Whitehorse Daily Star

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MAKING IT OFFICIAL – Angélique Bernard is sworn in as the Yukon’s new commissioner Monday morning. With her is Yukon Supreme Court Justice Ron Veale. He was the acting commissioner for several days beginning late last week after Yukon administrator Gerald Isaac’s appointment expired. Adeline Webber was sworn in Monday to succeed Isaac.

Youngest-ever commissioner learning the ropes

Angélique Bernard, the Yukon’s new commissioner, calls herself a “Yukoner by choice.”

By Taylor Blewett on March 14, 2018

Angélique Bernard, the Yukon’s new commissioner, calls herself a “Yukoner by choice.”

She moved to the territory from Montreal’s south shore in 1995 for a four-month internship with the Bureau of French Language Services.

Like so many now-Yukoners, she “fell in love” with the territory, she told the Star in an interview this morning.

“Two weeks after I arrived, I knew that this is where I wanted to live,” she said.

“The Yukon has brought me so much, so now I think it’s my time to give back to the Yukon by representing all Yukoners.”

Bernard’s appointment was announced by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau last Friday.

She was sworn in for a five-year term at a private ceremony on Monday morning.

Bernard is the territory’s first francophone commissioner, and has been a very active member of the franco-Yukon community.

She launched her own translation firm in 2000, and served for seven years as the chair of the board of directors of the Association franco-yukonnaise.

Born in 1972, Bernard is also the youngest territorial commissioner in the history of the Yukon, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut, Pavlina Sudrich, the commissioner’s private secretary, noted this morning.

Bernard’s young family – her two sons are seven and nine years old – also brings a new dimension to the commissioner’s office.

“In the history of the commissioners ... having a young family is a new thing,” Sudrich said. “It’s a re-imagining of the role in many ways.”

Bernard said she wants to involve her family in her role as commissioner as much as possible.

“I think it’s good for kids to see that Mom is not just Mom; that she’s another role. But at home, I’m still Mom, and I make lunches and send them off to school,” she noted with a laugh.

Every commissioner brings a unique vision to the role.

While Bernard will be working to define hers over the coming weeks, it appears family will be a major element of her work.

She emphasized her hopes to really involve Yukon families in official events.

She’d also like to continue former commissioner Doug Phillips’ school tours, where the role of the commissioner is explained to students.

As far as the future of some of Phillips’ signature events, like the annual youth showcase launched under his tenure, Sudrich said the commissioner and her office will soon examine what Bernard’s mandate might look like, “and then we might be restructuring some of those, reallocating some of those resources.”

In certain areas, the commissioner’s role “depends on the person’s passions, and where they make connections with the community,” Sudrich explained.

Phillips called Bernard from Australia last Friday to congratulate her on the appointment. The two will have a formal meeting at some point, Bernard said.

On Tuesday, she attended an orientation with government officials on her legislative responsibilities.

These are enshrined in the Yukon Act, Sudrich explained.

They include providing assent to bills passed in the legislative assembly, signing orders-in-council and statutory appointments, and swearing in members of the legislative assembly, among other tasks.

Bernard was formally welcomed to the legislature by Speaker Nils Clarke on Monday.

The public will be welcomed to a meet-and-greet with the new commissioner in April. Specific details will be announced shortly, Sudrich said.

Asked what she’s most looking forward to about her new job, Bernard said “the people.”

“There’s some amazing people in the Yukon,” she explained, noting what an “honour and pleasure” it is to represent them.

Comments (8)

Up 1 Down 7

Alan Boomer on Mar 16, 2018 at 3:17 pm

I do not know here but she was appointed and I respect that she wants to do a good job.

Too many times long term Yukoners are appointed- we have someone with less history here but she is young and will likely make an excellent contribution.

Up 0 Down 0

My Opinion on Mar 16, 2018 at 12:48 am

Liberal SJW's have to have every demographic covered. Clowns the whole works of them.

Up 6 Down 2

Juniper Jackson on Mar 15, 2018 at 11:25 pm

Pat Duncan would never, in this life time been my choice for anything.. does no one remember her short lived Liberal government? However, Ruth Massie would have been ok.. All the new Commish needs to know is.. not French? Good bye.

Up 3 Down 5

Dave Evans on Mar 15, 2018 at 12:54 pm

Hell....she's got my support simply for calling the Yukon "The Yukon".

Up 1 Down 0

AL on Mar 15, 2018 at 11:22 am

Please resign out of respect for all Yukoner's.

You are making a mockery of our collective culture and traditions here in the Yukon. Your accepting this position is non-deserving. What little you have contributed to the Yukon has been very narrow and self-serving.

Trudeau - typical that you made a mockery of this appointment. Shame on you and those that advanced the lady's name.

Up 8 Down 1

Yukon Watchdog on Mar 15, 2018 at 10:07 am

How did her name get on a list for commissioner? What is her background to deserve such a position? How is it that the francophone voice has become the driver here? It certainly doesn't seem to represent the majority.

Up 6 Down 8

Lost In the Yukon on Mar 14, 2018 at 7:22 pm

My hope had been either Ruth Massie or Pat Ducan ... both have put in the work, are well respected across a broad spectrum and would have been excellent Commissioners

Up 6 Down 8

Lost In the Yukon on Mar 14, 2018 at 7:22 pm

My hope had been either Ruth Massie or Pat Ducan ... both have put in the work, are well respected across a broad spectrum and would have been excellent Commissioners

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