Women MLAs and Cabinet Ministers in Yukon

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March 8, 2019

In honour of International Women’s Day, Hon. Nils Clarke, Speaker of the Yukon Legislative Assembly, is distributing information highlighting the election of women to the Yukon Territorial Council and Yukon Legislative Assembly, and the appointment of women to Yukon’s Executive Committee and Executive Council.

At the following links you will find

Highlights include:

  • Twenty-seven women have been elected to the Yukon Territorial Council and the Yukon Legislative Assembly since September 11, 1967, when Jean Gordon became the first woman elected at the territorial level.
  • Including general elections and by-elections women candidates have won 49 of the 219 seats contested between September 11, 1967 and November 7, 2016. This is 22.4 percent of the seats contested.
  • Margaret Commodore and Bea Firth are the longest-serving women MLAs. Both served 5229 days in office from June 7, 1982 to September 29, 1996.
  • Elizabeth Hanson, at 3008 days, is the longest-serving of Yukon’s current female MLAs.
  • Seven of Yukon’s current 19 MLAs are women. They represent 36.8 percent of the seats in the House. This is the highest number of women and the highest percentage of female MLAs in Yukon’s history. Yukon currently ranks fourth – after Québec, Ontario and British Columbia – among Canada’s provinces and territories in terms of the percentage of elected members who are women.
  • Seventeen female Members have served in Yukon’s cabinet since the first Executive Committee was appointed in 1970.
  • Hilda Watson, the Member for Carmacks-Kluane, was the first woman appointed to the Executive Committee.  Elaine Taylor, who served in cabinet for 5117 days from November 30, 2002 to December 2, 2016 is Yukon’s longest-serving cabinet minister; male or female.
  • From January 14 to November 29, 2002 Yukon’s cabinet consisted of four women – Pat Duncan, Sue Edelman, Pam Buckway and Cynthia Tucker – and three men. This is the only time in Canadian history that a federal, provincial or territorial cabinet has consisted of more women than men.

Hon. Nils Clarke Speaker, Yukon Legislative Assembly

For Further Information Contact:

Floyd McCormick, Clerk
Legislative Assembly Office
Phone: 867-667-5498