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  • Writer's picturePatti Pontoon

Yukon contractors paid over $725,000 each

WHITEHORSE - Outrageous payouts contribute to wealth inequality

Dr. Catherine Elliot (L) and Dr. Brendan Hanley (R) are the highest paid chief medical officers in Canada.

At a time when many Canadians face financial struggles due to COVID-19, the size of payments made to a couple of Government of Yukon contractors may turn heads.

Between April 1, 2020, and September 30, 2021, the Yukon's Deputy Chief Medical Officer (DCMO) Dr. Catherine Elliot will have received $886,442.34 in public funds.

Dr. Brendan Hanley, the Yukon's Chief Medical Officer (CMO), will have received $727,515.44 for the same time period.

These figures mean that Elliot and Hanley are the highest paid DCMO and CMO in all of Canada even though the population they are responsible for is tiny when compared to other parts of the country.

Both are expected to receive a lot more than the published figures for this 18-month time period because new contracts for each of them are due to come into effect on April 1.

The information was shared with the Whitewash News by a reader who discovered them on the Yukon's Public Contract Registry Search.

The amounts paid to Dr. Catherine Elliot and Dr. Brendan Hanley published on the Yukon's Public Contract Registry Search.

Wealth inequality

Elliot and Hanley's contracts are listed on the Registry Search as "direct awards" which means that there was no invitation to compete for the contracts, no public tender, and no effort made to see if someone equally or more qualified could do the job for less money.

Whilst they are not the only government contractors receiving needlessly high payouts, their cases help shine a light on the harm done to communities where the Government of Yukon year after year receives more money than it needs from Ottawa.

The Yukon's deeply-ingrained system of paying unnecessarily large amounts of taxpayer money to government contractors and employees is one of the main drivers of the rapidly growing wealth inequality in the territory.

The cost of everything from property to rental units and used cars is being dictated by the government's uneven distribution of wealth that favours its own officials, employees and agendas.

A growing number of private sector workers, meanwhile, are struggling to compete with the government-spawned 'nouveau riche' and as a result are becoming increasingly dispossessed.

To put the Yukon's systemic wealth inequality in context, here is what some people are currently earning in one year (based on figures taken from public disclosure websites and employers' job postings):

  • Dr. Catherine Elliot, Yukon's DCMO (pop. 42,000) - $590,961.56

  • Dr. Brendan Hanley, Yukon's CMO (pop. 42,000) - $485,010.29

  • Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada - $365,200

  • Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta's CMO (pop. 4,300,000) - $332,164.64

  • Dr. Bonnie Henry, BC's CMO (pop. 5,100,000) - $275,423.00

  • Yukon Government, deputy minister - $248,696

  • Yukon Government, manager - $192,419

  • Yukon Government, director - $151,281.00

  • Yukon government, social worker - $104,504

  • Yukon government, policy analyst $98,915.00

  • Private sector entry-level childcare worker, Whitehorse - $39,000

  • Security guard, Whitehorse - $32,011

  • Sales associate, Whitehorse - $31,200

  • Fast food worker, Whitehorse - $29,250

  • Kitchen helper, Whitehorse - $27, 447


Editors' note: The exposé we published on November 19, 2020 triggered an aggressive response from Yukonstruct that caused us to go offline for a while and figure out our next steps. We had to decide whether to cave in or keep up our efforts to speak truth to power and help create a more fair Yukon for everybody. Our decision is this: rather than give in to the pressures of political and corporate interests, we are asking our readers for information on Yukonstruct, or its sponsors and funders, that we can use to write another story. In fact, we are inviting information on any and all government-sponsored or politically-infused organizations that get handed hard-earned tax dollars from politicians with agendas. If you can work with us to back up your story, we might just run with it!

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