Whitehorse Daily Star

New premier puts his mark on several departments’ leadership

Ranj Pillai announced several senior leadership changes for the government last Saturday, the day he was sworn in as premier.

By Whitehorse Star on January 18, 2023

Ranj Pillai announced several senior leadership changes for the government last Saturday, the day he was sworn in as premier.

Nicole Morgan, the deputy minister of Education during a tumultuous time, is leaving the government, Pillai indicated.

Mary Cameron has been appointed to the job, and, until May 1, will be responsible for the Women and Gender Equity Directorate.

Tiffany Boyd will serve as acting deputy minister with the Department of Health and Social Services for six months.

Boyd will be responsible for the delivery of health care services and their integration into a new health authority. Predecessor Michael Hale was named the deputy minister for the Executive Council Office last Wednesday.

Ed van Randen will remain with the department as the deputy minister responsible for social services.

Justin Ferbey has been named president of the Yukon Housing Corp., replacing Cameron, in addition to his responsibilities as the deputy minister of Economic Development and Tourism and Culture.

Dennis Berry has been appointed president and CEO of the Yukon Development Corp. in addition to his position as president of the Yukon Liquor Corp.

Sierra van der Meer will join the government on May 1 as deputy minister of the Department of Tourism and Culture and the Women and Gender Equity Directorate.

All appointments are effective immediately, aside from the May 1 leadership change for Tourism and Culture and the Women and Gender Equity Directorate.

“These appointments reflect a greater gender balance in the government’s senior leadership and will support an innovative and effective public service that can advance the government’s priorities,” Pillai said.

“I look forward to working closely with all department leaders across the Yukon government as we continue to serve Yukoners and build a prosperous, healthy and vibrant territory.

Deputy ministers, including presidents of government corporations, are the most senior public servants in the government.

They’re responsible for the department’s or corporation’s budget, day-to-day operations and program development.

Serving at the pleasure of the premier, they earn between $190,000 and $254,000 per year.

Cameron began her career in the Yukon 10 years ago as a director with the Carcross-Tagish First Nation.

She then moved to the Yukon Housing Corp., where she worked as both a director and vice-president, and for the last three years as president.

Prior to working in the Yukon, she was in education and worked in both the public and independent school systems as a teacher, department head, vice-principal and principal in Victoria.

Cameron has a bachelor of arts and a bachelor of education from the University of Victoria, a certificate in risk management from the University of Toronto, and a master in administration and supervision from the University of Phoenix.

van der Meer moved to the Yukon in 2003 and joined the federal public service in 2007.

She held director positions in strategic investments, environment and corporate services before becoming regional director of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor) in 2015.

Van der Meer championed COVID-19 economic relief programs that provided rapid support to a wide range of Yukon businesses and organizations during the pandemic.

She was promoted to vice-president of CanNor in 2021 and gained responsibility for all three northern territories.

Van der Meer holds a bachelor of science in biology from Simon Fraser University in Vancouver.

Boyd, a third-generation Yukoner, has a background in health studies, public health, business and human resources.

She has worked in the non-profit and private sectors and for the past decade has held successively senior roles in the Yukon government public service.

She served as assistant deputy minister of the human resource service centre with the Public Service Commission and most recently was the assistant deputy minister of corporate services in Health and Social Services.

Boyd has a bachelor of science in health studies from Ontario’s University of Waterloo and a master of science in international business management from the University of Liverpool.

Berry moved to the Yukon from Inuvik, N.W.T., in 2004. He has served as director of fire and life safety, fire marshal and senior director of strategic operations with the protective services division of the Department of Community Services.

Berry was also the assistant deputy minister of protective services with Community Services and the assistant deputy minister of corporate services and climate change with the Department of Environment.

Since May 2021, he has served as the president of the Yukon Liquor Corp.

Berry holds a bachelor of environmental studies from the University of Waterloo and a master of science from Ontario’s University of Guelph.

Ferbey, the former CEO of the Carcross-Tagish Development and Management Corp., also served as an advisor in the federal treaty negotiation office.

Since 2015, he has been the president and CEO of the Yukon Development Corp. and in 2016, he also took on the role of deputy minister for the Department of Econo-mic Development.

Since September 2021, he has also been the deputy minister for Tourism and Culture.

Ferbey holds a bachelor of arts and science, a master of business and has obtained certifications in dispute resolution and negotiations, and commerce.

Comments (13)

Up 1 Down 0

Bizzaro World! on Jan 25, 2023 at 7:01 am

Dear Lawl on Jan 23, 2023 at 10:52 am:

It’s quite apparent that we ‘all’ lost the election… Have a look around; spitters, shytters, graffiti, vandalism, empty store shelves, high gas prices, high inflation, unaffordable homes, a full on L-NDP attack against the collective mind, compelled speech within an acceptable ideological framework, and the theft of our children’s minds and bodies…


Up 1 Down 0

Joe on Jan 24, 2023 at 11:50 am

Hi Lawl, or whatever your made up name is, we had an election which saw the Yukon party obtain more votes than any other party. The liberals and NDP then formed a coalition in which both parties gave away their integrity to rule. While we understand this coalition thing is allowed under our flawed political system, no one voted for this coalition therefore no public mandate. Since that time the coalition has led the yukon into divisiveness and loss of identity. Now as far as this new premier goes, he barely won his riding and by default ( sinking ship liberal party) is running our territory. He does not have a public mandate to do so and should call an election, otherwise be embarrassed when he walks down the street.

Up 2 Down 12

Lawl on Jan 23, 2023 at 10:52 am


We just had an election. You lost.

See ya in 2025!

Up 13 Down 1

The criminally insane on Jan 22, 2023 at 8:33 pm

To Facebook Ranj on Jan 21, 2023 at 7:41 am:

It’s because of crap like FB that we are in this mess. Everything is titillating impulse without substance. It’s very much like our country’s economy - Based on nothing more than speculative impulse unmoored from any sense of reality.

If Trudeau had not tanked the economy by obliterating the resource industry middle and lower income peoples would not be bankrupted with exploding mortgages and high inflation - This is deliberate and it is for the purpose of bankrupting Canada as a nation.

People who vote for someone like Ranj and the L-NDP supporters should be sent for the re-education that you are currently being mandated to be a ‘citizen’ with some privilege to participate in society.

Up 15 Down 1

BillyBob on Jan 22, 2023 at 4:10 pm

Looks like most of a Ranjs FB friends got plumb positions.
Yukon needs and election.

Up 18 Down 3

Facebook Ranj on Jan 21, 2023 at 7:41 am

We wouldn't hire a terrible plumber even if he had a great Facebook page, and yet people vote for people like Ranj in spite of their record.

Up 21 Down 7

John - with a J on Jan 20, 2023 at 10:23 am

A whole lot of arm flapping going on Ranj. Hopefully you will flap hard enough that you will be able to take off over the horizon - literally.

Up 25 Down 12

Mary K on Jan 19, 2023 at 11:02 am

"greater gender balance" except for one female is only acting and the other isn't starting for another 4 months probably be an election before that.. more smoke and mirrors.

Up 30 Down 8

Joe on Jan 18, 2023 at 10:50 pm

More liberal problems, what a mess. Call an election

Up 26 Down 7

Jack on Jan 18, 2023 at 7:56 pm

He has no mandate for anything, election please!

Up 21 Down 10

Frank W on Jan 18, 2023 at 7:44 pm

Third-generation Yukoner.. better watch out for the BnR hate. Although at this point one less Ontario or Nova Scotia import is probably a good thing.

Up 38 Down 8

John B on Jan 18, 2023 at 6:54 pm

NVD must have shares in the University of Liverpool or something. Would love to know how much YG has paid out over the years there for all their bureaucrats to get online MBAs.

I'm sure Nicole Morgan will walk away with a fat payout from it all, to bad no MLA is being accountable for their mistakes on the file, but I guess it all roles down hill.

Up 46 Down 3

About time! on Jan 18, 2023 at 5:23 pm

Nicole Morgan should have been fired a long time ago! It’s a start. Now hold them accountable

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