Whitehorse Daily Star

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Dr. Brendan Hanley

Travel rule relaxation is planned for May 25

If anyone was hearing a dull roar over the skies of the Yukon at about 10:45 this morning,

By Tim Giilck on May 5, 2021

If anyone was hearing a dull roar over the skies of the Yukon at about 10:45 this morning, it would have been people erupting in celebration over the news that travel restrictions will be lifted for fully-vaccinated people on May 25.

Some of the details are still being worked out, but the Yukon government will be removing the need for the 14-day self-isolation for Yukon residents if they travel outside the territory if they can document they have had both vaccine shots two weeks before they leave.

That also applies to out-of-territory travelers who can document their vaccination status to the government’s satisfaction.

Premier Sandy Silver and the chief medical officer of Health, Dr. Brendan Hanley, made the announcement during the weekly COVID-19 briefing this morning.

Vaccination levels are high enough now to warrant some relaxation of the health regulations, they said.

It’s been a year since travel restrictions were introduced, Hanley said, so this is exciting news.

The timing means the limitations will be abolished for vaccinated residents just after the Victoria Day long weekend. Neither Hanley nor Silver indicated that played a role in the timing.

The two men said the details of how an individual’s vaccine status will be documented are still being worked out.

It will be simpler to sort out for Yukoners than outsiders, Hanley said. The Department of Health and Social Services has a very efficient electronic database that will be utilized.

The most likely system will ask people to sign a waiver so their COVID-19 vaccination records may be accessed.

Hanley mentioned there is also some discussion of creating a national standard for documenting vaccines.

Basically, the process will create a functional vaccine passport, although Silver and Hanley declined to use the term.

Seventy-four per cent of adults in the Yukon have now had at least one vaccine dose, and 65 per cent have received both doses to be fully vaccinated.

The travel restrictions will also help encourage people who haven’t been vaccinated to further consider stepping up to receive one, Hanley said.

Fully vaccinated people should no longer be limited, he added.

In the last week, there were seven new charges issued under the Civil Emergency Measures Act (CEMA).

In a media release following the conference, it stated four charges were for failure to self-isolate as required: two were for failure to provide a declaration and one was for the failure to transit through the territory as required.

There has been a total of 87 charges and 70 people charged under the CEMA.

By region, the percentage of residents who have received a first dose is: 73 per cent in north Yukon; 82 per cent in west Yukon; 54 per cent in central Yukon; 60 per cent in southeast Yukon; and 76 per cent in Whitehorse.

By region, the percentage of residents who have received a second dose is: 66 per cent in north Yukon; 75 per cent in west Yukon; 47 per cent in central Yukon; 55 per cent in southeast Yukon; and 67 per cent in Whitehorse.

Comments (37)

Up 11 Down 2

@Anie on May 10, 2021 at 9:29 pm

Yes, Anie. We know that the Charter says it can be overturned whenever the government deems. That's not a good thing.

Up 8 Down 2

Fredia on May 10, 2021 at 6:05 pm

I am looking forward to good news when the travel rule is relaxed. I have not seen my son nor grandchildren since January 2020. My son and his wife have been vaccinated but not their two pre-12 year old children. A vaccine is not available to them yet. We live right in Whitehorse but spend our summers off grid several hours away. We want to collect them when they fly in and drive to our cabin. The way I interpret the rules is that they would have to self isolate in Whitehorse for 14 days before we are able to leave Whitehorse. There is no direct flight to our back 40 and there are no shots in the arm for my grandchildren as of now. So unless I am not reading this right, there will be no visit from them for yet another summer. Tell me this just isn't so.

Up 8 Down 7

Anie on May 10, 2021 at 1:44 pm

It's so easy to scream "violates the charter" but very few people screaming seem to have actually read it. The very first clause provides for exceptions. And the travel clause that some have their knickers in a knot about seems to be most often misunderstood. Here's what it actually says

"Every citizen of Canada has the right to enter, remain in and leave Canada. (2) Every citizen of Canada and every person who has the status of a permanent resident of Canada has the right (a) to move to and take up residence in any province; and (b) to pursue the gaining of a livelihood in any province. (3) The rights specified in subsection (2) are subject to (a)
any laws or practices of general application in force in a province other than those that discriminate among persons primarily on the basis of province
of present or previous residence; and (b) any laws providing for reasonable residency requirements as a qualification for the receipt of publicly provided social services. (4) Subsections (2) and (3) do not preclude any law, program or activity that has as its object the amelioration in a province of conditions of individuals in that province who are socially or economically disadvantaged
if the rate of employment in that province is below the rate of employment in Canada"

Up 8 Down 4

Groucho d'North on May 10, 2021 at 10:38 am

Scanning the Yuwin website it appears that the search for summer staff is a bit delayed but well underway. Gerties looks like they are planning on more than just local visitors coming soon.
You'd think the government would be recruiting people to confirm the vaccine verifications if it will be a part of the security relaxtion at the borders...or maybe that's just more mollifying messaging.

Up 13 Down 14

YukonMax on May 10, 2021 at 9:04 am

If restrictions wouldn't have been implemented, a lot of you deniers wouldn't be commenting here.

Up 7 Down 22

drum on May 8, 2021 at 3:06 pm

Protect your loved ones -listen to the experts. Are we opening up too soon - time will tell. Then we will have to close down again.

Up 35 Down 30

DL on May 8, 2021 at 1:28 am

This vaccine passport is an intolerable discrimination against those who choose to not get this experimental injection which has not been tested for long-term adverse effects.

All Yukon adults that wanted this injection have gotten it. They're supposedly 'protected', aren't they?

So why these restrictions and continued drama? All of the 85 or so "covid cases" in the Yukon have 'recovered at home', if they had any symptoms at all. The two deaths were mislabelled as 'covid deaths' when clearly they died of other, pre-existing, conditions. This is no pandemic, it's a scamdemic, and huge profit-making for big pharma's vaccine sales, thanks to their control over the World Health Organization.

Up 8 Down 6

Joe on May 7, 2021 at 10:34 pm

@ at home in the Yukon. There are people out there that can help you. Reach out, talk to a friend, call a support group.

Up 27 Down 10

Anie on May 7, 2021 at 3:16 pm

For more than a year now, people have posted about how the Covid restrictions violate the Charter. It may be worth the effort to first read the charter before making assumptions. It's easy to find via google, and a short and easily understandable read. Also, the government of Canada website includes an explanation of the various sections. Of particular interest, this:

"The rights and freedoms in the Charter are not absolute. They can be limited to protect other rights or important national values. For example, freedom of expression may be limited by laws against hate propaganda or child pornography."

Up 25 Down 20

At home in the Yukon on May 7, 2021 at 1:53 pm

I am fully vaccinated. I want my freedom! There is an all too large community that is choosing not to get vaccinated. I say, let 'em. Let's not slow down for them. If they get sick, if they die, it's their choice. Doing otherwise disrespects their rights.

Kids can't yet get vaccinated. But kids almost completely don't die of this disease. So we shouldn't close down for them.
There is a small group of people who cannot get vaccinated for whatever medical reason. I feel for them. However, as I am vaccinated, their blood will not be on my hands.

Up 20 Down 14

Mad Trapper of Riverdale on May 7, 2021 at 8:58 am

In addition to Charter of Rights and Privacy law violations, there is no plan on how to enforce and adminster this ...what could go wrong? The rest of the country is locking down more, but the Yukon is opening up.

Up 35 Down 9

Sheepchaser on May 6, 2021 at 11:52 am

And I should mention...

For anyone that wants to know more about their rights and the law, I recommend the Queen’s Certificate in Law which is open to all, regardless of previous education. Specific courses in all kinds of law that affect Canadians are available. From international to aboriginal to corporate and charter rights. You are not required to be a full Queen’s University student to take those courses and it’s taught by their post-grad law faculty. Different learning styles can also be accommodated through their accessibility office.

In these increasingly controlled times, the more you know the stronger you become. Willful ignorance is never the answer.

Up 32 Down 8

Sheepchaser on May 6, 2021 at 9:43 am

@ Sarah Kruse
If you read all the applicable legislation and case law, you’ll find that a good deal of Canadian law rests on the principle of ‘reasonable’. Within a democracy, reasonable is defined by the relevant authority and is subject to adjudication by the courts. In this case, the relevant authority is the Commissioner of the Yukon acting on the advice of Cabinet. Cabinet is comprised of ministers elected by the people. If you voted in the last election, win or lose, you participated in the democratic process that leads to how we select individuals to make the reasonable decisions for us.

In a representative democracy that leaves you a few options to oppose government: peaceful protest, voting them out next time or beginning a challenge through the courts to test the government’s definition of ‘reasonable’.

For my part, until 75% of the Yukon population became 75% protected with the first dose of the Moderna vaccine, I felt the restrictions were reasonable. I held off essential business travel for nine months until I too was 75% protected with a first dose. Suffered losses to my personal finances like many Canadians and quarantined in what amounted to solitary confinement for a total of six weeks over the last year.

Even now, not planning any non-essential travel (vacations) outside the territory. Instead, we have put two years worth of vacation budget into a heated shelter from Alaskan Oven. This has proven to be a fantastic investment as it enables safe and comfortable recreation in all seasons.

As a person that believes in science, has analyzed the risk carefully, has a lot of experience with travel to dangerous places and the related vaccinations required to go there... but also a lot of experience in countries with little to no personal freedoms, which has turned me into a stickler for upholding the Charter... Canada as a whole and Canadian officials seem to be threading a particularly tricky needle ‘reasonably’ well.

If you disagree, consider the options available to you as outlined above. I support you even if I disagree with you. The fight for your freedoms is a fight you take on for everyone. If you find yourself ostracized, penalized and criticized along the way, just know that it’s a normal consequence of telling truth to power. Vindication is a dish best served cold, if you catch my drift. There’s no parades for the opposition.

Up 24 Down 14

SH on May 6, 2021 at 9:03 am

Sarah Kruse,
There are mechanisms within law that allow for the restriction of travel within the midst of a pandemic. No laws are being broken, although I understand why those who have not been vaccinated are frustrated.

Up 38 Down 21

I'm confused... on May 6, 2021 at 8:47 am

ok. I'm confused. I thought we were getting vaccinated to protect the vulnerable and those who can't be vaccinated. But even when you are vaccinated, you can still get COVID which means you can still carry it and spread it.

So...how are we now protecting the vulnerable?

Don't get me wrong, I'm happy about getting rid of the 2 week quarantine coming back to the Yukon but this has disaster written all over it. How will they know who to trace COVID back to if the person who is spreading it doesn't even know they have it because they have no symptoms?

Up 45 Down 51

Charles Bronson on May 6, 2021 at 7:43 am

For everyone that has common sense and has taken their shot(s) good for you all, we now have some freedom. For those of you that have not had their shots....too bad, stay home and isolate. You are all foolish and you put your family, friends, co-workers and community you live in at risk.

Up 36 Down 8

Travelling on May 6, 2021 at 7:17 am

There are no restrictions on travel - you are free to cross the border as much as you like whether you are vaccinated or not. The requirement is simply for isolation without a vaccine.

Up 17 Down 31

Proceed with caution on May 6, 2021 at 6:29 am

Yellowknife thought they had it made too, then they had a massive outbreak at a school and they are now trying to put out those fires. It can still happen here.
Can we have bumper stickers saying occupants are fully vaccinated so as to separate the responsible people from the others? This will be very helpful when we drive to other provinces and territories. Congratulations front liners but let's not get cocky.

Up 35 Down 20

concerned on May 6, 2021 at 6:05 am

Medical fascism and the two-tier society announced to the public in one fell swoop. Only the truly sober not cheering this on; observing with great contemplation the severe implications of these announcements as they occur in lockstep unison around the world.

Up 48 Down 37

Max Mack on May 6, 2021 at 3:35 am

Vaccine passports? Not on my life. If Hanley, Silver, Tam, and Trudeau think I will get the jab just so I can travel without quarantine, they can get stuffed.

This decision violates the Charter. I am amazed that so many people are in favour of this. I challenge the judiciary to do its job and uphold the law.

Up 45 Down 56

human rights on May 6, 2021 at 2:50 am

Not only have all of these measures been illegal and unconstitutional, the new travel rules are as well, yet another law broken by these psychopaths who are endangering humanity with their mission to inject everyone with untested unsafe DNA modifying toxins that are causing untold harm to countless people, the worst of which is miscarriages and sterility which are even listed in the documentation for these injections. Crimes against humanity against those who don't believe in this great reset that is destroying our economy and society, dividing people ever further with the goal of conquering us as slaves. Make no mistake about it, history is repeating, this is totalitarian fascism. yukonfreedom.com for more info. Freedom rally this Friday at noon at Main St and 2nd ave.

Up 41 Down 28

Erin on May 5, 2021 at 11:25 pm

HIPMA ensures privacy of health records and the Nuremberg code protects a persons right to refuse consent for medical procedures. I won't sign any waiver and I won't isolate. I'll take any fines politely because I know the courts will throw them out.

Up 33 Down 25

Mad Trapper of Riverdale on May 5, 2021 at 10:14 pm

1. How is this legal?? It's discriminatory and creates all kind of enforcement, privacy and human rights issues. I see a law suit coming

2. This will actually hurt Yukon tourism businesses as the majority of travellers will be Yukoners on a mass exodus out, taking their staycation dollars with them. Not enough people are vaccinated down south to create any kind of tourism lift here yet

3, Non vaccinated people will spend their tourism dollars on trips where they are welcome. Lots of competition and open borders out there.

4. Has YG addressed the anti tourism sentiment in the Territory? Like the petition the well paid Parks Canada Dawson staff started last summer?

5. The lockdowns in BC, ALberta and Ontario are the worst yet. Really weird timing to open things up. But I guess certain people will enjoy the golfing down south.

Up 18 Down 24

Bingo on May 5, 2021 at 10:03 pm

So here is the deal....65 plus % have been vaccinated (2 shots). By now those who have not either are living in la la land or do not intend to. This should in no way affect those who have been. Opening up the travel will help those on the fence to figure it out and others to live with it. Just not sure why May 25th is the magic date.

Up 17 Down 2

Jonathon driscoll on May 5, 2021 at 9:16 pm

For those asking this still in no way removes the federally mandated quarantine for international travel. International entries would still be subject to the 14 day self isolation with first three days in one of the approved cities taking intl flights. There are overlapping isolation requirements at present. This puts intl arrivals on same level as they are for down south.

Up 10 Down 8

TheHammer on May 5, 2021 at 7:40 pm

Finally@ Finally could be a famous last word. We will have to wait and see if COVID 19 plans on touring the Yukon.

Up 36 Down 24

Juniper Jackson on May 5, 2021 at 7:01 pm

We could have been open internally, in the Territory a long time ago. But Premier Hanley and the Liberal cabal chose to keep us locked up with the Emergency Measures Act. Personally, I was never locked down. I did not accept it from day 1. But, I also knew that I could be stopped, charged, arrested, fined, even imprisoned for it. My entire perception of my community changed. People that I had previously considered to be, smart? Well balanced? Turned out to be in AAA for 23 years, off the wagon, beat his wife up, and she is gone now. My neighbor reported me. I know it was her, because she told me. The stats on O/Ds, children, little kids for God's sake, being taught no friends, don't hug, don't show your face, frightened. 6 year olds with mental illness. 6 years old. and I'm thinking, what is wrong with us? Get rid of the masks. In case Hanley has not noticed, and I'm sure he hasn't. Very few are wearing 3 or 4 masks with a filter, even fewer wear it above their nose. How many are washing them? How many are hanging a paper over the rear view mirror and slap it on only when forced to? As an exercise in futility, a mask does it. Everyone that can, I urge you to travel somewhere, even if it's only to get out to a campground, travel down to Dawson, Atlin, Haines, YT and Ak. and leave all this crap at your door. Give yourself a break.

Up 71 Down 25

kruse-- on May 5, 2021 at 5:24 pm

Pretty simple actually. Reasonable limits, notwithstanding clause, rules implemented during a state of emergency. As the Liberals keep declaring them they are allowed to rule by decree versus democracy.

Up 75 Down 97

Sarah Kruse on May 5, 2021 at 5:20 pm

I would like the Yukon goverment to explain to me and everyone else how this is legal.
According to section 6(2) of the Canadian laws you can not restrict Yukoners from moving throughout Canada.


Up 50 Down 86

huh? on May 5, 2021 at 4:56 pm

How does this stop a person from bringing covid into the area and giving it to another person?
What about kids that aren't vaccinated?

This just proved there was no reason for a lockdown because all of this work is about to be thrown out.

Up 56 Down 95

Pam Arnold on May 5, 2021 at 4:53 pm

It is not fair..... some of us don’t want to be mice....A lot of us didn’t do the flu shot. The rules of the government do not add up!!! They (Premier MLA) don’t even know! Only go by Trudeau and Health officers! Trudeau don’t even know.... international flights should of been cancelled 14 months ago! First step..... the most important step..... and he didn’t stop international at all!!!!

Up 29 Down 69

Sheepchaser on May 5, 2021 at 4:48 pm

Ah, wonderful! We no longer have to drag the government through court to return our basic Charter rights. Thanks for saving us the expense and being reasonable.

Still going to fight the ticket for failing to fill out the declaration (as it had a section that amounts to voluntarily giving up your Section 9 CCRF rights against arbitrary detention). Not sure how the government plans to follow through on any travel restrictions charges dished out in the next twenty days as the ‘peacetime disaster’ justification holding up the emergency measures is no longer on solid footing.

The Commissioner of the Yukon signed the emergency order on the advice of the Cabinet and it is time to rescind that order.
Why? Well, we have a high vaccine uptake which reduces the risk to a minimal level, more than enough time has elapsed for other legislation to have been passed that replaces the emergency order, and that must be weighed against the real harm done by the emergency order (economic and mental health).

Dr Hanley, you have my compliments. Thank you for upholding the social contract between government and the people. You can count on my household to continue following all health orders that are reasonable and do not violate our charter rights. Masks, hand washing, six feet of separation, etc., are all still valid and reasonable.

Our newly sworn in MLAs can now get to work on new legislation that replaces the emergency order. It should be their top priority.

Up 63 Down 81

John on May 5, 2021 at 4:33 pm

So those who chose not to get vaccine will have to isolate? Good luck with that one. Sounds a lot like human rights complaint to me.

Up 53 Down 4

Jom on May 5, 2021 at 4:28 pm

@Allan, tourist from other countries aren’t allowed to visit Canada yet, this is just for travel within Canada... or for people who have a legitimate reason to be in Canada.. work, school.

Up 18 Down 69

moe on May 5, 2021 at 3:53 pm

The latest information is that you should wait quite a bit longer than 4 weeks to get your second dose unless you have a faulty immune system which might 'forget' the first dose before you get the second dose (in which case, four weeks is good). Even the CBC allowed an interview with a doctor / researcher who declared and explained this a few days ago.

That said, the bribe / blackmail has worked and I am doing my second dose now even though research says I would get longer lasting immunity by waiting another 6 or more weeks. I am not impressed by the information management going on with Hanley's office. Nevertheless, who am I to argue with getting out of this isolation thing early?

I am going to plug my nose and go ahead with the second shot 'too early', so I am allowed to travel without isolating. It rubs me the wrong way but I get it. There is a bad flu out there which is extremely contagious, and I guess I have to march along and do my part even though it's not exactly what I think is best.

All in all, we are quite spoiled in the Yukon. Dr. Hanley's job has been made very easy by the fact that on all the vaccines necessary to immunize everyone. Plus we are a tiny population and we are isolated from the world to a large degree. I do not see that Brendan Hanley has even presented us with all the information, the latest or best information, or the best plan. But here we are, on the cusp of climbing out of this, and I'm going to take my place on the ladder and try to get back to normal. Freaking out because it's not perfect is self defeating and I'm not going to fall on my sword about this.

Up 55 Down 33

Allan Stanley on May 5, 2021 at 3:42 pm

"That also applies to out-of-territory travelers who can document their vaccination status to the government’s satisfaction"
Really ?
Touristos from 50 American states and 100 countries will provide proof that can be validated ?
And this will be set up by May 26 ?

Up 73 Down 39

Finally on May 5, 2021 at 3:29 pm

Finally common sense prevailed. I was seriously beginning to wonder if we were ever going to be released
Family reunification, medical travel and even those of us needing a break from here can get one.

Hopefully those that chose not to get vaccinated will follow the rules so that we don’t have outbreaks like elsewhere.
But today I lift a glass with fellow Yukoners and celebrate our upcoming freedom

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