Whitehorse Daily Star

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Pictured Above: ERNIE BOURASSA

Former mayor rewarded for Canada Games efforts

Former Whitehorse mayor Ernie Bourassa has been honoured with a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for his work with the Canada Games.

By Whitehorse Star on July 8, 2013

Former Whitehorse mayor Ernie Bourassa has been honoured with a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for his work with the Canada Games.

Bourassa was the executive vice-president of the 2007 Canada Winter Games.

The medal was awarded last week by the Canada Games Council.

"We are thrilled that the Canada Games Council has been awarded the opportunity to recognize such passionate contributors to Canadian amateur sport and the Canada Games,” said Tom Quinn, Chairman of the Canada Games Council.

"The leadership and guidance that Mr. Bourassa demonstrated in spearheading the 2007 Canada Winter Games changed the face of amateur sport in Whitehorse.”

The Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Commemorative Medal was created to mark the 60th Anniversary of Her Majesty's accession to the Throne on February 6th, 1952.

The award serves to honour significant contributions and achievements by Canadians. Sixty thousand people are expected to be recognized this year.

"To be now acknowledged for the role I played in hosting the Games came as a huge surprise and I am extremely grateful to the Canada Games Council for nominating me to receive the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal,” Bourassa said.

"It is a great honour to be recognized by the Canada Games Council but I would be remiss in not recognizing all the planning committee volunteers and Games time volunteers who did such an exceptional job on behalf of the Host Society and made Canada, the Yukon and Whitehorse so proud.

"I am accepting this medal to honour the memory of our dear friend and compatriot Peter Milner who was such an inspiration for so many of us in all we did to host the 2007 Canada Winter Games.”

Born and raised in Whitehorse, Bourassa graduated from F.H. Collins Secondary before graduating with a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of British Columbia.

Returning to Whitehorse after graduation, Bourassa spent 20 years as an insurance broker before serving as Whitehorse mayor from 2000 to 2006.

During his time as mayor, Bourassa was extensively involved with the 2007 Whitehorse Canada Games Host Society as a member of the management committee executive committee and the Board of Directors, where he served as executive vice-president of the Host Society.

Growing up, Bourassa's first experience with the Canada Games was as a member of the Team Yukon volleyball team at the 1971 Canada Winter Games in Saskatoon.

Bourassa also represented Yukon at the very first Arctic Winter Games in Yellowknife as a member of the Yukon midget hockey team.

Today, Bourassa is a professional Realtor with REMAX Action Realty in Whitehorse and enjoys kayaking, golfing and cycling.

"Having experienced the Canada Winter Games first hand in Saskatoon, I am a huge supporter of the Canada Games and I believe the Games offer unprecedented opportunities for Yukoners to participate in a unique and exciting sports competition which they will remember for the rest of their lives,” Bourassa said.

"The experience of being part of the 2007 Games is one I will forever cherish.”

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