he sees as his strong connection with the public if he wins.

“If I am successful, I plan to stay in touch with Yukoners while bringing the best representation possible to Parliament so that our territory can thrive. I can bring an informed and educated voice to advocate for all Yukoners.

“My goals are to ensure that platform commitments, particularly those of most importance to Yukon, are kept and accounted for.”

While he plans to return to his position as chief medical officer if he is unsuccessful next week, Hanley said, he’s not thinking about that at the moment.

“Currently, my focus is on the campaign. I have had the chance to hear directly from Yukoners around the territory about topics that may not have come up in the world of public health.

“I have already learned so much that will help to inform my efforts to advocate for the well-being of Yukoners,” he added.

“It has been a privilege to have put my name forward for political service, and I would encourage any Yukoner, from whatever walk of life, to consider a similar service.”

Comments (30)

Up 0 Down 1

Aurora on Sep 24, 2021 at 1:37 pm

WHAT AN ARROGANT TWERP....just like Justin. He did endless and unnecessary harm to the people of this territory by needlessly magnifying fear and crippling society... ruining many lives and incomes... while playing the angel part.

Up 5 Down 0

Wolf on Sep 23, 2021 at 3:38 pm

@ dick
You do realize the entire Yukon is one riding right?

Up 11 Down 2

Groucho d'North on Sep 23, 2021 at 2:05 pm

"Hanley: time to transfer skills to public service"
You can begin by lancing that boil who calls himself Prime Minister.

Up 14 Down 2

YukonMax on Sep 23, 2021 at 6:15 am

Sorry to say that, with the type healthcare we receive in the communities, under his watch, I am not encouraged at all.

Up 36 Down 15

dick on Sep 20, 2021 at 11:53 am

I know of one riding he never set foot in. Not one sign anywhere. Don't think he will reap much there. Not the right choice for Yukoners.

Up 17 Down 56

Observer on Sep 19, 2021 at 10:58 am

The currie clickers have been working overtime on this story!!

Up 18 Down 45

PPC on Sep 19, 2021 at 9:48 am

For me, it's the People's Party of Canada.

Up 54 Down 17

Josey Wales on Sep 19, 2021 at 1:12 am

Seems he is just missing the lil moustache?
THE Yukon needs to purge this ideological driven medicrat.
THE Yukon needs to grow its set back after the denutting Crusade engineered by fools as he.
THE Yukon does not need the SS nor his parrot.

Freedom is not free, despite the costs made we are subjugated by the state.
That needs to change in thee strongest of ways.

Up 66 Down 13

My Opinion on Sep 18, 2021 at 8:37 pm

Over the last year and a half we were quite locked down in the name of COVID. Even though we had the lowest numbers in Canada and likely around the world. Then in July, after the Grad., our number rose considerably. At the Peak it was very odd that Mr. Hanley decided to open the Yukon up, restaurants and bars at full capacity, borders open even with Alaska which were having very high numbers at the time. I thought what is going on? Even though I am a fan of less stringent measures this made no sense.

Then Hanley is MIA and his second in command is doing all the talking, strange. Next just days before the start of the election Larry decides to retire. Why would he have not given more notice then that, and helped to find a replacement? Makes no sense. Was Hanley in Ottawa meeting with his handlers?

Within days of Larry retiring Hanley decides to run. Why would he walk away from his million dollar job? How could he make that life discussion that quickly? Are we to believe these timelines? It strains common sense.

Up 74 Down 17

Douglas Martens on Sep 18, 2021 at 4:43 pm

So I... held my nose and read the article, half hoping to detect some sort of vision for the future of the Yukon, some sense of direction for the future, and instead was treated to one of the most extreme overuses of the words "me" and "I", which have ever been observed in a few simple paragraphs in the wild...

"You MUST NOT breathe the same air..."
Let's give this dude even MORE power..... right?

Up 78 Down 17

Jim Dandee on Sep 18, 2021 at 11:31 am

Discourse in Canadian politics has been replaced by tattle telling, squealing and brown nosing to the chronically afraid. Hanley personifies this. Was it mere coincidence that restrictions were lifted when the back room boys decided that Haley will be the Liberal candidate?

Up 76 Down 18

Groucho d'North on Sep 18, 2021 at 9:39 am

Sorry Dr. Hanely, even if as you say you listen to people, I know Trudeau will not listen to you. He has a globalist agenda he is fixated on. I am not voting for which would be the best local candidate, I am voting to remove the Trudeau Liberals from office. Canada cannot afford them and Trudeau has pissed me off too many times already.

Up 65 Down 20

Lifetime Yukoner on Sep 18, 2021 at 8:17 am

Mr Hanley, I sent you an email in Feb 2020. Long before COVID became a topic pertaining to a serious medical issue, and medical travel.

Can you please tell me WHY to this day I have NEVER received a reply.
Being the doctor that HS&S insured Health employed to confirm people’s issues or medical services, why is it you only speak with your fellow employees and never the actual patients affected by YOUR decisions on our files with zero consultation with the patient or their medical team. SIR you hurt me more in a medical time of need and urgency.

Up 73 Down 14

Yukon mon on Sep 18, 2021 at 6:51 am

There are approximately 5000 Yukoner's without a family doctor. Now with the walk in clinic closed, essentially there is only emergency health care for these people. Hanley has promised to improve mental health care- how do you suppose that's possible when most supports can only be accessed with a physicians referral? Family doctors are the gate keepers. And I'm not talking about the turnstile poly clinic model.

So, what has Dr Hanley done in his tenure as CMH to remedy the situation? I bet he and all the ministers have a family doc. What is the current government doing to recruit or home grow more doctors?

These are the types of issues I want to see championed. Not some measly $1200 tax credit, especially when life has become so suddenly expensive under this Liberal government that we can't even afford to travel.

Up 66 Down 18

Al on Sep 17, 2021 at 9:59 pm

Hanley - you will fit well into the Liberal party in Ottawa under the tutelage of Trudeau. He has the same ethical standards that you exhibit. Same ego. Same entitlement that you are a leader (only by your own admission). Same narcissism. Same umbrage about who you are and what you are about. Same display of being a phony. The Liberals love people like you as you are their standard barriers.

While you think highly of yourself and what you perceive as accomplishments you are quite correct that others do not share that experience having seen you in action.

What you did to many of us - losing our jobs, our mental health over your constant bombardment of fear that you instilled along with the needless deaths of our neighbours will not be forgotten by the "majority" of folks here.

Up 58 Down 16

Yukon star on Sep 17, 2021 at 7:44 pm

Lol I hear a lot of Yukoner's don't like this guy on facebook.

Up 61 Down 19

yukoner72 on Sep 17, 2021 at 6:34 pm

I find it really hard to believe that Brendan Hanley is doing this for purely altruistic reasons. It is quite likely that he has been promised a plum cabinet position plus other perks in order for him to give up a $750,000 position as CMOH.

Up 56 Down 19

North_of_60 on Sep 17, 2021 at 6:19 pm

DrH only listens to his LIB masters in Ottawa. That became painfully obvious with his blatantly gross mismanagement of the C0vid situation.
No candidate is less qualified to "to transfer skills to public service ".

Up 58 Down 17

One percenter on Sep 17, 2021 at 5:23 pm

It’s the thing about keeping the CMOH job in case he fails to get elected that speaks to his ethics, more than anything. Dr Hanley should hold himself to a higher standard, on par to every other senior official in YG who needs to be non-partisan in their roles. I don’t get it - does he not see this? If not then he lacks the self awareness required to be a an effective and ethical MP. It’s a bit surreal that he says this as if it means nothing. It means everything.

Up 58 Down 17

bonanzajoe on Sep 17, 2021 at 5:15 pm

Liberals are a give, give, give Party to stay in power. Soon they will be a gimmy, gimmy, gimmy Party. Gimmy your taxes, gimmy your freedoms, and gimmy your bank accounts to pay off the massive debt and balance the books. Youngsters who are just voting, remember, this is your debt problem, not the Liberals or NDP. You will have to pay it off. Remember that on Monday.

Up 44 Down 21

bonanzajoe on Sep 17, 2021 at 5:10 pm

Juniper: You are totally right. I hope it's not too late to appeal to the young generation who are going to have to pay all this debt off. It is going to be so painful for them, my heart goes out to them. The Marxist Liberals and NDP have to be put on hold for at least 4 generations, so that the Conservatives or People's Party can straighten this country out. It will take at least that long.

Up 62 Down 20

joe on Sep 17, 2021 at 5:09 pm

I know you're disappointed Mr Hanley, you're being called out for your actions and ethics. No one I know will vote for you, all saying the same thing - you led us to believe one thing while you had another thing in mind- you know the liberal thing. You should resign as CMO your trust is gone.

Up 21 Down 72

Nathan Living on Sep 17, 2021 at 5:01 pm

Dr Hanley is a very strong candidate.

Personally I trust him and he has been transparent with the covid issue and all the conflicting information that came with the covid situation.
To suggest Dr. Hanley has no business running for this position is nonsense.
Instead of gossiping people should just get out and vote.

Up 99 Down 34

Juniper Jackson on Sep 17, 2021 at 4:37 pm

Well..I think Hanley listened to Ottawa, Tam, Silver.. sure as hell never listened to me. He made over a million dollars locking me down and supported his Liberal pals in an 'Emergency Measures' made dictatorship.

Why on earth would I vote for a party riddled with lies and scandal. You know why a steak is $59 a pound? Why shelves are empty and you have to pay out the nose for gas to get back and forth to work? Why your electricity is so high? Thank the Trudeau government that ran this country's debt up to 1.5 trillion dollars and we pay about $50 billion a year just in interest. Inflation rate is over 4%. No such thing as a free lunch. Eventually we all pay. Those people who are carrying 2nd mortgages and credit card debt, lines of credit, they risk losing it all if Trudeau doesn't get a handle on his spending.. which doesn't look good.. since he announced his intent to not only keep borrowing, but to increase his borrowing power.

If Hanley hadn't intended to run for an office we'd still be locked down. All choice would still be removed from our freedom list. But, both Silver and Hanley know how unpopular the extended lockdown is, so they released us for the vote.
I really hope to see the end of the Liberal party. And Hanley. If he loses he should consider retiring.

Up 90 Down 30

bonanzajoe on Sep 17, 2021 at 4:20 pm

It's true, Hanley listens. But light on the take advice thing. After all the things people were saying about the covid during the plandemic, he did nothing except do it his own way. Sorry Doc., no go here.

Up 108 Down 27

Dave on Sep 17, 2021 at 4:10 pm

Dr. Hanley, in this Yukoners opinion what you have done smells fishy. Every time you cross my mind I think now there's a person who used his position. Since you announced your run for office I also wonder if your actions while working as the chief medical officer were influenced by your political ambitions at the time and if a lot of your announcements were just for the limelight.
Those are reasons you won't get my vote.

Up 111 Down 30

Lost in the Yukon on Sep 17, 2021 at 4:07 pm

The arrogance of this person is beyond belief …

Up 86 Down 34

JSM on Sep 17, 2021 at 3:38 pm

I get a bad feeling of what the Yukon will look like under the Iron Fist of Dr Hanley, I can't in my right mind vote for a Fauci Fake who thinks he is above everyone else. It's clear that only the independent running has any true care for Yukoner's and not about bolstering their pension and public persona. Ego is a powerful drug, not one to be administered lightly.

Up 109 Down 30

TMYK on Sep 17, 2021 at 3:35 pm

Of all the candidates Hanley deserves to win the least. He had a position that was not supposed to be political and made it political in the worst possible way. It questions every decision he has made while CMO, even if he refused to admit making any decisions when called out. I don't believe anything he has said about the timing, because frankly it doesn't make sense. He has the worst traits associated with politics and politicians personified. He doesn't deserve to win and he doesn't deserve to be able to slide back into the role of CMO if he fails either.

Up 94 Down 27

Pierre on Sep 17, 2021 at 3:25 pm

Just another bobble head….he is no good for the Yukon period.

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