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History of Yukon Commissioners

Commissioners (from left to right) Jim Smith, Frank Fingland, Art Pearson, Doug Bell, Judy Gingell, and Ken McKinnon.
  1. James Morrow WALSH
    First Commissioner of the Yukon.
    Veteran of the North-West Mounted Police.
    Appointed August 17, 1897.
    Recalled to Ottawa August 4, 1898.
  2. William OGILVIE
    A land surveyor of high repute.
    Appointed July 4, 1898.
    Resigned due to ill health in the Spring of 1901.
  3. James Hamilton ROSS
    One-time rancher in western Canada where he became involved in Territorial politics.
    First Commissioner to reside in Government House in Dawson City.
    Appointed March 11, 1901 until 1902.
    Summoned to the Senate in 1904.
  4. Zachary Taylor WOOD
    Appointed Acting Commissioner from 1902 - 1903.
  5. Frederick Tennyson CONGDON
    Gained high recognition in the law profession.
    Appointed March 4, 1903.
    Resigned as Commissioner October 29, 1904 to run as a candidate in Federal politics.
  6. William Wallace Burns McINNES
    Said to be the most popular chief executive in the Territory during the early 1900's.
    Appointed May 27, 1905.
    Resigned December 31, 1906.
  7. Alexander HENDERSON
    A moderate man of excellent physical fitness.
    Appointed June 17, 1907.
    Retired June 1, 1911.
  8. George BLACK
    The last incumbent in the Office of Commissioner.
    Acquired a reputation as the leading criminal lawyer in the Yukon.
    Appointed February 1, 1912.
    Went overseas with his company in 1915.
  9. George Norris WILLIAMS
    Appointed administrator in Mr. Black's absence in 1916.

The Office of the Commissioner and Administrator were abolished March 28, 1918 by an Order In Council. The powers of these offices were subsequently vested in the Gold Commissioner.
Until 1932, the Gold Commissioner remained the Territory's chief executive, responsible to the Minister of the Interior.

GOLD COMMISSIONERS

  1. George P. MacKENZIE
    Appointed Gold Commissioner 1918-1924.
  2. Percy REID
    Appointed April 1, 1925 until his death in 1927.
  3. George Ian MacLEAN

    At the time of his appointment he was Assistant Financial Comptroller of the Department of the Interior in Ottawa.
    Appointed September 10, 1928 - 1932.


The positions of Gold Commissioner and Comptroller combined in 1932 to be styled Comptroller. The spelling was changed to Controller in 1936.

  1. George A. JECKELL
    Appointed Comptroller June 30, 1932.
    Appointed Controller December 3, 1936.
    Retired in July 1946.
  2. John Edward GIBBEN
    Appointed Controller September 18, 1947.
    The Office of the Commissioner was renewed in 1947.
    Appointed Commissioner July 13, 1948.
    Appointed Judge of the Yukon Territorial Court.
    Retired in 1950.
  3. Andrew Harold GIBSON
    Appointed Commissioner August 15, 1950.
    Appointed Police Magistrate for Yukon Territory.
    Retired in 1951.
  4. Frederick FRASER
    Appointed October 15, 1951.
    Retired in 1952.
  5. Wilfred George BROWN
    Appointed November 5, 1952.
    Retired in 1955.
  6. Frederick Howard COLLINS
    Appointed June 8, 1955.
    Retired in May 1962.
  7. Gordon Robertson CAMERON
    The first Commissioner in many years to have been appointed from among the residents of the Territory.
    Appointed May 1, 1962.
    Retired on May 31, 1966.
  8. James SMITH
    Mr. Smith was President of the Whitehorse Board of Trade, Alderman for the City of Whitehorse, and Councillor of the Yukon Legislative Council.
    Appointed Commissioner on November 7, 1966.
    Retired June 30, 1976.
  9. Dr. Arthur MacDonald PEARSON
    Dr. Pearson headed a ten-year study on the Grizzly bear in the Yukon for the Canadian Wildlife Service.
    He was the recipient of the Wildlife Society's 1976 Publication Award in the monograph category for "The Northern Interior Grizzly Bear - Ursus Arctus L."
    Appointed Commissioner July 1, 1976
    Resigned October 31, 1978.
  10. Frank FINGLAND
    Long-time Yukoner and federal civil servant.
    Interim Commissioner from November 1978 - January 1979.
  11. Ione Jean CHRISTENSEN
    Mrs. Christensen is a fourth generation Yukoner.
    First woman Justice of the Peace and Juvenile Court Judge, 1971-1975.
    Chairman of the City Planning Board, 1973-1974.
    First woman Mayor for the City of Whitehorse, 1975-1979.
    First woman Commissioner appointed January 20, 1979.
    Resigned October 10, 1979.
  12. Douglas Leslie Dewey BELL
    Telecommunications area manager for the Yukon-Federal Government.
    City of Whitehorse Alderman, 1975-1977.
    Deputy Commissioner July 18, 1977.
    Appointed Administrator October 9, 1979 until December 19, 1980.
    Appointed Commissioner December 31, 1980.
    Retired in March 1986.
  13. John Kenneth McKINNON
    Member of the Yukon Legislative Assembly, 1961; re-elected 1967, 1970 and 1974.
    Minister of Local Government, 1974.
    Minister of Highways and Public Works, 1976.
    Yukon Administrator, Northern Pipeline Agency, 1979-1984.
    Appointed Commissioner March 27, 1986.
    Retired in June 1995.
  14. Judy GINGELL
    Founding director of the Yukon Native Brotherhood in 1969.
    During the 1970s and 1980s, served on the executive council of the Yukon Indian Women's Association and became a founding director of Northern Native Broadcasting, Yukon.
    Elected president of the Yukon Indian Development Corporation, 1980.
    Chair of the Council for Yukon Indians, 1989 - May 1995.
    Appointed as first aboriginal Commissioner June 23, 1995
    Retired in September 2000.
  15. Jack CABLE
    Member of the Yukon Legislative Assembly, 1992 to 2000
    Practiced law in Whitehorse for 21 years
    Mr. Cable has a wide-ranging history of public service in his community.
    Past president of the Yukon Energy Corporation
    Director of the Northern Canada Power Commission
    Founding member of the Recycle Organics Together Society
    Director of the Yukon Science Institute
    Member of the of the Advisory Committee of the Salvation Army Adult Residential Centre
    Past president of the Yukon Chamber of Commerce
    Member of the Learning Disabilities Association of Yukon
    Member of the Association of Professional Engineers of the Yukon
    Founding member of the Boreal Alternate Energy Centre.
    Appointed Commissioner October 1, 2000
    Retired in 2005